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Observing the Moon's Phases - Assignment Example

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Observing the Moon's Phases

It takes almost one month (twenty seven days) for the moon to go around the earth, in direction relative to the stars; however, the moon takes almost twenty nine days to orbit around the earth relative to the sun; this is because as the moon goes around the earth, the earth at the same time is travelling around the sun; thus the moon will make an extra distance to make one round in regard to the sun (Wlasuk, 5). Looking at the moon at the same time each week and making sketches was of great help in understanding changes, in the moon’s phases, the moon rises from the west and sets east while the sun rises in the east and sets west. From the sketches, the moon moved approximately 92 degrees each week. Twice in the observation month moon appeared, start of the initial week, and the end of the second week; this happened when the moon was fully lit and facing the earth. That usually happens when the earth seats between the sun and the moon (this is referred to as the full moon) and the when the moon is between the earth and the sun (new moon). After one week since the observation of the full moon that occurred when the sun was opposite to the moon and rising in the west, at the exact moment when the sun was setting, the moon entered the quarter moon shape. From the earth, the moon was seen as a half circle because that was the only visible part that was lit. Naturally, that was the last quarter and it appeared after the full moon and before the new moon. After that, the moon became completely dark. This occurred because the moon moved between the sun and the earth and the moon’s side facing the earth darkened. This is referred to as the new moon phase. That phase of the moon was usually not observable. However it was possible to make an outline of the moon as part of the sunlight reflected off the earth and hit the moon. At that point, the sun and the moon were on the same side of sky (Wlasuk, 12). After the new moon, a week later the first quarter phase of the moon was seen. Other phases of the moon were also seen, these phases developed in between the weeks. After the new moon, the beginning of that week a smaller phase less than half the moon was seen that phase of the moon is referred to as the crescent. Another observation made was that this phase was brighter due to gentle light reflected by the earth. That phase was known as the waxing crescent, and it appeared just after the new moon. The begging of the second week, after the first quarter moon phase, a bigger moon phase than half size of the moon was seen. This phase is referred to as gibbous. Waxing gibbous was a more illuminated and increasing phase of the moon that appeared just before the full moon phase. At the start of the third week, after the full moon phase appeared, gibbous phase reappeared; on the other hand, that phase was less illuminated and decreasing than observed previously. Waning gibbous was seen just after the full moon. After the last quarter of the moon, crescent phase was seen. This phase is known as waning crescent phase as it has decreased illumination and it appeared just before the new moon. In conclusion, it takes about a month for the moon to go around the earth, during this period the moon’s phase changes from fully lit to completely dark and back to full illumination again, moving about 13 degrees every twenty four hours and 92 degrees each week. The first quarter is about 7 days old while the full moon is 14 days old; the last quarter is ...Show more


Student Date Due: Observing the Moon’s Phases The earth rotates around the sun in a counterclockwise direction; On the other hand, the moon goes around the earth from west to east or in an anticlockwise direction. Moon’s phase is change in the moon’s shape as it orbits around the earth…
Author : champlinmaxime
Observing the Moons Phases essay example
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