Tracking the Moon
This video I have included above is a lunar eclipse. It shows how the Moon goes through its phases, and when it is full and when it is a blood moon. A blood moon occurs when there are 4 total eclipses in a row. (Please read below for lesson answers)
Chapter 1: Earth, Moon, and Sun
By: Chloe Thomas
Section 1: Earth in space
How Does Earth move in space?
The 2 main ways earth moves in space are rotation and revolution. Earth's rotation causes day and night when it rotates eastward. It takes 24 hours for the Earth to rotate once and this is called a day.
Revolution is the process when the Earth orbits around the Sun. One rotation around the Sun is known as a year. Revolution is occurring when rotation is occurring and that is what causes day and night and year to year.
What causes the cycle of seasons on earth?
The yearly cycle of the seasons is caused by the tilt of the Earth's axis as it revolves around the Sun. The north end of the Earth's axis is tilted away from the Sun for half of the year and towards it for the other half.
When the north end of the axis is tilted towards the Sun it is summer in the Northern hemisphere and winter in the Southern hemisphere. This called the June solstice. When the south end of Earth's axis is pointed towards the Sun it is winter in the Northern hemisphere and summer in the southern. This is called the December solstice.
Section 2: Gravity and Motion
What determines the strength of the force of gravity between two objects?
The force of gravitation depends on the mass of the 2 objects and the distance between them. Mass is the amount of matter in an object.
The larger the mass of the object the greater the force of gravity has to be. Gravity attracts all objects towards each other. Distance also effects the force between the objects. When distance increases gravity decreases rapidly.
What 2 Factors combine to keep the moon and Earth in orbit?
The two factors are inertia and gravity. Inertia is the tendency of an object to resist a change in motion.
The gravity that is on Earth causes the moon to to be pulled towards it. Earth's gravity also prevents the moon from traveling in a straight line. The moon moving in a straight line is caused by inertia. The Earyh travels around the Sun by the Sun's gravity. The inertia keeps the Earth moving ahead.
Section 3: Phases, Eclipses, and Tides
What causes the phases of the moon?
Phases are caused by relative changes in the relative position of the moon. The phase of the moon that you see depends on how much of the sunlit side of the moon faces Earth
For example at the time if a new moon the sunlit side of the moon faces away from Earth. During a full moon the entire sunlit side of the moon faces Earth.
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 sunlight from reaching the moon. These eclipse only occur when there is a full moon because at that time, the moon is closest to Earth's shadow.
What causes the tides?
Tides are caused mainly by differences in how much the moon's gravity pulls on different parts of Earth.
The water in the oceans rises for about 6 hours and then falls for about 6 hours in a continuous cycle. A high tide occurs on the side of the Earth closest to the moon because of the moon's gravity. Low tides occur between two high tides.
When the gravity of the sun and moon pull in the same direction this creates a spring tide. When the line between the sun and the Earth form a right angle with the line connecting the Earth and the moon this causes a neap tide.
Section 4: Earth's Moon
What features are found on the moon's surface?
The moon's surface is covered by craters, maria, and highlands. Maria is hardened rock formed from big lava flows that occurred billions of years ago.
Craters are large round pits that can be hundreds of kilometers across. Meteoroids caused these craters when they hit the moon from outer space. Meteoroids are chunks of rock or dust from space.
Highlands are mountains found on the moon. The peaks of the highlands cause dark shadows on the moon. These features cover most of the moon's surface.
What are some characteristics of the moon?
The moon is 3476 kilometers in diameter which is about one fourth of Earth's diameter. The moon has one eighth as much density as the Earth and the moon's average density is close to the density of Earth's outer layers.
In direct sunlight the moon can reach 130 degrees Celsius and can drop to -180 degrees Celsius at night. Temperatures vary on the moon because there is no atmosphere like we have on Earth.
There is no liquid water on the moon, although there may be large patches of ice that would be found near the moon's poles. Temperatures are very low in regions that are shielded from sunlight by crater walls so ice would remain frozen.
How did the moon form?
There have been many theories about how the moon formed but one is most popular and is called the collision-ring theory. A planet sized object collided with Earth and formed the moon. Material from the object and the outer layers of Earth formed a ring around the Earth. Then gravity caused the material to combine and form the moon.
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