Waxing: Means "growing" or expanding in illumination.

Waning: Means "shrinking" or decreasing in illumination.

Gibbous: Having the observable illuminated part greater than a semicircle and less than a circle.

Crescent: The curved sickle shape of the waxing or waning moon.

As the moon is waxing, it gets fuller-more illuminate-from the right to the left. Also as it is waxing it is starting smaller and working its way up to a Full Moon-moon that is fully lit, as big as it gets. As the moon is waning, it shrinks-losing its illumination-going from left to right. When the moon is waning it is slowly losing its light from a full moon down to a New Moon-moon does not have any light, looking like there is no moon.

Lunar cycle: A lunar phase of the moon is the portion of the moon illuminated. The lunar cycle is the waxing and waning of the moon in a cycle, as the moon changes it position to the sun, as us, Earth.

Earths seasons/eclipses

Who was Copernicus?

He was the one who discovered that the sun, not the earth, was the center of our solar system. This also lead to our modern day understanding of the earths relationship with the sun.

Why do we have seasons?

We have seasons because the earth is tilted as it makes its yearly journey around the sun. The Earth's axis is tilted at an angle of 23.5 degrees. This means that the Earth is always "pointing" to one side as it goes around the Sun.

In winter, the sun is closer to Earth, why isn't it warmer?

Earth's orbit is not a perfect circle. It is elliptical, or slightly oval-shaped. This means there is one point in the orbit where Earth is closest to the Sun, and another where Earth is farthest from the Sun. The closest point occurs in early January, and the far point happens in early July.

Why don't we have lunar eclipse each month?

The reason why is because the Earth and moon's orbit is always tilted 5 degrees in some direction and so, the Sun, Moon, and Earth are not aligned.

How come we have day and night?

We have day and night because the Earth rotates. It spins on its axis, which is an imaginary line passing through the North and South Poles. The Earth spins slowly all the time, but we don't feel any movement because it turns smoothly and at the same speed.


The time or date (twice each year) at which the sun crosses the celestial equator, when day and night are of equal length.

Solstice: Either of the two times in the year, the summer solstice and the winter solstice, when the sun reaches its highest or lowest point in the sky at noon, marked by the longest and shortest days.



Who is Alfred Wegener?

Alfred Wegener was a German meteorologist and geophysicist who developed the first theory of continental drift and formulated the idea that a supercontinent known as Pangaea existed on the Earth millions of years ago.

Convergent: Coming closer together, especially in characteristics or ideas.

Divergent: Tending to be different or develop in different directions.

Transform: Is where two two tectonic plates side alongside each other.

What tectonic plate is just off the coast of Washington?                                Juan de Fuca plate

What effect does this plate have on the Cascades?

One important aspect that changed the Cascades was the status of the northern end of the Juan De Fuca Plate, a portion now known as the Explorer Plate. Between 5 and 7 million years ago, the Explorer Plate broke off from the Juan De Fuca Plate. This change apparently had some important ramifications for regional geologic evolution. When this change was completed, Cascade Arc magmatism returned and the modern Cascade and Olympic Ranges started to rise.

Convection currents: The transfer of heat by the massmovement of heated particles intoan area of cooler fluid.

What role do they have in plate tectonics?

Large convection currents in the aesthenosphere transfer heat to the surface, where plumes of less dense magma break apart the plates at the spreading centers, creating divergent plate boundaries.

Rift Zone: A large area of the earth in which plates of the earth's crust are moving away from each other, forming an extensive system of fractures and faults.

Subduction Zone: A subduction zone is the biggest smash-up on Earth, marking the collision between two of the planet's tectonic plates, the pieces of crust that slowly move across the surface over millions of years.

How were the Channeled Scablands formed?

The  are a barren, relatively soil-free landscape in eastern Washington, scoured clean by a flood unleashed when a large glacial lake drained. They are a geologically unique erosional feature in the U.S. state of Washington.


Sedimentary Rocks: Types of rock that are formed by the deposition of material at the Earth's surface and within bodies of water. Salt, coal, and amber.

Metamorphic Rocks: Arise from the transformation of existing rock types, in a process called metamorphism, which means "change in form". Slate, greenstone, and gneiss.

Igneous Rocks: Is formed through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava. Obsidian, pumice, and basalt.

Stratification is a system or formation of layers, classes, or categories.

The age of rocks and fossils in number of years could be determined through radiometric age dating.

Younger soil could end up on top of older soil because of landslides or other earth moving events.

Living organisms have shaped the land by decaying and creating caves.