Picture - /images/ace/7132/ace_825351489_1125566966.gifEarth Sun Moon Unit Picture - /images/ace/7132/ace_76885_1125567095.gif

Vocabulary

  • Lunar Eclipse: The blocking of sunlight to the moon that occurs when Earth is directly between the sun and moon.
  • Phase: One of the different shapes of the mooPicture - /images/ace/7132/ace_1050097728_1125567050.gifn as seen from the earth.
  • Quarter:
  • Crescent:
  • Revolution: The movement of an object around another object.
  • Rotation: The spinning motion of an object about its axis.
  • Hypothesis: A possible explanation for a set of observations or an answer to a scientific question.
  • Solar Eclipse: The blocking of sunlight to Earth that occurs when the moon is between the sun and the Earth.
  • Eclipse: The partial or total blocking of one object by another.
  • Climate: The average, year-after-year conditions of temperature, precipitation, winds, and clouds in an area.
  • Hemisphere: One half of the sphere that makes up Earth's surface.
  • Polar Zones: The areas near both poles, from about 66.5 degrees to 90 degrees north and south.
  • Solstice: The two days of the year on which the noon sun is directly overhead at either 23.5 degrees South or North.
  • Temperate Zone: The area between the tropical and polar zones, from about 23.5 degrees to 66.5 degrees North and South latitudes.
  • Tropical Zone: The area near the equator, between about 23.5 degrees north and south latitudes.
  • Vernal Equinox: The day of the year that marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

Study Questions: If you can answer these easily, you should be ready for the test!

  • Why are the Earth, Moon and the Sun important to one another?
  • The moon - light bulb or mirror?
  • Who is the man in the moon?
  • What would it be like to live in Alaska and to have 6 months of day or 6 months of night?
  • Did somebody forget to pay the sun's electricity bill?
  • Why does the moon's shape change?
  • Why is the sun important to our lives?

Experiments/Activities: Use these to help you understand concepts.

  • Thumb Science!
    1. Stand facing a wall. Stretch your arm out with your thumb up and fingers curled.
    2. Close your right eye and look at your thumb with your left eye. Line your thumb up with something on the wall.
    3. Now close your left eye and open your right eye. How does your thumb appear to move along the wall?
    4. Bring your thumb closer to your eye, about half the distance as before. Repeat steps 2 and 3. How does your thumb appear to move in step 4 compared to step 3? How are these observations related to how far away your thumb is at each step? How could you use this method to estimate distances?
  • Which Way Do Comet Tails Point?
    1. Form a small ball out of clay to represent a comet.
    2. Using a pencil point push three 10 cm lengths of string into the ball. The strings represent the comet's tail. Stick the ball onto a pencil point.
    3. Hold the ball about 1 meter in front of a blowing fan. The air from the fan represents the solar wind of light particles coming from the sun. Move the ball toward the fan and away as well as from side to side. Observe and think about how the moving of the ball affects the direction in which the strings point? What determines which way the tail of a comet points?

Websites to Visit

Moon and Its Phases

Solar and Lunar Eclipses

Seasons