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Vocabulary and concepts for the test


the daily change in the ocean's surface caused by the moon's gravitational pull

Spring Tide

A tide that occurs when the sun, the moon , and the earth are all in line. This causes higher high tides and lower low tides because the sun and the moon are working together to make a stronger gravitational pull

Neap Tide

A tide occurs when the sun, the moon, and the earth form a 90 degree ange. This causes lower high tides and higher low tides because the sun and the moon's forces are not working together

Solar Eclipse

when the moon is infront of the sun and blocking a portion of light from the earth

Lunar Eclipse

when the earth is blocking all light that is going to the moon from the sun


the completly dark portion of a shadow casted from an object


the partial shadow casted from an object


when the length of the day is the same length as the night

First and Third Quarter Moon

the phase of the moon in which a quarter of the moon is lit


the act of rotating as if on an axis


the movement of an object around another object


Gainging light


losing light


Moon phase in which less than half of the Moon appears to be illuminated.


Moon phase is which more than half of the Moon appears to be illuminated


large, dark, flat circular plains on the moon


mountains on the moon ( Lunar Montain Ranges)

Giant Impact Theory

the most widley accepted theory on how to moon formed. It states that a mars sized object crashed into Earth which made the earth molten along with sending a huge amount of debris off of Earth. This debris eventually clumped into the moon

Synchronous Rotation

when one celestial body orbits another celestial body in the same time it takes that body to spin once on its axis

Tidally locked

the Moon's period of rotation equals its period of revolution around the Earth

Julian Year

365.25 days


closest point in an orbit


furthest point in an orbit

Harvest Moon

the moon closes to the fall equinox

Blue Moon

second full moon in one month

What causes tides?

the moons gravitational force

Why does the sun have a smaller gravitational effect on Earth's tides than the moon, even though the sun is so much bigger?

Because even though the sun is bigger, the gravity isnt as strong becauase it is so far away

What factors causes extreme tides?

the location of the moon and the sun

What envioromental factors make it difficult for organisms living in intertidal communities?

the rise and fall of tides can put organisms in and out of water for 6 hours

What causes the phases of the moon?

The position of the moon relative to the position of the earth and the sun. Depending on where the sun and the earth is, the moon recieves different amounts of light

What is the length of a full moon cycle?

29.52 days

What is the length from full moon to new moon

14.77 days

What is the length of each phase?

3.5 days

How much of the moon is always lit up by the sun?


What causes a lunar eclipse?

When the earth is positioned infront of the moon, blocking the light from the sun to illuminate the moon

What causes a solar eclipses?

When the moon is positioned infront of the earth, blocking a portion of the suns light coming to earth

Why don't we have a lunar eclipse every month?

Becuase both the moon's orbit and the earth's orbit are slightly tipped

What is moonlight?

the light from the sun that is reflected off the moons surface

Why do Earth's temperate regions have season, specifiically distinct summer and winter seasons?

Because the earth is rotating on a tilt, therefore during its revolution, different regions are positioned at different angles. The rays angle determine the amount of light an area recieves

What evidence can you provide to dispute the common misconception that close proximity to the sun causes summer? And that a greater distance from the sun to Earth causes winter?

If it was based on distance, both the southern and the northern hemisphere would have the same seasons

What causes Earth's night and day?

Earths rotation on its axis only allows 1/2 of earth to be facing the sun

Have the lengths of our days and nights been the same or changed over Earth's 4.6 billion year history?

The rotation has changed, the days have gotten longer

Have the lengths of our years been the same or changed over Earth's 4.6 billion year history?

They have changed, they have gotten less and less days because of the moon

Why do we have leap years?

Because a year is not 365 days it is actually 365.25, so every 4 years it adds up to be 1 day that is not on the calander. Eventually missing 1 day every four years can put the season off.

How does earth's tilted axis effect life on earth/

it greates the seasons

What is the composition of the moon?

The moon has a small iron-core, a mantle made of minerals, surface with highlands and plains

What are the moons surface features?

maria- dark, flat circular plains
highlands- not steep mountain ranges
craters- shalow circular depressions

What created the surface features?

because the moon doesnt have an atmosphere, anything can effect the moons surface

What are the three prevelant theories explaining the formation of the moon?

The fission theory, the capture theory, and the co-formatin theory

What evidence support the Giant Impact Theory of the origin of the moon?

the rocks on the moon are very similar to the rocks on earth because the Earth's molten mantle was formed by the collision of the moon and the moons mantle was formed from earths

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