# Earth, Moon and the Sun Motions of the Earth

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Earth, Moon and the Sun Motions of the Earth
Moon Differences & Space Visits Phases of the Moon Eclipses Tides

½ of Earth and moon are always in sunlight
The moon would look like this to someone on earth: Moon SUN SUN Sunlight Earth Sunlight

Because the moon revolves around Earth, it looks different each night
What the moon looks like from earth: Sunlight Moon Keep clicking here to fast forward time SUN Moon Moon Earth Sunlight Moon Moon Moon Moon Moon Sunlight

There are 2 ways we describe a moon phase: 1) How full is it
There are 2 ways we describe a moon phase: 1) How full is it? 2) Is it growing or shrinking? If the moon is less than ½ full, it’s called a crescent moon. If the moon is more than ½ full, it’s called a gibbous moon. If you can see the right side of the moon, it’s waxing (getting bigger). If you can see the left side of the moon, it’s waning (getting smaller).

Some names of moon phases
Crescent: less than ½ full Gibbous: more than ½ full Waxing: getting bigger Waning: getting smaller 3rd quarter Waning crescent Waning gibbous New moon Full moon Waxing crescent Waxing gibbous 1st quarter

Can you put these moon phases in the correct order?
B H A D E F G

Can you put these moon phases in the correct order?
L K J M N Q O P

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Our Earth has 2 types of motion:
Earth spins on its axis (this is called rotation) Earth moves around the sun (this is called revolution) North Pole

And the moon orbits Earth.
In the time it takes Earth to do 1 revolution around the sun, the moon has done about 12 revolutions around Earth. We have 12 moonths in 1 year. Earth orbits the sun. And the moon orbits Earth.

It looks like the sun moves around Earth, causing day and night
Keep clicking here to see another day

Every 24 hours, Earth does 1 rotation
12 11 1 10 2 North Pole 9 3 8 4 7 5 6 Spacebar: start & freeze Page Up: rewind

Day and night is caused by Earth’s rotation
It looks like the sun moves across the sky – but the Earth is spinning – the sun is still! Sunlight SUN 12 11 1 10 2 9 3 8 4 Sunlight 7 5 6 Spacebar: start & freeze Page Up: rewind Sunlight

Day and night is caused by Earth’s rotation
Sunset Sunlight SUN 12 11 1 Midnight 10 2 Noon 9 3 Sunlight 8 4 7 5 6 Sunrise Sunlight

The difference between night and day

½ of the Earth and moon are always in sunlight
That’s the end of this section. Click here to go home Sunlight The moon would look like this to someone on earth: Moon SUN SUN Sunlight Earth Sunlight

Because the sun is 400 times larger than the moon…
Click here to see a 6 minute video of a Total Solar Eclipse (in Turkey, 2006)

… and the moon is 400 times closer than the sun…
… the moon looks the same size as the sun to everyone on Earth … and the moon is 400 times closer than the sun… Moon Sun

The moon’s orbit is slanted compared to Earth’s orbit
Sun

Be patient, my little house friend
Moon Because the moon’s orbit is slanted compared to Earth’s orbit, the moon rarely passes exactly between Earth and the sun Moon Whew! That was close! Well actually, when the moon passes near the sun, you cannot see the moon because we are seeing the moon’s dark side. However, let’s continue to pretend you were able to see the moon during the day… Moon Sun Moon Be patient, my little house friend Moon Think they’ll cross? Moon Moon

When the moon blocks out the sun, we have a solar eclipse
Yes – very cool Cool!

When the moon blocks out the sun, we have a solar eclipse
I’m a tree! I can see!

Total solar eclipse

Total solar eclipse

In an annular solar eclipse – moon only blocks middle of sun because the moon is a little further away from Earth

Transit of Venus – June 8, 2004 Planets between Earth and the sun (Mercury and Venus) can cause mini-eclipses, called transits. Venus S V E

When the Earth blocks out the moon, we have a lunar eclipse
Why does the moon look red instead of being completely blocked out? Can you see Earth’s shadow block out stars? It’s because some light from the sun deflects off the Earth’s atmosphere and hits the moon.

Partial lunar eclipse

Mr. Ligon took this photo from his house during the Total Lunar Eclipse of February 20, 2008

A zoom-in on the previous photo

Can you move the moon to create a solar eclipse? A lunar eclipse?
Sun Earth

The blue lines on this map show the paths of all the total solar eclipses from 1951 to 2000

That’s the end of this section. Click here to go home
The blue lines on this map show the paths of all the total solar eclipses from 2001 to 2050 That’s the end of this section. Click here to go home

Tide video links Tides coming in/out 1 Tides coming in/out 2
Mystery of Tides

The moon’s gravity pulls Earth’s water toward the moon

Because Earth rotates, the same spot on earth has 2 high tides and 2 low tides about every 24 hours
12 11 1 10 2 9 3 8 4 7 5 6 Moon Spacebar: freeze Page Up: rewind

Make high tide Make low tide

The French castle Mont Saint Michel is sometimes an island
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High tide and low tide, at the same place

4 important differences between Earth and the moon
The moon is about as ¼ as wide as the earth The moon is covered with craters The moon has less gravity than the earth The moon has no air (atmosphere) on it

People first thought the dark, flat parts of the moon were oceans
Some people named these dark regions maria – the Latin word for ocean. However, these regions are really dried out lava beds.

Many craters can be seen easily from earth

Moon craters were caused by objects in space that crashed into the moon

Moon craters come in all sizes

The moon’s gravity only 1/6 as strong as the earth’s gravity
Even if you jumped as hard as you could, you would not float away from the moon. The moon has less gravity – not no gravity. To escape the moon, you must go about 5000 m.p.h. You would be able to lift 6 times as much weight on the moon You would only weigh 1/6 as much on the moon Thanks to my diet, I now weigh only 30 lbs Thanks to my diet, I now weigh only 180 lbs 300 lbs 50 lbs Earth Moon

Remember that Galileo proved that all objects fall at the same speed if you ignore air resistance
Earth

Because the moon has no air, there is no air resistance
On the earth, the air slows down the falling feather. The bowling ball is too heavy to be stopped by the air. On the moon, there is no air to slow down the falling feather. The feather falls as quickly as the bowling ball. Earth Moon

This is even more fun than gym!
Neil Armstrong was the first human to walk on the moon

This photograph was taken during the first moon landing (1969) by astronaut Michael Collins – you can see the moon below and the earth in the distance

The moon is a fun place to play hide-and-seek!
97, 98, 99, Ready or not, here I come! The moon is a fun place to play hide-and-seek!

Many countries are working together to build the International Space Station – which orbits Earth

That’s the end of this section. Click here to go home
Chiaki Mukai That’s the end of this section. Click here to go home Kalpana Chawla Col. Susan Helms Eileen Collins Dr. Bernard Harris 7 astronauts who studied math and science Neil Armstrong Dr. Mae Jemison We’ve got room for 1 more person – want to come?

Our Solar System P The closer a planet is to the sun, the faster it moves N U S J M E V M Sun Sometimes Pluto is closer to the sun than Neptune

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