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Observe the Moon Activities for Clear and Cloudy Nights.

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Presentation on theme: "Observe the Moon Activities for Clear and Cloudy Nights."— Presentation transcript:

1 Observe the Moon Activities for Clear and Cloudy Nights

2 Clear night Have people look at the moon with eyes alone and sketch moon with pencil Compare image of moon in telescope with sketch (discuss how image changes with type of telescope - the Galileoscope will invert image top/bottom & left/right) Ask people to predict how many fingers at arms length it will take to cover the moon. (about half a finger - half a degree). Count how many fists it takes to go all the way around one time (three sixty degrees). Is about 8 to 10 degrees per fist.

3 General Observing Tips It takes about 20 minutes to get good night vision Red lights preserve night vision (e.g. red cellophane over a flashlight) or red led rope lights

4 Scheduling Moon Observing Is often best to try to schedule moon observing near 1st quarter phase because the Moon is high in the sky by sunset. Full moon rises at sunset so can be behind trees and buildings when trying to observe early in evening

5 Galileoscope Needs good tripod - one user recommended a Sunpak 2001 Slide eyepiece tube in and out for focus (not the lens part - the tube) For Moon or planets - focus by pulling out For stars - focus by pushing in. Default is 25x magnification - use Barlow for more Better instructions for construction on their website (

6 Features Tycho crater near bottom of moon - great to point out if observing near full moon. Features near terminator line stand out more distinctly due to shadow.

7 Maria are the dark areas the-moon/ Highlands are the light areas Image source:

8 Rilles Furrows or ridges or trenches

9 Observing Help bjects/moon/ bjects/moon/ Galileo’s Classroom Chapters 2 and 3. Galileoscope site. os-classroom os-classroom

10 Maps of features 1st Q http://www.a /lunar_maps.htmhttp://www.a /lunar_maps.htm

11 Moon map with major maria labeled

12 Venus Venus is up in West after sunset in Sept 2010. But not for very long. You should be able to see the phase of Venus (just like phases of the Moon) with your Galileoscope if you can get a good focus and don’t have a lot of pollution in your Western Sky. Nice animation of phases of Venus (

13 Mars Also visible in the Western sky - but pretty dim

14 Jupiter Rises in East - shortly after sunset Can see Galilean Moons with Galileoscope (they look like little stars) Use Stellarium to identify which moon is which. Also up before dawn in the Western sky.

15 Observe the Moon Activities for Clear and Cloudy Nights

16 Cloudy Night Try some lunar mapping activities from html (lunar mapping is available on 9-12 or 5- 8 side) html Show Apollo 11 40th anniversary video ( 40/) 40/ Show front and back side of moon ( Ogg&feature=PlayList&p=707BEDEA8886E5 1A&index=21 ) Ogg&feature=PlayList&p=707BEDEA8886E5 1A&index=21

17 Lunar Phase - Activity Get some photos of phases of the Moon and have students put them in the order they think they go. Go with 6 phases. Make them label 1 to 6. Demonstrate phases of the moon - best with white styrofoam balls - but see this eclip to see how you would use a lamp and a ball with a student to show them phases ( e_Earth_Clip42_HD) e_Earth_Clip42_HD More movies explaining phases of the Moon s_demo.html s_demo.html

18 Lunar Exploration Future Hardshell vs. inflatable and launch costs for supplies in this NASA eclip called Lunar Habitat - Structure ( Structure) Structure Have students compare potential sites for a lunar outpost ( O/activities/mission_moon/index.shtml ) O/activities/mission_moon/index.shtml

19 What If? What if the Moon didn’t exist? ublications/tnl/33/33.html ublications/tnl/33/33.html (warning - this was written with tides misconception uncorrected) Shorter day Windy Ocean tides reduced - may affect life

20 Tides Misconception: Tides are primarily caused by the differential gravitational forces on each side of Earth. Proper conception: Tides are secondarily caused by above and are primarily caused by motion of Earth (and inertia of oceans) around center of mass of Earth-Moon system. ( NOAA refers to this as a centrifugal force caused by the monthly motion of the Earth around the center of mass - but it is better to introduce to beginners in Physics as inertia - or an object in motion, staying in motion in the direction is was going - which distorts the water - due to the monthly motion of the Earth around the common center of mass.


22 Phases Cut them out and put in random order (just pick 6) and put upside down and sideways too.

23 Resources - lessons for 5th - 12th grade with extensive teacher instructional material Thumbnails of moon maps Full atlas of moon maps Clickable map of moon and craters and features are all labeled. ( ) Videos relating to Lunar Module on YouTube ( Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Educator Resources - great images and well documented slide shows ( ) Lunar - Planetary Institute Educator Resources

24 More Resources Visual calendar of moon phases ( ) Details of current phase of moon and other earth and moon maps ( ) Lunar elevation maps ( ) A high school lab to explain how laser altimetry works is available too ( /pingpong.html ) /pingpong.html Best images of the moon - available in layers with zoom ( )

25 Sample Order for Moon Start a few weeks ahead with predict what moon looks like and order of phases Have students observe moon - see times next page After they have had chance to see moon for themselves and see that it does not always look the same - then start unit.

26 Need to define day/night - motion of Sun Compare & contrast moon position in sky to sun position in sky Phases of the Moon activity ( moonphase.html) Emphasize three bodies needed for phases - not simple interaction - geometry. Moon goes around earth such that person holding moon will rotate with left arm first (or rotate Counter-Clockwise as seen from above). moonphase.html

27 Time of moon rise/moon set - –Remove moon. extend model to define noon, midnight, sunrise, sunset. Where is east on ‘face’ of the person who is earth? Where is west? –Have second person hold moon in 1st quarter moon phase. Second person (earth) needs to figure out when 1st quarter moon rises. What time is it highest? What time will it set? –May help if person who is earth puts hands up as blinders. –Also may want to scaffold more for special needs students by making a cardboard card to wear with US map on it that has East and West labeled.

28 Continue with… Seasons Constellations Motions of planets in sky as compared to constellations and moon Location of ecliptic

29 Performance Task What phase of the moon is best for fishing before sunrise (ignoring tides)? Justify your answer with diagrams and models in complete sentences.

30 Phases Rise Set PhaseRiseHighestSet 1New6amnoon6pm 3Wax Crescent 9am3pm9pm 7First QNoon6pmmidnight 10Wax Gibb3pm9pm3am 14Full6pmmidnight6am 17Wan Gibb9pm3am9am 21Third QMidnight6amnoon 24Wan Cres3am9am3pm

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