Earth, Moon, Sun
Section 1: Earth in Space
#1 How does Earth move in space?
There are two major ways Earth moves through space is rotation and revolution.
Rotation- The Earth has an imaginary line that runs through it called the axis. The spinning on the axis is rotation, it causes day and night. The Earth takes 24 hours to rotate.
Revolution- is the movement of one object around another. As Earth revolves around the sun it follows a path or orbit. A year is when the Earth makes one complete revolution around the sun.
#2 What causes the cycle of seasons on Earth?
Earths seasons are because Earth is on an axis and it revolves around the sun. As Earth revolves around the sun it is striked with different amounts of sunlight. Half the year the Northern Hemisphere is tilted toward the sun and half the year the Southern hemisphere is tilted near the sun. When the Northern Hemisphere is tilted near the sun it is summer there and winter in the Southern Hemisphere.
Section 2: Gravity and Motion
#1 What determines the strength of the force of gravity between two objects?
The strength of the force of gravity between two objects depends on two factors, the masses of the objects and the objects and the distance between them. As the mass increases, the force does also. As the distance increases, the force will increase.
#2 What two factors combine to keep the moon and Earth in orbit?
The two factors that combine to keep the moon and Earth in orbit are inertia and gravity.
Inertia is the tendency of an object to resist a charge in motion. The moon keeps going because of it. Newton's first law of motion says an object at rest will stay at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with a constant speed and direction unless acted on by force. The gravity causes the moon to move in a circle. Without gravity the moon would move in a straight path, due to inertia.
Section 3: Phases, Eclipses, and Tide
#1 What causes the phases of the moon
The phases of the moon are caused by the changing positions of the moon, Sun and Earth. The phases depend on how much the sunlit side of the moon faces Earth. Half the moon is lit with sunlight. Since to moon revolves around the earth and the same side of the moon is always facing earth we see different amounts of the sunlit side causing the phases of the moon.
#2 What are solar and lunar eclipses?
When the moon's shadow hits Earth of Earths shadows hits the moon, an eclipse occurs.
Solar eclipse occurs when the moon is a new moon and the moon lies between the Earth and sun. Since the moon is between the two the moon blocks sunlight from the earth.
Lunar eclipse occurs when the moon moves near earths shadow. When the Earth is directly in between the moon and the sun a lunar eclipse occurs. During a lunar eclipse Earth blocks sunlight from reaching the moon. It occurs during full moon because the moon is the closest to Earths shadow then.
#3 What causes the tides
The tides are caused by differences in how much the moon's gravity pulls on different parts of Earth. The high tides occurs on the side closest to the moon and the opposite side. This is because the moons gravity pulls the earth towards it, leaving the water behind. A low tide occurs between two high tides.
Section 4: Earth's Moon
What features are found on the moon's surface?
Some features on the moon's surface include maria, craters, and highlands.
Maria are harden rocks formed from lava flows. They occurred between three and four billion years ago.
Craters are caused by the impact of meteoroids. We know that the craters were created early in the moon history because there are craters around marias and the marias don't have many craters in them.
Highlands are light-colored features on the moons surface that are highlands or mountains. The lunar highlands cover a lot of the moons surface.
What are some characteristics of the moon?
The moon is dry and airless. Compared to the Earth the moon is small and has large variations in it's surface temperatures. The moon is 3,476 kilometers in diameters. The moon has 1/18 as much mass as Earth. The moon's temperature varies from 130 degrees Celsius to -180 degrees Celsius.
How did the moon form?
There are many theories about how the moon formed. The one that best fits is the Collis- ring- theory. It is that a planet- sized object collided with Earth to form the moon.
Every night for 17 nights we kept track of the moon. We recorded if it was visible, what direction it was in, the altitude, and appearance.
Most of the time we couldn't see the moon, so we had to use the internet to get the data we needed.
Lunar Eclipse Party
Enjoy a night of looking at the sky! Telescopes will be provided.