Phases of the Moon The changing appearance of the Moon over the course of a month results from changes in the relative positions of the Earth, Moon, and Sun. Students will participate in daily observations of the Moon to characterize and predict the phase cycle. Students then aim to recreate the phase cycle in the second activity. Does the Earth exhibit a phase cycle? Other planets?
KWL • What I Know List everything you know already about how the Moon, Earth, and Sun interact. • What I Want to Know Write down the question you have about the Moon, the Earth, and the Sun. • What I Learned This section will be completed after the activity.
Things to Ponder... • How is it possible that you see the Moon? • What does the Moon look like when you observe it from Earth?
What might account for the changing phases of the moon?
ACTIVITY The Earth-Moon-Sun System • Create a model of the Earth-Moon-Sun System • Observe the “Moon” from the “Earth” • Draw pictures of what you see as the Moon travels around the Earth
ACTIVITY The Earth-Moon-Sun System • Tape the “Circle B” paper to the desk or floor facing the “Sun” so it remains stationary. • Turn the “Circle A” paper and always observe the “Moon” from the “Earth.” • Draw pictures of what you see as the Moon travels around the Earth in the squares provided.
Reflection & Transfer of Knowledge • How do your pictures compare with your Moon Journal? • If you look up in the sky and see a Full Moon, what phase would the Earth appear to be in you were an astronaut on the Moon? • What if the viewer on Earth sees a New Moon? • First Quarter Moon? • In what phase would you see a solar & lunar eclipse? • Do planets go through phases also? http://www.forgefx.com/casestudies/prenticehall/ph/eclipse/eclipses.htm http://www.noao.edu/education/phases/phases_demo.html