Earth’s Moon Origin and Properties of the Moon The Moon’s Motions
Facts about the Moon… • We see the moon changes its appearances and position in the sky with approximately 30-day cycle. • Unlike the stars, Moon can also be seen during the day. • We also see that the Moon is always involved in eclipses, and • Its position seems to be well correlated with the tide of the ocean. • Understanding the motion of the Moon with respect to the Sun and the Earth will explain these phenomena. The Moon The moon revolves around the earth with a period of about 29 ½ days ~ one month!
Origin and Properties of the Moon 1. Earth is hit off-center by a planet-sized object. 2. The impact heats and deforms both bodies. Some rocky debris remains in orbit around Earth. 3. The debris ring, made of rock from the outer layer of both objects, gradually coalesces, forming the moon. Earth’s Moon VOCABULARY Scientists think the moon formed after a large object, about the size of a planet, hit Earth. crater micrometeoroid maria mascons rille ray regolith
Much of the material broken away from the earth goes into orbit. The moon reassembles in this orbit - it takes about a month of violent collisions. Earth is speeded up in rotation as a result of the collision. This theory is consistent with: 1.) composition of lunar rocks, which is similar to the composition of the crust of the earth; 2.) evidence that the moon had a molten surface for 200 million years; and 3.) the lack of magnetic field for the moon, which together with its low density implies it has very little iron in its core. Impact theory
Highland Mare Earth’s Moon The same side of the moon always faces Earth. Dark areas called maria are great basins and level plains on the moon. They are younger than the lighter lunar highlands. Lunar highland rocks are older than mare rocks. Maria: Extensive dark areas on the moon that represent great basins and level plains.
Earth’s Moon • Most lunar craters were caused by the impact of meteoroids; rays of shattered rock and dust were splashed out by the impacts. • Regolith is the loose rock material covering the moon’s surface. It is formed as micrometeoroids smash into and erode the moon’s surface. Crater: A bowl-shaped depression on the surface of a moon or a planet, usually caused by the impact of a meteorite. Micrometeoroid: Tiny rock fragment no larger than sand grains that travels through space. Lunar rocks have textures similar to Earth rocks but differ in composition.
The Moon’s Motions Light from the Sun Last Quarter Waning Gibbous Waning Crescent Full Moon New Moon Waxing Gibbous Waxing Crescent First Quarter Phases of the Moon Earth’s Moon The moon’s orbit is tilted 5 degrees relative to the plane of Earth’s orbit. The moon’s movement around Earth causes it to rise later each day and to go through phases. VOCABULARY phases waxing waning gibbous umbra penumbra lunar eclipse solar eclipse
Lunar Phases • Sunlight illuminates half of the Moon • it’s a ball and the Sun is shining on it from one direction • This causes the “phases” of the Moon • Waxing Moon – increasing from day to day • Waning Moon – decreasing from day to day
New Moon The Moon is on the same part of the sky as the Sun and rises and sets with the Sun Full Moon The Moon is in the opposite side of the sky as the Sun and rises when the Sun sets and sets when the Sun rises Lunar Phases (cont) • New Moon • Waxing Crescent Moon • Waxing Half Moon • Waxing Gibbous Moon • Full Moon • Waning Gibbous Moon • Waning Half Moon • Waning Crescent Moon • New Moon • …
The Phase of the Moon The phase of the Moon depends on the relative position between the Sun, the Earth, and the Moon…
Moonrise/Moonset The time the Moon rises and sets is correlated to its phase Noon Noon Midnight Midnight Midnight 6 pm
Why do we Always See the Same Side of the Moon? The rotation period of the Moon with respect to the universe is exactlythe same as the rotation period of the Moon around the Earth. Is this a coincidence? No! It’s due to Tidal Locking
Tidal Locking • A tidally locked body takes just as long to rotate around its own axis as it does to revolve around its partner. This synchronous rotation causes one hemisphere constantly to face the partner body. The Moons orbital period is 27.3 days. It also rotates once on its axis in 27.3 days (synchronous rotation) resulting in Tidal Locking.
“Dark Side” of the Moon • The Moon doesn’t have a “dark side” • Everywhere on the Moon, the Sun rises and sets once per month • It has a side which faces away from us • During a New Moon, the far side is completely illuminated
The Moon’s Motions Moon Penumbra Umbra Earth Sun Moon Total Solar Eclipse Sun Earth A lunar eclipse occurs when Earth passes between the sun and the moon, and the moon is within Earth’s shadow. lunar eclipse A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, and the moon’s shadow falls on Earth. solar eclipse
Eclipses • Eclipses occur when the Sun, the Earth and the Moon all lie along a straight line • They must line up in all 3 dimensions + time • the Moon’s orbit is tilted 5o with respect to the ecliptic, so there are only two times a year when the paths overlap
Solar and Lunar Eclipses Eclipse: The total or partial obscuring of one celestial body by another… The obscuration can be either • One celestial body blocking the view to the other: • Solar eclipse---Moon blocking Earth’s view to the Sun… • One celestial body is in the shadow of another: • Lunar eclipse---Moon is in the shadow of the Earth… Lunar eclipse image from http://www.mreclipse.com
Lunar Eclipse Umbra: The darkest part of the shadow cast by the moon or by Earth. Penumbra: The area of partial shadow surrounding the darkest part of the shadow of the Earth or moon. Lunar eclipses can only occur during a full moon. The maximum time a lunar eclipse can last is 3 hours and 40 minutes.
