The Moon What causes the phases of the moon?



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  • The Earth viewed from Saturn
  • If you zoom in….

The Moon

What causes the phases of the moon?

What causes the phases of the moon?

What causes tides?

  • to moon
  • Earth

What causes tides?

  • to moon
  • Earth
  • How many high tides are there each day?
  • How many low tides are there each day?
  • How did the moon form?
  • Moon Basic Facts:
  • The mass of the moon is about 1/100th that of Earth.
  • The moon has little or no atmosphere.
  • The moon has a low density compared to the Earth.
  • The moon revolves around the Earth once every _______.
  • The moon rotates on its axis once every ________.
  • Therefore it is said to be in ________ rotation.
  • Moon Basic Facts:
  • The mass of the moon is about 1/100th that of Earth.
  • The moon has little or no atmosphere.
  • The moon has a low density compared to the Earth.
  • The moon revolves around the Earth once every month.
  • The moon rotates on its axis once every month.
  • Therefore it is said to be in synchronous rotation. (We only see ONE side of the moon from Earth!)
  • FYI (no need to memorize this):
  • The Earth-moon system is evolving.
  • The moon is moving outwards.
  • The Earth is slowing down.
  • Eventually, the moon will only see one face of the Earth.
  • The timescale for this to occur on is...
  • FYI (no need to memorize this):
  • The Earth-moon system is evolving.
  • The moon is moving outwards.
  • The Earth is slowing down.
  • Eventually, the moon will only see one face of the Earth.
  • The timescale for this to occur on is...
    • 50 billion years
  • If the Earth and moon were instead side by side…
  • Four pictures of Earth/moon from Deep Impact satellite
  • The Earth and moon have surprisingly similar compositions!
  • http://www.psrd.hawaii.edu/Dec01/Oisotopes.html
  • How did the moon form?
  • How did the moon form?
  • Let’s watch some movies.
  • How did the moon form?
  • Let’s watch some movies.
  • Moon: Basic Geology
  • Which type of landscape is older?
  • Does this look like volcanoes on Earth?
  • Lunar Maria: Smoother, darker terrain caused by volcanic activity
  • Does this look like volcanoes on Earth?
  • Lunar Highlands: Rugged, bright terrain caused by collisions
  • Lunar cratering data has been used to understand the
  • rates of impacts in the solar system.
  • Only on the moon can we get absolute dates. (WHY?)
  • Should we go back?
  • Are manned missions worthwhile?
  • The Apollo program sent people and spacecraft to the moon from 1968-1972. No spacecraft have landed on the moon since.
  • The Moon: Take-away messages
  • The phases of the moon are caused by the relative locations of the Earth, moon and sun.
  • Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon.
  • The moon is in synchronous rotation- we only see one of its faces.
  • The moon was formed by a giant collision, followed by the collection of impact debris.
  • Geology on the moon is controlled by collisions and volcanism (but the volcanism is different from that on Earth)
  • Cratering on the moon can be used to understand collision rates in the solar system.


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