Moon Phases & Tides


  • Waxing Moon: "The term used to describe the period of the Moon as it moves from a New Moon to a Full Moon, increasing in visibility with respect to an Earth-bound observer."
  • Waning Moon: "The term used to describe the period of the Moon as it moves from a Full Moon to a New Moon, decreasing in visibility with respect to an Earth-bound observer."
  • Gibbous Moon: "There are two Gibbous phases of the Moon, with the first representing the growing moon between the First Quarter and the Full Moon and the second when it describes the Moon growing smaller as it shrinks down from the Full Moon to the Last Quarter. These phases are referred to as the Waxing and Waning Gibbous, respectively."
  • Crescent Moon: "The famous image of the Moon frequently used in the media, consisting of only a thin crescent slice of the Moon being visible from Earth. This phase of the moon occurs just after the New Moon phase, which is also known as Dark of the Moon. There is also a Crescent Moon phase just prior to the next New Moon as well." 

Source: http://www.moonconnection.com/moon-glossary.phtml#

What do you See?

A waxing moon is growing, so the light travels from the right side to the left, 0% to 50%, then to 100%, which is a full moon. A waning moon is losing its lighted area, and it also travels from the right side to the left side, from 100% to 50% then finally back down to 0%. But if you live on the southern hemisphere, the light travels from left to right instead.

What is the Lunar Cycle?

The lunar cycle, or also known as the "moon cycle", refers to the moon's continuous cycle around the Earth. As the moon orbits around the Earth, its appearance changes and gives us an indication of its progress in the cycle. This cycle lasts 29.53059 days.

Earth's Season/Eclipses


Who Was Copernicus?

Nicolai Copernicus (1473-1543) studied the solar system, and proved the Babylonians, the Mayas, and other ancient cultures wrong by stating that the Earth wasn't the center of the solar system, but that the sun was.

Why are there Seasons?

Seasons occur because the Earth rotates on a tilted axis, and that 23.5 degree tilt allows different hemispheres to be at different angles to the sun at different times of the year.

Why isn't it Warmer in the Winter?

You would think that since the sun is closer to the Earth in the winter time that it would be much warmer, but it's not. This is because during the winter time, the energy the sun gives off must travel through more atmosphere to reach the Earth, and it has to spread over a very large amount of land equally, which makes it colder.

Why aren't there Lunar Eclipses Every Month?

Even though there is a full moon every month, lunar eclipses aren't monthly because the sun isn't exactly in line with the moon and Earth every month. If the moon's axis wasn't tilted 5 degrees more than Earth's, then we would see a lunar eclipse every month.

Why do we have Day & Night?

We experience day and night because of the Earth's rotation. When one side of the Earth faces the sun, the other side doesn't, which makes it dark. Then when the Earth spins on its axis, the dark and light halves of the Earth switch, and then it rep


  • Solstice: Marks the point at which the poles are tilted at their maximum away, or toward the sun.
  • Equinox:


Who is Alfred Wegener?

Alfred Wegener was a polar researcher, geophysicist, and meteorologist. He brought up the idea that we once had a "supercontinent", which broke up, and created the continents that we have today (1915).


  • Convergent: Merge together
  • Divergent: Move apart, expand
  • Tranform Boundary: (Also known as Conservative boundary) "Where two of the floats - two tectonic plates - side alongside each other. When this happens, the scraping of the two plates causes earthquakes."

Source: http://study.com/academy/lesson/transform-boundary-definition-facts-examples.html

What is the Name of the Tectonic Plate off the Coast of Washington?

The name of the tectonic plate on the western coast is the Juan de Fuca.

How did it Affect the Cascade Mountains?

"The Pacific Northwest has been undergoing pretty much continuous deformation of one kind or another for its entire history. Particularly over the regime of the Kula Plate, the major tectonic features developed along northwest-southeast lines. These included an extensive network of faults developed over the Coast Range Episode, and a parallel set of folds, which strongly developed over the Challis Episode. These northwest-trending folds and faults are the primary deformational features across much of the region.

Over the Cascade Episode, the development of many of these features continued, supported by a strong northerly component to the interaction of the Juan De Fuca and North American Plates. In this arrangement, the Challis-age southwestern half of Washington is driven north against the older, more stable terrane belts. Continued folding and slipping along these northwest - southeast trending features continues today. The west-northwest trending Seattle Fault is one of these features, active over the past several hundred years.

Over the Cascade Episode, in response to these tectonic forces, large crustal blocks within the margin here have undergone significant (largely clockwise) rotation. This is most pronounced along the continental margin in the Olympic Coast Belt, and probably extends east into the Puget Sound Basin. "

Source: http://www.burkemuseum.org/static/geo_history_wa/Cascade%20Episode.htm


Convection Currents: "A current in a fluid that results from convection."

Rift Zone: A collection of mainly shield volcanoes, in which a linear series of fissures in the volcanic edifice allows lava to be erupted from the volcano's flank instead of from its summit.

Subduction Zone: "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. When two tectonic plates meet, one may slide underneath the other, curving down into the mantle."

How do Convection Currents Play a Role in Plate Tectonics?

How Were the Channeled Scablands Formed?

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