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The Sun/ Moon/ Earth Test Study Guide

Vocabulary and concepts for the test
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Tides
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
Umbra
the completly dark portion of a shadow casted from an object
Penumbra
the partial shadow casted from an object
Equinox
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
Rotation
the act of rotating as if on an axis
Revolution
the movement of an object around another object
Waxing
Gainging light
Waning
losing light
Crescent
Moon phase in which less than half of the Moon appears to be illuminated.
Gibbous
Moon phase is which more than half of the Moon appears to be illuminated
Maria
large, dark, flat circular plains on the moon
Highlands
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
Perigree
closest point in an orbit
Apogee
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?
1/2
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