Earth, Moon(s), and Sun
By: McKenna Benjamin
Earth is Space
How does Earth move in space?
Earth moves in space in two different ways, revolution and rotation. Revolution is the movement of one object around another while rotation is the action of rotating around an axis or center. Earth revolves around a G2V star or more commonly know on Earth as our Sun. It revolves around this hot ball of gas at the speed of 30 kilometers per second. Its distance from the Sun is about 149,600,000 kilometers (also known as one Astronomical Unit) and it takes one year on Earth (365 days) to complete it's orbit. Earth rotation is on its axis or the invisible line that runs from the North Pole to the South Pole. The obliquity (axial tilt) of our planet varies from 22.1 and 24.5 degrees and changes in it's orbit.
What causes the cycle of seasons on Earth?
The continual cycle of seasons that take place on our Earth are caused by the obliquity of Earth's axis in it's rotation around our Sun. Our Earth is tilted at an angle and as it moves around our Sun, sunlight strikes certain areas more or less direct then in another place, thus causing different climate zones and causing the seasons around the Earth.
Gravity and Motion
What determines the strength of the force of gravity between two objects?
The strength and force of gravity between two objects depends on both their masses and the distance between them. If the mass of the two objects increases, the force of gravity also increases. If the distance between the two objects increases then the force of gravity pulling on one another decreases.
What two factors contribute to keep the moon and Earth in orbit?
A combination of inertia and gravity keep the moon in an orbit around the Earth and the Earth around our Sun. Inertia is the tendency of an object to resist a change in motion. Without the gravity of the Earth pulling on the moon, the moon most likely would have drifted away from our Earth and without the inertia of the moon, it most likely would have stopped orbiting around the Earth. The same goes for the Earth and our Sun.
Phases, Eclipses, and Tides
What cause the phases of the moon?
The position of the Earth, moon and Sun cause sunlight to strike the Earth and moon in different places. The sunlight strikes the moon in different places when it rotates around the Earth. Because of the position the moon is in when it rotates, sunlight might strike it more directly, meaning from Earth the moon is more bathed in light, or less directly, meaning from Earth there is more shadows than light.
What are solar and lunar eclipses?
When the moon's shadow strikes Earth or Earth's shadow strikes the moon, it is called an eclipse. A lunar eclipse is when Earth is between the rays of the sun and the moon is behind the Earth which causes Earth's shadow to the block the moon from any sunlight. A solar eclipse is when the moon is between the sun and the Earth and the Sun's rays strike the moon first causing a shadow to be cast on Earth.
What causes the tides?
The tides of Earth's oceans are caused by the moon's gravity pulling on different parts of the Earth. When the moon is over a part of Earth, it's gravity pulls the water toward that point causing a high tide. Low tides occur because the two high tide points are pulling the water from the low tide areas away creating low tides.
What features are found on the moon's surface?
The moon's surface is covered with craters, maria, and highlands.The craters were formed by meteoroids because the moon has a small atmosphere that can easily be penetrated by the chunks floating in space. Craters are large round pits caused by the impact of meteoroids. Maria are dark, flat areas on the moon's surface formed from huge ancient lava flows. Highlands are the light colored parts on the moon's surface.
What are some characteristics of the moon?
The moon is dry because the moon's atmosphere is so thin that the sun rays from the sun dried up the moon's surface. The moon is smaller than Earth but bigger than some other moon from other planets such as, Enceladus and Iapetus. It's diameter of our moon is 3,476 kilometers and the temperature of the moon's surface ranges from 130 degrees in direct sunlight to -180 degrees at night. The moon is said to have water on it but not in the liquid form as we know it. Scientists believe that there is frozen ice shielded from sunlight in craters.
How did the moon form?
The is no for sure reason how our moon formed but the most logical theory is that a large asteroid collided with Earth and knocked off a chunk of earth that then started to form into a sphere and was in a orbit along with Earth.
Map of the Moon!
Come Join Us As We Take a Trip to the Moon!
Come join us as we take a trip to our moon! We would love to have you with us! We will be exploring the surface and having a picnic there! Please don't bring any pets or valuable items.