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The Cycles of the Moon

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Note that the following lectures include animations and PowerPoint effects such as fly ins and transitions that require you to be in PowerPoint\'s Slide Show mode (presentation mode). The Cycles of the Moon. Chapter 3. Guidepost.

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

Note that the following lectures include animations and PowerPoint effects such as fly ins and transitions that require you to be in PowerPoint\'s Slide Show mode (presentation mode).

guidepost
Guidepost

In the preceding chapter, we saw how the sun dominates our sky and determines the seasons. The moon is not as bright as the sun, but the moon passes through dramatic phases and occasionally participates in eclipses. The sun dominates the daytime sky, but the moon rules the night.

As we try to understand the appearance and motions of the moon in the sky, we discover that what we see is a product of light and shadow. To understand the appearance of the universe, we must understand light. Later chapters will show that much of astronomy hinges on the behavior of light.

In the next chapter, we will see how Renaissance astronomers found a new way to describe the appearance of the sky and the motions of the sun, moon, and planets.

outline
Outline

I. The Changeable Moon

A. The Motion of the Moon

B. The Cycle of Phases

II. The Tides

A. The Cause of the Tides

B. Tidal Effects

III. Lunar Eclipses

A. Earth\'s Shadow

B. Total Lunar Eclipses

C. Partial and Penumbral Lunar Eclipses

outline continued
Outline (continued)

IV. Solar Eclipses

A. The Angular Diameter of the Sun and Moon

B. The Moon\'s Shadow

C. Total Solar Eclipses

V. Predicting Eclipses

A. Conditions for an Eclipse

B. The View From Space

C. The Saros Cycle

the phases of the moon 1
The Phases of the Moon (1)
  • The Moon orbits Earth in a sidereal period of 27.32 days.

27.32 days

Moon

Earth

Fixed direction in space

the phases of the moon 2
The Phases of the Moon (2)

Fixed direction in space

29.53 days

Earth

Moon

Earth orbits around Sun => Direction toward Sun changes!

  • The Moon’s synodic period (to reach the same position relative to the sun) is 29.53 days (~ 1 month).
the phases of the moon 3
The Phases of the Moon (3)

From Earth, we see different portions of the Moon’s surface lit by the sun, causing the phases of the Moon.

the phases of the moon 4
The Phases of the Moon (4)

Evening Sky

New Moon  First Quarter  Full Moon

the phases of the moon 5
The Phases of the Moon (5)

Morning Sky

Full Moon  Third Quarter  New Moon

the tides
The Tides

Caused by the difference of the Moon’s gravitational attraction on the water on Earth

Excess gravity pulls water towards the moon on the near side

Forces are balanced at the center of the Earth

Excess centrifugal force pushes water away from the moon on the far side

 2 tidal maxima

 12-hour cycle

spring and neap tides
Spring and Neap Tides
  • The Sun is also producing tidal effects, about half as strong as the Moon.
  • Near Full and New Moon, those two effects add up to cause spring tides.
  • Near first and third quarter, the two effects work at a right angle, causing neap tides.

Spring tides

Neap tides

the tidally locked orbit of the moon
The Tidally-Locked Orbit of the Moon

The Earth also exerts tidal forces on the moon’s rocky interior.

 It is rotating with the same period around its axis as it is orbiting Earth (tidally locked).

 We always see the same side of the moon facing Earth.

acceleration of the moon s orbital motion
Acceleration of the Moon’s Orbital Motion

Earth’s tidal bulges are slightly tilted in the direction of Earth’s rotation.

Gravitational force pulls the moon slightly forward along its orbit.

lunar eclipses
Lunar Eclipses

Earth’s shadow consists of a zone of partial shadow, the Penumbra, and a zone of full shadow, the Umbra.

If the moon passes through Earth’s full shadow (Umbra), we see a lunar eclipse.

If the entire surface of the moon enters the Umbra, the lunar eclipse is total.

a total lunar eclipse 2
A Total Lunar Eclipse (2)

A total lunar eclipse can last up to 1 hour and 40 min.

