Moon Facts: Fun Information About the Earth’s Moon
Tides are the alternating rise and fall in sea level and are caused by the position and gravity of the Earth, Moon, and Sun, in relation to each other. There are. The solar system is made up of the Sun, the planets that orbit the Sun, their satellites, dwarf planets and many, many small objects, like asteroids and comets . When the sun and moon are aligned, there are exceptionally strong gravitational forces, causing very high and very low tides which are called.
Surface composition Like the four inner planetsthe moon is rocky. It's pockmarked with craters formed by asteroid impacts millions of years ago. Because there is no weather, the craters have not eroded. The average composition of the lunar surface by weight is roughly 43 percent oxygen, 20 percent silicon, 19 percent magnesium, 10 percent iron, 3 percent calcium, 3 percent aluminum, 0.
Orbiters have found traces of water on the lunar surface that may have originated from deep underground. They have also located hundreds of pits that could house explorers who remain on the moon long-term.
Earth, Sun and Moon - Universe Today
Our Changing Moon ] Ongoing observations from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter LRO showed that water is more abundant on slopes facing the lunar south polealthough scientists do caution that the water quantity is comparable to an extremely dry desert.
Meanwhile, a study suggested the moon's interior could be abundant in watertoo. Uncle Milton Moon in My Room. And without much of an atmosphere, heat is not held near the surface, so temperatures vary wildly.
Daytime temperatures on the sunny side of the moon reach degrees F C ; on the dark side it gets as cold as minus F minus C. Average distance from Earth: To a much smaller extent, tides also occur in lakes, the atmosphere, and within Earth's crust.
High tides are when water bulges upward, and low tides are when water drops down.
- Moon Facts: Fun Information About the Earth's Moon
- Earth, Sun and Moon
High tide results on the side of the Earth nearest the moon due to gravity, and it also happens on the side farthest from the moon due to the inertia of water. Low tides occur between these two humps.
The pull of the moon is also slowing the Earth's rotation, an effect known as tidal braking, which increases the length of our day by 2. The energy that Earth loses is picked up by the moon, increasing its distance from the Earth, which means the moon gets farther away by 1. The moon doesn't escape from the interplay unscathed. A new study suggests that Earth's gravity stretched the moon into its odd shape early in its lifetime.
Lunar eclipses During eclipses, the moon, Earth and sun are in a straight line, or nearly so. A lunar eclipse takes place when Earth gets directly or almost directly between the sun and the moon, and Earth's shadow falls on the moon.
A lunar eclipse can occur only during a full moon. Total Lunar Eclipse of Oct. A solar eclipse can occur only during a new moon. Solar eclipses are rare in a given location because the shadow of the moon is so small on the Earth's surface. The last total solar eclipse in the United States happened in Aug.
Skywatcher Nick Rose took this photo of the total lunar eclipse Dec. Nick Rose Seasons The Earth's axis of rotation is tilted in relation to the ecliptic plane, an imaginary surface through Earth's orbit around the sun.
This means the Northern and Southern hemispheres will sometimes point toward or away from the sun depending on the time of year, varying the amount of light they receive and causing the seasons. The tilt of Earth's axis is about As such, the moon virtually has no seasons. This means that some areas are always lit by sunlight, and other places are perpetually draped in shadow.
The Greeks also believed the dark areas of the moon were seas while the bright regions were land, which influenced the current names for those places — "maria" and "terrae," which is Latin for seas and land, respectively.
The pioneering astronomer Galileo Galilei was the first to use a telescope to make scientific observations of the moon, describing in a rough, mountainous surface that was quite different from the popular beliefs of his day that the moon was smooth. See the moon phases, and the difference between a waxing and waning crescent or gibbous moon, in this Space. See the full infographic. This spurred a series of uncrewed missions by both the Soviet Union and the United States to observe the moon's surface.
Many of these first probes were failures or only partially successful. However, over time, these early probes returned information about the moon's surface and geological history. Luna 2 was the first spacecraft to impact the moon in The first soft landing was achieved inby Luna 9. The United States sent astronauts to the moon's orbit and surface in the s and s. The first mission to the moon was inwhen the Apollo 8 astronauts orbited it. InApollo 11 landed the first astronauts on the moonundoubtedly the most famous of NASA's achievements, followed by five more successful missions and one, Apollo 13, that didn't make to the moon.
Since the Earth completes one rotation in about 24 hours, this is the time it takes to complete one day-night cycle. As the Earth rotates, different places on Earth experience sunset and sunrise at a different time. As you move towards the poles, summer and winter days have different amounts of daylight hours in a day. For example, in the Northern hemisphere, we begin summer on June At this point, the Earth's North Pole is pointed directly toward the Sun.
