The Moon's Importance

Kimberly Sager
4th Hour

We might have mistaken the moon for a big ball of cheese way back when, but scientists now have discovered many reasons for the Moon's existence. The moon causes tides, eclipses, and it is also a great way to track time because the moon goes through a full cycle of phases in about 28.5 days! We can see during the night mostly due to the moon reflecting the sun's light. Not only does the moon do all these things, it keeps our Earth tilted at a 23 degree angle, which causes seasons! I hope the next few paragraphs show you just how important our moon is to life on Earth.

The moon goes through a cycle of eight phases in about 28.5 days. That's why the moon is a great basis for our yearly calendar, because it can track the month's passing. We start at New Moon then head into the Waxing stages where the black New Moon is gradually becoming more and more visible. About halfway through the month, a Full Moon occurs. After the Full Moon the moon begins its Waning stages where it grows darker and darker in preparation for the upcoming New Moon. Since the Moon's revolution and rotation take the same amount of time, we see the same side of the Moon at all stages.

Now we have tides. There are two types of tides as shown in the picture. First there is the Spring tide, where two sides of the bulge are larger than the others. This is cause because the moon and the Sun work together using gravitational force on Earth's waters. Spring tide occurs during a New moon and a Full moon. The next tide is the Neal tide. In the Neap tide, all sides of the bulge are equal due to the moon pulling one way and the Sun pulling another way. Neap tides occur during half moons. Without the moon surfers might not be able to surf.

Next we have the Solar and Lunar eclipses. First, the definition of eclipse. An eclipse is where a celestial body blocks another celestial body's view of the sun. In a Solar eclipse, during a New Moon, the Moon is blocking the Earth's view of the sun because the Earth, Moon, and Sun are lined up exactly. This causes those in the Moon's umbra to see the Sun's corona, and those in the Moon's penumbra to see part of the Sun. In a Lunar eclipse, during the Full Moon, the Moon's view of the Sun is blocked by the Earth. The Earth's atmosphere causes the Moon to become red, instead of us not being able to see it. Eclipses don't happen with every New or Full Moon because the Earth, Sun, and Moon don't line up exactly every time.

In conclusion, the world would be very different without the moon. We would have a difficult time telling time, we would have no way to see its phases and we would have no eclipses. Surfers wouldn't have tides to surf on, and it's likely we wouldn't have seasons. If the moon didn't exist we would not have astronauts or space ships that traveled to the moon. The moon is very important to our existence.

Comment Stream