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Lunar Sighting


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my first standard inquiry project

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Lunar Sighting

  1. 1. Lunar Sighting<br />Heather Jackson<br />09/14/09<br />
  2. 2. Science Standard 3-The Physical Setting<br />Indicator 4.3.1-Observe and report that the moon can be seen sometimes at night and sometimes during the day.<br />Taken from:<br />Link to activity:<br />
  3. 3. Definitions<br />Globe: a sphere on which is depicted a map of the earth or the heavens<br />Lunar: anything that pertains to the moon<br />Night: the period of darkness between sunset and sunrise<br />Day: the time between sunrise and sunset<br />Taken from:<br />
  4. 4. Background Information pg. 1<br />“Revolution in Orbit of the Moon: The Moon appears to move completely around the celestial sphere once in about 27.3 days as observed from the Earth. This is called a sidereal month, and reflects the corresponding orbital period of 27.3 days The moon takes 29.5 days to return to the same point on the celestial sphere as referenced to the Sun because of the motion of the Earth around the Sun; this is called a synodic month (Lunar phases as observed from the Earth are correlated with the synodic month). There are effects that cause small fluctuations around this value that we will not discuss. Since the Moon must move Eastward among the constellations enough to go completely around the sky (360 degrees) in 27.3 days, it must move Eastward by 13.2 degrees each day (in contrast, remember that the Sun only appears to move Eastward by about 1 degree per day). Thus, with respect to the background constellations the Moon will be about 13.2 degrees further East each day. Since the celestial sphere appears to turn 1 degree about every 4 minutes, the Moon crosses our celestial meridian about 13.2 x 4 = 52.8 minutes later each day.”<br />Taken from:<br />
  5. 5. Background Information pg.2<br />The first of the moon phases is a new. This is when the unilluminated side is facing towards the Earth. It is not visible in this particular phase, except during a solar eclipse. The next is a waxing crescent. This is when it appears to be partly but less than half of it is illuminated by direct sunlight. The part of it that is illuminated is starting to get bigger. The next of the moon phases is a first quarter. This is where one half of it appears to be illuminated by direct sunlight. Again, the fraction of it that is illuminated is still getting bigger. A waxing gibbous is where more than one half of it, but not the entire thing, is being illuminated by direct light from the sun. Still, the fraction of it is getting bigger. A full is one of the moon phases where the illuminated side is directly facing the earth. It appears to be completely illuminated and looks like a full circle up in the sky. A waning gibbous is where it begins to get smaller and more than one half of it is fully illuminated by direct sunlight. The part that is illuminated is starting to get smaller. The last quarter of the moon phases is where one half is illuminated by direct sunlight. The illuminated part is still decreasing at this point. Finally, a waning crescent is where part of it, less than one half is illuminated by direct sunlight. The illuminated part is still getting smaller.After the waning crescent is where there is a new one. This is where the official complete phase cycle of the 29.5 days begins. Each complete cycle of the moon phases is called a “lunation.” Because the cycle of the moon phases isn’t as long as most calendar months, the cycle usually repeats itself at the very end of the month. When two full ones occur in the same month, it is called a “Blue.”<br />Taken from:<br />
  6. 6. Lunar Sighting<br />During the Day<br />At Night<br />
  7. 7. Starter Activity<br />Explain to students that the moon does not give off it’s own light instead it reflects light from the sun.<br />Ask the students when they have seen the moon and if they have seen the moon at any other time besides nighttime.<br />
  8. 8. Group Activity<br />Split class into groups and give each group a globe, mirror, and a flashlight.<br />Tell the students to point the flashlight at the mirror and then tilt the mirror so that it is pointing towards the globe.<br />Explain to the students that they will turn the flashlight on once with the overhead lights off and once with the lights on and that they should record their observations. <br />Discuss the results with the class.<br />
  9. 9. Take-home/In-school Activity<br />Pass out 2 copies of the BLM Lunar Sighting Worksheet.<br />Tell the students that one copy is to be taken home for the night observations and one is to be left in the classroom for their daytime observations.<br />Show how to record their observations.<br />This is to be done over one month<br />
  10. 10. The Worksheet<br />
  11. 11. Resources<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />