Earth, Moon, and Sun
By Natalie Wasinski
Section 1:Earth in Space
#1 How does Earth move in space?
Earth moves two major ways in space, rotation and revolution. The rotation of the Earth is the spinning of Earth on it's axis.The axias is the imaginary line that passes through the center and the North and South poles. When Earth rotates, it causes day and night to happen, one full rotation equals 24 hours/day on Earth.
The revolution is one object around another, which in earth's case is Earth revolving around the sun. When the Earth maeks one full rotation, it's called a year. The path that Earth follows to make a year is called the orbit, the orbit isn't quit circular, it's more ellipse.
#2 What causes the cycle of seasons on Earth?
Earth's seasons change all throughout the year because its axis is tilted as it revolves around the sun. During the different months, there are different names for the times/seasons that are occuring. There is the June Solstice and the December Solstice. A solstice is when the sun is furthest north or south of the equator. Then there is the March Equinox and the September Equinox. An equinox is an equal night, which means that During the march and September Equinox, all over Earth everything is all equal to the time it happens. Each Hemisphere usually has the opposite seasons because of where the sun is.
Section 2:Gravity and Motion
#3 What determines the strength of the force of gravity between two object?
The strength of the force of gravity between 2 objects depends on two factors, the masses of teh objects and the distance between them. The mass of an object is the amount of matter in an object. The force of gravity decreases rapidly as the distance increases. If the distance between two objects were doubled, the force of gravity between them would decrease to one fourth of its original value. Gravity attracts all object toward one another. If the mass of and object increases, the force decreases, but if the force decreases then the distance increases.
#4 What two factors combine to keep the moon and Earth in Orbit?
Interia and gravity combine to keep Earth in orbit around the sun and the moon in orbit around the Earth, this was concluded by Newton. Interia is the tendency of an object to resist a change in motion. Newton created a law for this called Newton's first law of motion. The law states that an object at rest will stay at reast and an object in motion will stay in motionwith a constant speed and direction unless acted on by a force. The gravity of Earth keeps puling the moon toward it, at the same time the moon keeps moving ahead because of interia.
Section 3:Phases, Eclipse, and Tides
#5 What causes the phases of the moon?
The phases of the moon, eclipses, and tides are caused because of the changing relative positions of the moon, Earth, and sun. There are lots of different phases of the moon that are caused. There is a New Moon, Waxing Crescent, First Quarter, Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous, Third Quarter, Waning Crescent, then back to the beginning.
#6 What are solar and lunar Eclipses?
An eclipse is when the moon's shadow hits Earth or Earth's shadow hits the moon. The word Solar and the word Lunar come from Latin words that mean sun and moon. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly between Earth and the sun, reflecting sunlight from Earth. During a Lunar Eclipse, Earth blocks sunlight from reaching the moon. The moon is then in Earth's shadow and makes the moon look dim to Earth.
#7 What causes the tides?
The main cause of tides is mainly by differences in how much the moon's gravity pulls on different parts of Earth. Tides are the rise and fall of ocean water that occurs every 12.5 hours of so. There are also different tides that are caused, there are spring tides and neap tides. The different stages of the moon cause the different tides. The spring tide combined forces produce a tide with the greatest difference between consecutive low and high tides. The neap tide is a tide with the least difference between consecutive low and high tides.
Section 4:Earth's Moon
#8 What features are found on the moon's surface?
Maria, craters and highlands are some of the features on the moon's surface. The dark, flat areas on the moon are called maria which is Latin for seas. Craters are the large, round pits on the moon. The craters are made by meteoroids, which are chincks of rock or dust from space. The easiest way for people to see the surface of the moon is by using a telescope. The telescope is a device that was built to observe distant objects by making them appear closer. Telescopes have been helping scientist see space better for about 400 years. Now we have made more discoveries because of the telescope and how it advances.
#9 What are some characteristics of the moon?
There are lots of differnt characteristics of the moon, especially compared to Earth. The moon is airless and dry and has large variations in its surface temperature. The temperature range is anywhere from 130 degrees celsius in direct sunlight to a very cold -180 degrees celsius at night. The reason for the large temperature is because the moon doesn't have an atmosphere. The moon also has no water, since it's dry. Yet scientists are now descovering that ther maybe some ice patches near the moon's poles. This may happen because some areas are sheilded from the sun.
The size of the moon is very different to what we have here. The diameter of the moon is a little bit less than the United States. Which happens to be about 1/4 of Earth's diameter. However the moon only has 1/18th the mass of Earth because earth has a dense core, but the outer layers are less dense.
#10 How did the moon form?
There are theories such as that the moon formed elsewhere in the solar system and captured by Earth's gravity as it came near Earth. People aslo wonder if the moon was formed the same time Earth was. The theory that the scientist have come up with is that a planet-sized object collided with Earth to form the moon.