The Moon

By Kelly Hyle

Waxing moon: A waxing moon is when the left side of the moon is going from dark to light. In other words, the moon is moving towards a full moon.

Waning moon: A waning moon is when the right side of the moon is going from light to dark. In other words, the moon is moving away from a full moon.

Gibbous: A moon that is more than halfway illuminated, but not fully lit up.

Crescent: A crescent moon, is when the moon is less than halfway illuminated.

A waxing moon starts as a sliver of light on the left side of the moon, then as the nights go by, the sliver of light gets bigger and bigger, until it becomes a crescent moon, and then full moon. (Where the whole moon is illuminated)

A waning moon is after the full moon, where the light is decreasing. It starts after the full moon, and slowly the moon becomes darker, and darker. Eventually it will end up at a new moon. (When there is no light)

A lunar cycle is about 27 days. It is a process where the moon begins at the old moon, continues to a waning moon and then becomes a full moon. After that, the moon goes on to become a waxing moon, and ends at being a new moon. Then the process starts all over again.

Earths Seasons/Eclipses

  • Nicolai Copernicus changed proved that the sun is the center of the universe. Not the Earth.
  • During the year, the hemispheres are exposed to different amounts of sunlight. The different amount of sunlight rays, change the seasons between summer, spring, winter, and fall.
  • Because we receive less dense radiation in winter than in summer, it is colder, even though the Earth is closer to the sun.
  • Lunar Eclipses mark the change in seasons. Moon phases change the change in days.
  • When the Earth is turned away from the sun, it is night because there are no sunlight rays shining on that side of the Earth. When it is day, the Earth is facing the sun.
  • The summer solstice and the winter solstice each happen once a year. When the sun reaches its highest/lowest mark in the sky at noon, this is shown by the shortest or longest day of the year.

Plate Tectonics

Alfred Wegener was a German polar researcher, geophysicist and meteorologist. He wrote a book called, The Orgins of Continents and Oceans. Alfred was the first to suggest that continental drift and plate tectonics.

  • A convergent boundary is known as a destructive plate boundary. It is where two plates move towards each other and collide.
  • A divergent boundary is when two different plates are moving away from each other.
  • A transform boundary is when two plates rub against each other.

Juan de Fuca is the tectonic plate off the coast of Washington. It is subducting under the northern portion of the western side of the North American Plate at the Cascade subduction zone. The Cascade mountain range was created the movement of the two plates (Juan de Fuca Plate and the North America Plate) underground.

Convection currents are currents in a fluid that results from convection. The upward current in a convection cell cycle is associated with divergent plate boundaries, as heated magma rises and spreads out beneath the lithosphere plates.

  • A rift zone occurs in some volcano's, especially shield volcano's, where lava can be erupted from the volcano's flank instead of from its summit.
  • A subduction zone is a boundary where two tectonic plates collide, and one dives beneath the other. The less denser and thicker plate is shoved beneath the less dense plate.

The channeled scablands ar a barren, and mostly soil-free landscape in the eastern part of Washington State that have been cleaned free by a flood that happened when a large glacier lake drained.

Rocks and Roles In Earths History


  • Sedimentary: A rock that has formed from sediment deposited by water or air. Example- Breccia
  • Metamophic: A denoting rock that has undergone transformation by heat, pressure, or other natural agencies. Example- Gneiss
  • Ingneous: A rock that has solidified from lava or magma. Example- Diorite
  • Stratification: The layers that occur in most sedimentary and ingneous rocks. The oldest layers of rock are on the bottom, and the newest layers of rock are on the top.


We can estimate the age of landforms by seeing if there is more rock layers. When there is, it tends to be older since more sediment has formed into rock over time. The shape of rock layers too can estimate the age of landforms, since jagged rocks are much younger than flat thick rocks, due to erosion. One example of hjow you could use fossils to estimate the age of landforms is, if you found a fossil that  in rocks in Africa that you were able to date because, for example, there was volcanic ash (which you can date very well) deposited at the same time. Find the same fossil somewhere else, and you can predict that you are  most likely looking at the same time period.

It would be possible for an earthquake to knock over old sedimentary rocks. The base of the rocks would be older therefore weaker, which would allow to the rocks to fall over.