Sunday, September 26, 2010

Moon Phases Lab

Group Members: Gabe, Joel, Matt, and Alyssa

1e) The dark side of the moon is away from the earth. the far side is the dark side, facing space, opposite the sun.
1f) The dark side is on the left half of the moon. The back side is facing space once again.
1g) The moon traveled 180 degrees around Earth. The dark side is the right side of the moon, and the far side is facing space.
1h) E A G B D K F C J I H E (moon phases fill-in-the-blank).

2a) Yes
2b) Yes
2c) Full Moon
2d) 3rd Quarter Moon - Waning

3a) On northern horizon
3b) Midnight
3c) West
3d) On northern horizon
3e) Noon


1. 30 days
2. 1 year (one rotation around the sun- one cycle of phases.)
3. c
4. a) No?
b) If the moon is in 1st quarter or 3rd quarter phase, Earth's shadow would be nowhere near the moon.
5) A lot of our group already knew that the moon phases were caused by the reflection of sunlight off of the moon, but we never really though much about why the phases would be visibly different according to the position it was in relative to the Earth. Prior to this lab, we though that the sun would be reflecting off of the moon differently than we found. For me specifically, I had the full moon and the new moon phase switched around, since I hadn't really seen a diagram of what was occurring during moon phases.

We discovered and solidified ideas such as waxing and waning and the logic behind it as well as the time of day a phase of the moon would set or rise using the diagram of the last page of the lab. We also realized that the earth and moon aren't on the same plane as the sun, so the full moon can actually be visible because the sun is never fully blocked by the Earth unless it's a lunar eclipse. The group came to realize some of our past misconceptions and now have a moderate understanding of the phases of the moon.

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