Solar Eclipse Solar eclipses can only occur during a new moon. The maximum time for a total solar eclipse is 7 minutes and 40 seconds. Solar eclipses are visible in a narrow path a maximum of 167 miles wide (269km.)
Total Solar Eclipse of 21 June 2001 from Zimbabwe See Richard Monk’s webpage on eclipses: www.williams.edu/ astronomy/IAU_eclipses/ Bailey’s Beads Solar Corona “Diamond Ring”
Solar Eclipse Forecast Solar eclipses from 2004 to 2030 Knowing the orbit of the Earth and the Moon, we can now calculate the time and path of solar eclipses with great accuracy.
Eclipses: Summary • The parties involved: Sun, Moon, and Earth • Motion of the Moon around Earth: • 29 ½ day revolution of the Moon around the Sun • Tilt (~5º) of the lunar orbit (around the Earth) w.r.t. the Ecliptic plane (Earth’s orbital plane around the Sun) • The precession of the lunar orbit w.r.t. Earth-Sun direction • Solar eclipse happens when the Moon is between the Earth and the Sun. • The size and distance of the Moon need to be just right for us to see total eclipse. • The changing distance between the Earth and the Moon explains the occurrences of the total and ring solar eclipses. • The changing distance between the Earth and the Sun, and the Earth and the Moon explains the difference in the duration of the solar eclipses. • Lunar eclipse happens when Earth is between the Moon and the Sun.
Eclipse facts • Lunar eclipses can only occur during a full moon. • Solar eclipses can only occur during a new moon. • A Solar eclipse always occurs two weeks before or after a lunar eclipse. • Eclipses very often occur in threes, alternating lunar, solar and lunar.
Eclipse facts • The maximum time a lunar eclipse can last is 3 hours and 40 minutes. • The longest time the Moon can stay in totality is 1 hour 40 minutes. • The maximum time for a total solar eclipse is 7 minutes and 40 seconds. • The maximum time for an annular solar eclipse is 12 minutes 24 seconds. • Lunar eclipses can occur up to 3 times a year.
Eclipse facts • Solar eclipses can occur at least 2 and no more than 5 times a year. • Lunar eclipses are visible over an entire hemisphere. • Solar eclipses are visible in a narrow path a maximum of 167 miles wide (269km.) • At any geographic position on the Earth, a total solar eclipse occur an average of once every 360 years.
Eclipse facts • The cycle of eclipses repeats every 18.6 years called the saros. • The eclipse shadow moves at 2,000 mph at the Earth's poles and 1,000 mph at the Earth's equator.
Tides Low tide Indirect high tide Direct high tide Moon’s orbit Moon Uniform water level Low tide The Moving Ocean The twice-daily rise and fall of Earth’s oceans— known as the tide—is a result of gravitational pulls from the moon and the sun. VOCABULARY tides perigee apogee
Tides The Moving Ocean VOCABULARY The twice-daily rise and fall of Earth’s oceans— known as the tide—is a result of gravitational pulls from the moon and the sun. tides perigee apogee Tides reach different levels depending on Earth’s location in relation to the moon and sun. • High tides are higher and low tides are lower when the moon, sun, and Earth are aligned. • High tides are not as high and low tides are not as low as usual when the moon and sun are not in line with Earth.
Spring Tides The gravitational affects of the moon and sun combine to influence the flow of the oceans on Earth. Moon Moon Moon Earth Phase of the moon? Phase of the moon? Phase of the moon? New Moon Full Moon New Moon Higher high tides and lower low tides
Neap Tides The gravitational affects of the moon and sun fight each other with their influence on the flow of the oceans on Earth. Phase of the moon? Moon Phase of the moon? Moon Third Quarter Third Quarter Earth Phase of the moon? Moon First Quarter Lowest high tides and highest low tides
Tides • Perigee: The point closest to Earth in the moon’s orbit. • Apogee: The point farthest to Earth in the moon’s orbit.
Tides & Consequences • This little tidal behavior goes both ways! The Earth rises tides on the Moon. • The Earth "brakes" the Moon's rotation AND the braking is complete! Synchronous Rotation of the Moon and its orbital period! (27.3 days!) • We see a permanent "near" and "far side" of the Moon. • Moon also brakes the Earth's Rotation • The length of the "day" is increasing! • From fossil reef corals of about 4´108 years old - daily growth/annual growth 400 days/year ~ 22 hours a day! • Day is increasing about 0.001 seconds/century. • Moon's orbit is growing because of all of this interaction. Therefore, the day is getting longer, Moon looks smaller, and tides are weakening.
Two members of the prime crew of the Apollo 17 lunar landing mission participate in lunar surface extravehicular activity simulation training at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida.