The Moon's Importance

Phillip Miner
4th hour

The Moon has many effects on Earth. As it revolves around Earth, it goes through a circle of phases. Its gravity is powerful enough to cause the tides on Earth. It also causes the magnificent eclipses.


The Moon's phases are caused by how much of the Moon is visible from Earth. The phases include a new moon, crescents, 1st and 3rd Quarters, gibbous, and the full moon. As the phases go from the new moon to the full moon, it waxes, or grows, through a crescent, 1st quarter, to a gibbous. Then it wanes, or shrinks, from a gibbous, to the 3rd Quarter, to a crescent, back to a new moon.


Tides are caused by the Moon's gravity. High tides occur because the Moon pulls the water toward it, so it builds up on the side facing the Earth. It also builds up on the side opposite of the Moon because the Earth is pulled more than the water is. Also, there are two types of tides, spring tides and neap tides. Spring tides occur during the new and full moon phases, and have a greater tidal range because the Sun and Moon either pull together or in opposite directions, causing the bulges to be bigger. Neap tides happen during the 1st and 3rd quarter phases, and have a lower tidal range because the Sun pulls water away from the bulges and toward the sides.


There are two types of eclipses: solar and lunar. Solar eclipses occur when the Moon blocks out some or all of the sun. The types of solar eclipses are: total, which is when only the corona of the sun is visible; partial, when only part of the sun is blocked; and annular, which is when the Moon doesn't appear large enough to block the Sun. Lunar eclipses occur when the Earth blocks sunlight from reaching the Moon. The kinds of lunar eclipses are: total, the Moon slowly darkens and then turns red; partial, when only a part of the Moon goes dark; and penumbral, when the moon darkens, but is still visible.


Without the Moon, living on Earth would be incredibly different. It makes the night brighter and easier to see in. The tides wouldn't exist, so the water level would always be constant. Additionally, Eclipses would not even exist, and no one would see the beauty of it.

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