During a total eclipse, the moon has a faint, red glow, reflecting sun light scattered in Earth’s atmosphere.

lunar phases
Lunar Phases

(SLIDESHOW MODE ONLY)

lunar eclipses 2002 2012
Lunar Eclipses: 2002-2012

Typically, 1 or 2 lunar eclipses per year.

small angle formula
Small Angle Formula

(SLIDESHOW MODE ONLY)

solar eclipses
Solar Eclipses

The sun appears approx. as large in the sky (same angular diameter ~ 0.50) as the moon.

When the moon passes in front of the sun, the moon can cover the sun completely, causing a total solar eclipse.

solar eclipses 2002 2012
Solar Eclipses: 2002-2012

Approximately 1 total solar eclipse per year

total solar eclipse
Total Solar Eclipse

Chromosphere and Corona

Prominences

earth and moon s orbits are slightly elliptical
Earth and Moon’s Orbits Are Slightly Elliptical

Apogee = position furthest away from Earth

Earth

Perihelion = position closest to the sun

Moon

Perigee = position closest to Earth

Sun

Aphelion = position furthest away from the sun

(Eccentricities greatly exaggerated!)

annular solar eclipses
Annular Solar Eclipses

When Earth is near perihelion, and the moon is near apogee, we see an annular solar eclipse.

The angular sizes of the moon and the sun vary, depending on their distance from Earth.

Perigee

Apogee

Aphelion

Perihelion

annular solar eclipses 2
Annular Solar Eclipses (2)

Almost total, annular eclipse of May 30, 1984

conditions for eclipses 1
Conditions for Eclipses (1)

The moon’s orbit is inclined against the ecliptic by ~ 50.

A lunar eclipse can only occur if the moon passes a node near full moon.

A solar eclipse can only occur if the moon passes a node near new moon.

conditions for eclipses 2
Conditions for Eclipses (2)

Eclipses occur in a cyclic pattern.

Saros cycle: 18 years, 11 days, 8 hours

new terms
New Terms

sidereal period

synodic period

spring tides

neap tides

umbra

penumbra

total eclipse (lunar or solar)

partial eclipse (lunar or solar)

penumbral eclipse

small-angle formula

path of totality

photosphere

corona

chromosphere

prominence

diamond ring effect 

annular eclipse

perigee

apogee

node

eclipse season

line of nodes

eclipse year

saros cycle

discussion questions
Discussion Questions

1. If the moon were closer to Earth such that it had an orbital period of 24 hours, what would the tides be like?

2. How would eclipses be different if the moon’s orbit were not tipped with respect to the plane of Earth’s orbit?

3. Are there other planets in our solar system from whose surface we could see a lunar eclipse? a total solar eclipse?

4. Can you detect the Saros cycle in Figure 3-18?

quiz questions
Quiz Questions

1. Which statement below best describes the motion of the Moon relative to the stars?

a. The Moon moves eastward relative to the stars about 1 degree per day.

b. The Moon moves westward relative to the stars about 1 degree per day.

c. The Moon moves eastward relative to the stars about 13 degrees per day.

d. The Moon moves westward relative to the stars about 13 degrees per day.

e. The Moon does not move relative to the stars.

quiz questions35
Quiz Questions

2. How does the Moon\'s motion relative to the stars compare to the Sun\'s motion relative to the stars?

a. The Moon moves slower than the Sun and in the same direction.

b. The Moon moves faster than the Sun and in the same direction.

c. The Moon moves slower than the Sun and in the opposite direction.

d. The Moon moves faster than the Sun and in the opposite direction.

e. The Moon does not move relative to the stars.

quiz questions36
Quiz Questions

3. How does one cycle of the Moon\'s motion relative to the stars compare to one cycle of the Moon\'s motion relative to the Sun?

a. The two cycles take the same amount of time.

b. The cycle relative to the stars is shorter than the cycle relative to the Sun.

c. The cycle relative to the stars is longer than the cycle relative to the Sun.

d. The two cycles vary in length, such that at times the star cycle is shorter and at other times the Sun cycle is shorter.

e. The Moon does not move relative to the Sun.

quiz questions37
Quiz Questions

4. The time for one cycle of lunar phases is

a. about one day.

b. about 24.8 hours.

c. about one year.

d. the same as the time for one cycle of the Moon relative to the stars.

