The Moon's Importance

Autumn Lamberton 8th hour

The Moon's Role

The moon does 3 major things. They are phases, tides, and eclipses. Tides and eclipses are both caused by the moon but phases are something the moon does. All three are very important.

Moon Phases

The different shapes of the moon you see from earth are called phases. They are caused by the moon revolving around the earth. When the moon is waxing it appears to be growing. When it is waning it appears to be shrinking. Crescent means less than half and gibbous means more than half. When the moon is in a quarter half of it is lit. When the moon is in the new moon phase the moon is completely dark. When the moon is in the full moon phase it is completely lit. In some third world countries people depend on light from the moon to see at night due to their lack of electricity. Moon phases are important to these people because the moon isn't full and bright every night.


Tides are the periodic rise and fall of the level of water in the ocean. They are mainly caused by differences in how much gravity from the moon and the sun pulls on different parts of earth. At any time there are two places high tides and two places with low tides. The rise and fall of the tides occur every 12.5 hours or so. Tides create tidal pools that are places where little pools of water stay behind and organisms thrive within them.The two types of tides are spring tides and neap tides. Spring tides have the greatest difference between they're low and high tides. Spring tides can only occur during a new or full moon. During a spring tide the sun, moon, and earth create a straight line or a 180 degree angle. Neap tides have the least difference between their high and low tides. Neap tides only occur during a first or third quarter and only twice a month. During a neap tide the sun, moon and earth create a 90 degree angle. Tides affect wildlife and people. If you leave your dock right before tide lowers, when you comeback you will have to wait until the tide rises again to dock your boat. Wildlife must stay in tide pools or swim out with the tide.


The total or partial blocking of one object in space by another. There are two important types of eclipses, solar and lunar. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly between earth and the sun, blocking sunlight from earth. This causes the moons shadow to hit earth. The very darkest part of the shadow is the umbra. The part o's the shadow surrounding the darkest part is the penumbra. In the penumbra part of the sun is visible, but in the umbra the sun is completely blocked.Lunar eclipses are at a full moon when earth is directly between the moon and the sun.  When a lunar eclipse occurs the earth blocks sunlight from reaching the moon causing refracting light to hit the moon and make it appear a clay color. Like a solar eclipse, a lunar eclipse also has a penumbra and an umbra. Sometimes you do not see a total eclipse but a partial eclipse. During a solar eclipse people in the penumbra see a partial eclipse. Sometimes the earth, sun, and moon do not line up correctly so you see a partial lunar eclipse. The moon passes only party into the umbra of earths shadow causing a partial lunar eclipse. In some countries the majority of the people do not have electricity and depend on light from the moon and sun. Without the bright light from the moon the people might have to wait in darkness for the light to return to continue what they were doing.


The moon may just seem like a pretty object in the sky but it is much more. The moon is important because it creates tides, provides light, and many mire reasons. Could you imagine driving at night with only your vehicles headlights and no moonlight to illuminate the way? With out the moon you would have to drive in dark with only head light to show you what's a few feet in front of you. In America we are fortunate enough for the majority of people to have electricity, but in some countries they are not so fortunate. Some countries are very poor and depend on the sun and moon for light. Without moonlight the would have to find a substitute such as fires or candles. With the moon our lives would be affected much more than you think.

Comment Stream