The moon is a natural satellite and reflects light from the sun. The moon is a natural satellite and reflects light from the sun


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The moon is a natural satellite and reflects light from the sun.

  • The moon is a natural satellite and reflects light from the sun.

  • One of more than 96 moons in our Solar System

  • The only moon of the planet Earth



About 384,000 km (240,000 miles) from Earth

  • About 384,000 km (240,000 miles) from Earth

  • 3,468 km (2,155 miles) in diameter (about ¼ the size of Earth)



Almost no atmosphere

  • Almost no atmosphere

  • No liquid water

  • Extreme temperatures

    • Daytime = 130C (265°F)
    • Nighttime = -190C (-310 F)
  • 1/6 that of Earth’s gravity



Mountains up to 7500 m (25,000 ft) tall

  • Mountains up to 7500 m (25,000 ft) tall

  • Trench-like valleys



Up to 2500 km (1,553 miles) across

  • Up to 2500 km (1,553 miles) across

  • Most craters were formed by meteorite impact on the Moon.



Originally thought to be “seas” by early astronomers

  • Originally thought to be “seas” by early astronomers

  • Maria’s are the darkest parts of lunar landscape

  • Mostly basalt rock





Revolution – Moon orbits the Earth every 27 1/3 days

  • Revolution – Moon orbits the Earth every 27 1/3 days

  • The moon rises in the east and sets in the west

  • The moon rises and sets 50 minutes later each day

  • Rotation – Moon turns on its axis every 27 days





First seen by Luna 3 Russian space probe in 1959

  • First seen by Luna 3 Russian space probe in 1959

  • Surface features are different from near side:

    • More craters
    • Very few maria
    • Thicker crust






Moonlight is reflected sunlight

  • Moonlight is reflected sunlight

  • Half the moon’s surface is always reflecting light

  • From Earth we see different amounts of the Moon’s lit surface

  • The amount of the moon seen is called a “phase”



New moon

  • New moon

  • Waxing Crescent moon

  • First Quarter moon

  • Waxing Gibbous moon

  • Full moon

  • Waning Gibbous moon

  • Third Quarter moon

  • Waning Crescent moon

  • New moon









The Sun and Moon occasionally line up so that we have an eclipse.

  • The Sun and Moon occasionally line up so that we have an eclipse.

    • These eclipses happen every year
    • To see a solar eclipse, you need to be on a particular part of the Earth


The Earth moves between the Sun and the Moon, blocking the Sun’s light, and causing the moon to glow red.

  • The Earth moves between the Sun and the Moon, blocking the Sun’s light, and causing the moon to glow red.



Umbra – The dark inner portion of the shadow cone.

  • Umbra – The dark inner portion of the shadow cone.

  • Penumbral – the lighter outer portion of the shadow.



Penumbral lunar eclipse—the Moon only passes through the penumbra of Earth’s shadow

  • Penumbral lunar eclipse—the Moon only passes through the penumbra of Earth’s shadow

  • Partial lunar eclipse—part of the Moon passes through the umbra of Earth’s shadow

  • Total lunar eclipse—the entire Moon passes through the umbra of Earth’s shadow

  • Who on Earth will be able to see a lunar eclipse?



During a Lunar Eclipse the moon moves into Earth’s shadow – this shadow darkens the Moon

  • During a Lunar Eclipse the moon moves into Earth’s shadow – this shadow darkens the Moon

  • About 2-3 per year.



The Earth’s atmosphere filters some sunlight and allows it to reach the Moon’s surface

  • The Earth’s atmosphere filters some sunlight and allows it to reach the Moon’s surface

  • The blue light is removed—scattered down to make a blue sky over those in daytime

  • Remaining light is red or orange

  • Some of this remaining light is bent or refracted so that a small fraction of it reaches the Moon

  • Exact appearance depends on dust and clouds in the Earth’s atmosphere









Oct. 18, 2013, Penumbral eclipse

  • Oct. 18, 2013, Penumbral eclipse

  • Apr 15, 2014, TOTAL ECLIPSE –visible here



When the Moon’s shadow covers part of the Earth

  • When the Moon’s shadow covers part of the Earth

  • Only happens at New Moon

  • Three types: Annular, Partial, and Total



Moon moves between Earth and Sun

  • Moon moves between Earth and Sun

  • Moon casts a shadow on part of the Earth

  • Total eclipses rare – only once every 360 years from one location!



Observers in the “umbra” shadow see a total eclipse ;can see the corona.

  • Observers in the “umbra” shadow see a total eclipse ;can see the corona.

  • Those in “penumbra” see a partial.

  • Only lasts a few minutes



Nov. 13, 2012, total eclipse—not visible in USA

  • Nov. 13, 2012, total eclipse—not visible in USA

  • May 10, 2013, annular eclipse—not visible in USA

  • Next Total Solar Eclipse in continental USA—August 21, 2017 – Kentucky



That depends!! Lunar Eclipses happen more often than Solar Eclipses.

  • That depends!! Lunar Eclipses happen more often than Solar Eclipses.

  • Why? Well everyone who is experiencing nighttime during a lunar eclipse can see it.

  • But you have to be at the exact spot on Earth to see a Solar Eclipse.

  • The spot on Earth is so small, that the same place only sees a Solar Eclipse every 350 years!!





Tides are caused by the pull of Moon’s gravity on Earth.

  • Tides are caused by the pull of Moon’s gravity on Earth.

  • High tide –

    • Side facing Moon and side directly opposite from the Moon.
    • Every 12 hours 25 ½ minutes.
  • Low tide –

    • On sides of Earth not in line with the moon.




















1950s to 1960s - probes

  • 1950s to 1960s - probes

  • Neil Armstrong First man on the Moon – July 20, 1969

  • Six Apollo missions (1969-1972)

    • 382 kg (842 lbs) rocks
  • 12 Americans have walked on the moon





What would you need to live there?

  • What would you need to live there?








































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