e. the same as the time for one cycle of the Moon relative to the Sun.

quiz questions38
Quiz Questions

5. In one cycle of lunar phases each crescent and gibbous phase has a duration of about one

a. hour.

b. day.

c. week.

d. month.

e. year.

quiz questions39
Quiz Questions

6. If the moon reaches Full phase on May 6, it is at _____ phase on May 17.

a. New

b. Waxing Crescent

c. Waxing Gibbous

d. Waning Gibbous

e. Waning Crescent

quiz questions40
Quiz Questions

7. During Third Quarter phase, the Moon will rise at about

a. Sunrise

b. Noon

c. Sunset

d. Midnight

e. There is no way to predict the time that a particular phase rises.

quiz questions41
Quiz Questions

8. Which statement below is the best simple description of the tidal force?

a. It is an attractive gravitational force due to the presence of very high-mass celestial bodies.

b. It is a centripetal (center attracting) force due to rapid rotation.

c. It is a centrifugal (center fleeing) force due to rapid rotation.

d. It is a differential gravitational force that acts on the different parts of a body.

e. It is a centrifugal force due to orbital motion.

quiz questions42
Quiz Questions

9. The ocean tides on Earth are primarily due to the influence of what celestial body?

a. The Sun.

b. The Moon.

c. Venus.

d. Mars.

e. Jupiter.

quiz questions43
Quiz Questions

10. How many tidal bulges on planet Earth are due to the Moon\'s gravitational influence?

a. Zero.

b. One.

c. Two.

d. Three.

e. Four.

quiz questions44
Quiz Questions

11. The most extreme tides (Spring Tides) on planet Earth occur during which phase of the Moon?

a. New

b. First Quarter

c. Full

d. Third Quarter

e. Both a and c above.

f. Both b and d above.

quiz questions45
Quiz Questions

12. What changes occur in the Earth-Moon system due to tidal forces?

a. Earth\'s rate of rotation is slowing.

b. The same side of the Moon now always faces Earth.

c. The Earth-Moon distance is increasing.

d. Both a and c above.

e. All of the above.

quiz questions46
Quiz Questions

13. The least extreme tides (Neap Tides) on planet Earth occur during which moon phase?

a. New

b. First Quarter

c. Full

d. Third Quarter

e. Choices a and c above.

f. Choices b and d above.

quiz questions47
Quiz Questions

14. Which of the following is true about the umbra of the Moon\'s shadow?

a. It is very dark, or a total shadow.

b. It is semi-dark, or a partial shadow.

c. Its "cone" points away from the Sun.

d. Its "cone" points toward the Sun.

e. Choices a and c above.

f. Choices b and d above.

quiz questions48
Quiz Questions

15. During a total lunar eclipse the Moon is

a. completely dark.

b. a reddish color.

c. in Earth\'s umbra.

d. in Earth\'s penumbra.

e. Both b and c above.

f. Both a and c above.

quiz questions49
Quiz Questions

16. Which type of eclipse may be visible to all the people on one side of Earth?

a. An annular eclipse.

b. A total solar eclipse.

c. A total lunar eclipse.

d. None of the above.

e. All of the above.

quiz questions50
Quiz Questions

17. What part of the Sun is visible during the "peak" of a total solar eclipse?

a. The photosphere.

b. The chromosphere.

c. The corona.

d. Both b and c above.

e. All of the above.

quiz questions51
Quiz Questions

18. If the Moon is at one of its nodes it must be

a. at New phase.

b. at First Quarter phase.

c. at Full phase.

d. at Third Quarter phase.

e. on the Ecliptic.

quiz questions52
Quiz Questions

19. A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon is

a. at New phase.

b. near the ecliptic.

c. at Full phase.

d. Both a and b above.

e. Both b and c above.

quiz questions53
Quiz Questions

20. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is

a. at New phase.

b. near the ecliptic.

c. at Full phase.

d. Both a and b above.

e. Both b and c above.

answers
Answers

1. c

2. b

3. b

4. e

5. c

6. e

7. d

8. d

9. b

10. c

11. e

12. e

13. f

14. e

15. e

16. c

17. d

18. e

19. e

20. d

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