Lunar cycle and tides

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Lunar cycle and tides

  1. 1. Sunday, September 7th , 2008 SPACE The Lunar Cycle and Tides
  2. 2. The Moon  For centuries, human beings have been fascinated by the moon…by the way it changes shape, causes our tides, and creates eclipses.  A cow has jumed over the moon…and an old man lives on it.  Humans have worshipped the moon, feared the moon, and created numerous superstitions about the moon.  It has even been known to alter human behaviour (people have been known to go “looney”)
  3. 3.  While these stories are interesting, they don’t really help us understand what happens.  We only see the Moon because sunlight reflects back to us from its surface.  The moon looks like it’s changing shape all the time (moon phases), but that’s just what it looks like to us on Earth.
  4. 4.  In reality, from space, the moon always looks the same, half light, and half dark.  This is because half of the moon is always facing the sun and the other half is in shadow.  But for us on Earth, it looks like it’s changing shape because the moon is orbiting around us.  Animation
  5. 5.  It takes 29.5 days for the moon to make one complete lunar cycle (or one month)…  …and the only time we get an accurate view of the moon is at the half moon each month.  Animation
  6. 6. Use the smart board pen to colour in the phases of the moon as they appear to us on Earth, (#1-8) or colour in the phases on your own worksheet.
  7. 7.  One last animation, just to be sure.
  8. 8. Tides  The moon also affects the tides in our oceans as it revolves around the earth.  The gravitational pull between the Earth and the moon and the Earth and the sun, create a bulge of water every day.  When the gravitational forces of the moon and sun combine to pull in the same direction we get our biggest tides (spring tides)…  …and we get our lowest tides (neap tides) when these forces pull in different directions.

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