We have all heard the stories about the man in the moon and the cow that jumped over the moon. Legends about werewolves and romance are related to lunar events. The Jewish and Moslem religions use a lunar calendar to measure the passage of time. The Christian Easter holiday is always the first Sunday after the full moon of spring which is around March 21.
Since we are familiar with the moon in our night (and sometimes daytime) sky, it is a perfect "extra terrestrial" object to study and explore.
Do you know which way the moon revolves
around the earth? Most people think it circles our planet from east
to west, but it really goes the opposite direction - from west to east.
And while the moon is circling the earth, it is also rotating, or spinning
on its axis, at the same speed. That's why we never see the "dark
side" of the moon. You can use a model of the earth, sun, and moon
to show how this happens.
|To make your model, you will
1) a pumpkin to represent the earth
2) a squash to represent the moon
3) a flashlight to represent the light from the sun
4) permanent markers
5) a flag (made out of a toothpick and construction paper)
Use your markers to draw the continents
onto your pumpkin model of the earth. Mark the directions (North,
South, East, West) with arrows on your model earth. Find the location
of your city on your model earth and identify it with your flag.
Now set up your model like the one below to help you answer some questions
about the moon.
1) Which way does the earth rotate around the sun?
2) Which horizon does the sun rise and set?
3) Which horizon does the moon rise and set?
4) Which direction does the moon revolve around the earth?
You can also use your models to
demonstrate lunar and solar eclipses.
Check out these links to some
interesting information about eclipses:
Find dates and locations for Upcoming Lunar Eclipses
Find dates and locations for Upcoming Solar Eclipses
Special thanks to Hays Cummins for the original Moon Lab.
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