Earth from the Moon, artwork. Because the Moon is tidally locked, with one side always facing the Earth, the Earth is always at the same point in the Moon's sky for a particular lunar location. This location is close to the lunar south pole (hence the Earth and Africa are seen with North at bottom). Earth's phase changes as the Moon orbits it, but here much of the visible hemisphere is lit by the Sun. The Moon-Earth distance is some 384,000 kilometres. The Earth's diameter is 12,742 kilometres. Unlike the Earth, the Moon is an airless, barren world of rock, with extremes of day and night temperatures, harsh sunlight and deep shadows.