The Moon's Importance
We see the moon nearly every night, sometimes during the day. We know it revolves around us, but why is the moon so important? The moon affects the Earth in many ways and yet some don't realize its importance. The phases, tides, and eclipses are all affects of the moon.
The phases of the moon happen every night. It takes almost a whole month for the phases to go through it's entire cycle. Starting at a new moon, it goes to a waxing crescent, then a first quarter, a waxing gibbous, and a full moon. After that, it goes onto a waning gibbous, third quarter, waning crescent, and back to a new moon. The phases we see in the night sky have affected our time, math, and even art.
Eclipses are one of the most interesting events in a night sky, and occur not that often. There are two main types of eclipses: lunar and solar. Lunar eclipses are the ones that the moon turns a reddish color. The happens because the moon goes inside of Earth's shadow. Solar eclipses are seen less often. During a total solar eclipse, the moon goes in between the sun and the earth making it seem like the moon covers the sun, making the day sky turn to night, and you can only see the sun's corona. This though, if stared at with the naked eye, could blind you. There's normally only four eclipses per year.
If you've ever been to the beach, you've probably noticed how the ocean seems to go further away from you and later come closer. This is because of the tides. Tides are caused by the moon and sun pulling on earth, making the water follow it. Whenever the tide is at its lowest point, that is a low tide, when its at its highest point, that is a high tide. High and low tides occur once every 12.5 hours. There is two types of tides: spring and neap tides. Neap tides are the tides that have the smallest difference in consecutive low and high tides. Spring tides have the largest difference in consecutive low and high tides. Both of these tides occur twice every month.
The moon affects the Earth in many ways that we may not even know, like tides, phases, and eclipses. With those, they lead onto many others.