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Earth’s Moon. Astronomy Notes Part III. Our Moon. Earth has one natural satellite, the moon. Our moon orbits Earth within a period of about a month. Direction of the moon’s motion is counterclockwise. Orbit is elliptical Perigee- point where moon is closest to Earth

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Earth’s Moon


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    1. Earth’s Moon Astronomy Notes Part III

    2. Our Moon • Earth has one natural satellite, the moon. • Our moon orbits Earth within a period of about a month. • Direction of the moon’s motion is counterclockwise. • Orbit is elliptical • Perigee- point where moon is closest to Earth • Apogee- point where moon is farthest from Earth

    3. Moon Phases • Phases: various shapes of the moon lighted by reflected sunlight

    4. waxing: when the size of the visible portion of the moon is increasing • waning: when the size of the visible portion of the moon is decreasing

    5. full moon: entire half of the side of the moon facing Earth is lit • new moon: no lighted area of the moon is visible from the Earth

    6. gibbous: more than half of the side facing the Earth is lit • crescent: less than half of the side facing the Earth is lit

    7. New moon Waxing crescent 1st quarter Waxing gibbous

    8. Full moon Waning gibbous Waning crescent 3rd quarter

    9. Lunar Surface • maria: smooth, dark areas of the moon- reflect little light • maria are plains of dark solidified lava

    10. craters: bowl-shaped depressions on the moon • lunar craters are formed from impacts of debris

    11. Formation of a Crater

    12. regolith: layer of dust and rock that covers the moon’s surface

    13. Interior of the Moon

    14. Lunar History • The most widely accepted model for the origin of the moon is that when the solar system was forming, a body the size of Mars impacted Earth. • The resulting debris was ejected into space, began orbiting around Earth, and eventually united to form the moon.

    15. Formation of Earth’s Moon

    16. Why does the same side of the moon always face us? • Because the moon rotates and revolves at the same speed