17 May 2016
The phases of the Moon depend on its position in relation to the Sun and Earth. As the Moon makes its way around the Earth, we see the bright parts of the Moon's surface at different angles. These are called "phases" of the Moon.
There are 8 Moon phases; New Moon, Waxing Crescent, First Quarter, Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous, Last Quarter and Waning Crescent. 5-6M will be presenting their Moon Phases learning at assembly.
5-6M have been using one of the Primary Connections Science kits to investigate ‘Earths Place in Space. We have been using the kit to firstly understand the relationship between the Earth, Moon and Sun. We found out that the Earth, which is the third planet from the Sun, takes 24 hours to rotate or spin around. This is what causes day and night. As the Earth rotates, it also revolves around the Sun.
The Earth's path around the Sun is called it's orbit. It takes the Earth one year, or 365 1/4 days, to completely orbit the Sun. As the Earth orbits the Sun, the Moon orbits the Earth. The Moon's orbit lasts 27 1/2 days, but because the Earth keeps moving, it takes the Moon two extra days, 29 1/2, to come back to the same place in our sky. Sometimes during their orbits, the Moon and the Earth form a line with the Sun. When this happens, an eclipse occurs.
There are two kinds of eclipse - lunar and solar. A lunar eclipse happens when the Earth moves between the Sun and the moon, blocking part of the Sun's light from reaching the moon. During a lunar eclipse, you will see the Earth's shadow on the moon. In a solar eclipse, the moon moves between the Earth and the Sun. When this happens, part of the Sun's light is blocked. The sky slowly gets dark as the moon moves in front of the Sun. When the moon and Sun are in a perfect line, it is called a total eclipse.