Therefore, areas north of the equator experience longer days and shorter nights because the northern half of the Earth is pointed toward the Sun.
Since the southern half of the Earth is pointed away from the Sun at that point, they have the opposite effect—longer nights and shorter days.
For people in the Northern hemisphere, winter begins on December At this point, it is Earth's South Pole that is tilted toward the Sun, and so there are shorter days and longer nights for those who are north of the equator.
Earth's Seasons[ edit ] It is a common misconception that summer is warm and winter is cold because the Sun is closer to Earth in the summer and farther away from it during the winter.
Remember that seasons are caused by the This results in one part of the Earth being more directly exposed to rays from the Sun than the other part. The part tilted away from the Sun experiences a cool season, while the part tilted toward the Sun experiences a warm season.
Seasons change as the Earth continues its revolution, causing the hemisphere tilted away from or towards the Sun to change accordingly. When it is winter in the Northern hemisphere, it is summer in the Southern hemisphere, and vice versa. The Earth's tilt on its axis leads to one hemisphere facing the Sun more than the other hemisphere and gives rise to seasons.
What is the relationship between the Sun, Moon, and Earth? | Socratic
Solar Eclipses[ edit ] Figure A solar eclipse occurs when the new moon passes directly between the Earth and the Sun Figure This casts a shadow on the Earth and blocks our view of the Sun. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's shadow completely blocks the Sun Figure When only a portion of the Sun is out of view, it is called a partial solar eclipse.
Solar eclipses are rare events that usually only last a few minutes. That is because the Moon's shadow only covers a very small area on Earth and Earth is turning very rapidly. As the Sun is covered by the moon's shadow, it will actually get cooler outside. Birds may begin to sing, and stars will become visible in the sky. During a solar eclipse, the corona and solar prominences can be seen.
Photo of a total solar eclipse. During a solar eclipse, never look directly towards the sun even if the sun cannot be seen, as its harmful rays can damage your eyes badly. Always use special glasses which filter out the harmful sun rays when seeing a solar eclipse. A Lunar Eclipse[ edit ] A lunar eclipse occurs when the full moon moves through the shadow of the Earth Figure This can only happen when the Earth is between the Moon and the Sun and all three are lined up in the same plane, called the ecliptic.
The ecliptic is the plane of Earth's orbit around the Sun. The Earth's shadow has two distinct parts: The umbra is the inner, cone shaped part of the shadow, in which all of the light has been blocked.
The outer part of Earth's shadow is the penumbra where only part of the light is blocked. In the penumbra, the light is dimmed but not totally absent. A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon travels completely in Earth's umbra. The Earth's shadow is quite large, so a lunar eclipse lasts for hours and can be seen by anyone with a view of the Moon at the time of the eclipse.
The formation of a lunar eclipse. Partial lunar eclipses occur at least twice a year, but total lunar eclipses are less common. The moon glows with a dull red coloring during a total lunar eclipse.
The Phases of the Moon[ edit ] The Moon does not produce any light of its own—it only reflects light from the Sun. As the Moon moves around the Earth, we see different parts of the near side of the Moon illuminated by the Sun. This causes the changes in the shape of the Moon that we notice on a regular basis, called the phases of the Moon.
As the Moon revolves around Earth, the illuminated portion of the near side of the Moon will change from fully lit to completely dark and back again. A full moon is the lunar phase seen when the whole of the Moon's lit side is facing Earth. This phase happens when Earth is between the Moon and the Sun.
What is the relationship between the Sun, Moon, and Earth?
About one week later, the Moon enters the quarter-moon phase. At this point, the Moon appears as a half-circle, since only half of the Moon's lit surface is visible from Earth. When the Moon moves between Earth and the Sun, the side facing Earth is completely dark.
This is called the new moon phase, and we do not usually see the Moon at this point.
High School Earth Science/The Sun and the Earth-Moon System
Sometimes you can just barely make out the outline of the new moon in the sky. This is because some sunlight reflects off the Earth and hits the moon.
Before and after the quarter-moon phases are the gibbous and crescent phases. During the gibbous moon phase, the moon is more than half lit but not full. During the crescent moon phase, the moon is less than half lit and is seen as only a sliver or crescent shape.
It takes about The phases of the Moon. Note that the Sun would be above the top of this picture, and thus, the Sun's rays would be directed downward. The Tides[ edit ] Tides are the regular rising and falling of Earth's surface water in response to gravitational attraction from the Moon and Sun.