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Attention Isaac Mizrahi: The Moon is a Moon

From a home shopping network, a modern celestial debate.

The moon, which is a moon.

Since the dawn of time, man has wondered: what is the moon? The bride of the sun god? The arbiter of the tides? A celestial orb of green cosmic cheese? Though we now know a lot about the Earth’s favorite natural satellite, and man has now even tread on the moon’s dusty surface, the debate over the grayish sphere’s true nature continues today, on the home shopping network QVC. Host Jane Treacy spoke to goofy fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi about a line of clothing that to her, was reminiscent of “what the Earth looks like when you’re a bazillion miles away on planet moon.”

Immediately, realizing her mistake—planet moon, sheesh—she asks, “Isn’t the moon a star?” Mizrahi stepped in, aghast at Treacy’s ignorance, to disabuse her of this ridiculous notion. “No, the moon is a planet, darling,” he insists condescendingly. They bicker back and forth like this until finding something they can both agree on: the sun is a star. Well done, guys.

While this might seem like a simple open-and-shut case of ignorance, upon further consideration, it may actually be a case of overthinking. The truth is even simpler than Treacy and Mizrahi were able to believe.

The Moon is a moon.

While planets orbit stars, moons (or natural satellites) are smaller bodies that in turn, orbit planets. So the Earth, a planet, orbits the sun—which we’ve established, is a star—and the moon, (which is a moon), orbits the earth. Lots of planets have moons, although to most of us, our moon will always be “the moon.” Jupiter has the record, with a whopping 67 moons, one of which, Ganymede, is the largest in the solar system. But don’t let that give you a case of moon envy. Jupiter is freaking huge, and our moon is the biggest relative to the size of our planet, so in a way, we’re number one. Our moon is even bigger than Pluto, which until recently was considered a planet. But as they say, size isn’t everything, and as it orbits the Earth, one thing is for sure: the moon is not a planet or a star. The moon is a moon.

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