Earth,Moon, and Sun
By: Nick Nastasi

Section 1: Earth In Space

How does Earth move in space?

Earth moves through space because of rotation and revolution.

Earth moves around the sun while rotating on its axis. The spinning of Earth on it's axis is rotation. Earths rotation causes day and night. It is day on the side of Earth facing the sun and night on the side of Earth facing away from the sun. It takes Earth 24 hours to rotate once on its axis, which makes a day.

As earth is rotating on it's axis it is also traveling around the sun. The movement of one object around another is revolution. One complete revolution of Earth around the sun makes a year. Earth follows an oval orbit around the sun.

What causes the cycle of seasons on Earth?

Most places have four seasons: Winter,Spring, Summer, and Fall. Each season is caused by the tilt of Earth's axis as it revolves around the sun. The temperature of each season depends on where you are in the world. The closer you are to the equator the warmer it will be. This is because the sunlight hits Earth most directly near the equator. The closer you are to the poles, the colder it will be. This is because the sunlight hits Earth at a steep angle here.

Section 2: Gravity and Motion

What determines the strength of the force of gravity between two objects?

The strength of the gravity between two objects is determined by the mass of the objects and the distance between them.

Mass is the amount of matter in an object. The greater mass of the objects, the greater the gravitational pull will be. Since both Earth and the moon have a lot of mass, the gravitational pull is strong enough to keep the moon in orbit.

The distance between the two objects effects the strength of the gravitational pull. As the distance between the objects increase, the force of gravity rapidly decreases. As the distance between the objects decreases, the force of the gravity rapidly increases.

What two factors combine to keep the moon and Earth in orbit?

The mass of the objects and the distance between them create gravity, along with inertia keep the moon and Earth in orbit. Since both the moon and Earth have a lot of mass the gravity is strong which is one factor that keeps earth and the moon in orbit. Also since the moon and Earth are relatively close they have a strong gravitational pull which also helps keep the moon and Earth in orbit. Inertia is when a object is in motion it stays in motion until another force acts on it. Since there is no force to stop the moon and Earth in orbit they will always stay in orbit.

Section 3: Phases, Eclipses, and Tides

What causes the phases of the moon?

The phases of the moon are cause by the moon reflecting the Sun's light. Since the moon revolves around Earth, you see the moon from different angles. The phase of the moon you see on Earth depends on how much of the sunlit side of the moon faces Earth. If the half of the moon that is facing Earth is completely lit, then you will see a full 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. The moons shadow then casts on Earth. This only happens when there is a new moon because that's the only time the moon is between Earth and the Sun.

A lunar eclipse occurs at a full moon when Earth is directly between the moon and the sun. During a lunar eclipse , Earth blocks sunlight from reaching the moon. The moon is then in Earth's shadow and looks dim from earth. Lunar eclipse's only occur when there is a full moon.

What causes the tides

Tides are mainly caused by differences in how much the moon's gravity pulls on different parts of Earth. The force of gravity pulls the moon and Earth, which includes the water on Earth's surface. Which ever side of the Earth the moon is closest to is the side that will have the high tide.

Section 4: Earth's Moon

What features are found on the moon's surface?

Recent photos of the moon have shown much more detail then Galileo could see with his telescope. Features on the moon's surface include maria, craters, and highlands. Maria's were formed by hardened rock from huge lava flows. Craters are formed by the impacts of meteoroids that hit the moon. Highlands were naturally formed and cover much of the moon.

What are some characteristics of the moon?

The moon is very dry and airless. Compared to Earth, the moon is small and has large variations in its surface temperature. It is 3,476 kilometers in diameter. a little less than the distance of the U.S. Temperatures vary on the moon because there is no atmosphere to keep heat in.  Lastly, the moon has no liquid water, but does have ice.

How did the moon form?

Most scientist believe that the moon was formed by a planet sized object that collided with the Earth. This is called the collision- ring theory. Materials from this planet sized object was ejected into orbit around Earth. Gravity caused this material to form the moon.

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