Earth, Moon, and Sun
by: Sam Willkomm
Section 1: Earth In Space
How does Earth move in space?
Earth moves through space in two major ways: rotation and revolution. Rotation is the spinning of Earth on its axis, and revolution is the movement of one object around another.
What causes the cycle of seasons on Earth?
The Earth's axis causes the cycle of seasons on Earth. Earth's axis is tilted as it revolves around the sun, so some parts get more sun than others in different times of the year.
Section 2: Gravity and Motion
What determines the strength of the force of gravity between two objects?
The masses of the objects and the distance between them determine the strength of the force of gravity between two objects.
What two factors combine to keep the moon and Earth in orbit?
Newton concluded that two factors combine to keep the moon and Earth in orbit- inertia-the tendency of an object to resist a change in motion- and gravity- the attractive force between objects.
Section 3: Phases, Eclipses, and Tides
What causes the phases of the moon?
The changing relative positions of the moon, Earth, and sun cause the phases of the moon.
What are solar and lunar eclipses?
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly between Earth and the sun, blocking sunlight from Earth. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth blocks the sunlight from reaching the moon.
What causes the tides?
Tides are caused mainly by differences in how much the moon's gravity pulls on different parts of the Earth. At any one time there are two places with high tide and tow places with low tides on Earth.
Section 4: Earth's Moon
What features are found on the moon's surface?
Features on the moon's surface include maria, craters, and highlands. A maria is a dark, flat area on the moon's surface formed from huge ancient lava flows. A crater is a large round pit caused by the impact of a meteoroid. A highland is basically a mountain.
What are some characteristics of the moon?
Some characteristics of the moon is that it is dry and airless. Compared to Earth, the moon is small and has large variations in its surface temperature. If you visited the moon, you would need to wear a bulky space suit to provide air to breathe, protect against sunburn, and to keep you at a comfortable temperature. The moon is 3,476 kilometers in diameter (about 1/4 of Earth's diameter). The temperatures on the moon range from 130 degrees Celsius in direct sunlight to -180 degrees Celsius at night. There is no liquid water on the moon.
How did the moon form?
Most scientists believe that the moon was formed by a planet-sized object that collided with Earth to form the moon.