[2014] Alainna Toombs: The moon and its phases

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by mikeeby
Last updated 4 years ago

Discipline:
Science
Subject:
Astronomy
Grade:
6

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[2014] Alainna Toombs: The moon and its phases

The phases of the moon come in about eight parts. Crecent moon, Gibbous moon, Waxing and Waning, Half moon, and Full moon, and lastly, New moon.

The Moon and its Phases

Lets start with the phases. First the moon starts out as a new moon. this is when the side of the moon that we can see, it totally black. Then the moon changes to a waxing crecent. next, the moon becomes a first quarter moon which is basically a waxing half moon. Next, the moon changes into a waxing gibbous, and, finally full moon. Then the moon becomes waning. The next stage is a waning gibbous. Next is a 3rd quarter moon, which again, is just a waning half moon. Then comes a waning crecent, and finally it cycles back to a new moon, where the process is restarted.

You may have just read a few terms you dont understand, such as wanign, waxing, gibbous, and crecent. Here is what they mean.Crecent- just less then a half moon, but not a new moon.Gibbous- just more than a half moon, but not a full moon.Waning- waning means decreasing. the light usually ends up being on the left side of the moon, and thats how you can tell.Waxing- means increasing. The light on the moon is getting bigger rather than smaller. A way to remember this, is think of putting wax on a car. You're putting more wax on the car, not taking it off!

Terms

Phases

Lets talk about our moon. The moon is named Luna. Its the Earth's only natural satellite, and was made around 4.6 billion years ago!!! Belive it or not, it only takes about 27.3 days to orbit the earth. This is called a lunar month. The time it takes Luna to make one full revolution around earth. Althogh a month was loosely based off of a lunar month, the days dont ever add up, meaning there will never be 27 and a 3rd days in a full month. ( Unless leap-year mysteriously gets longer.)

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