Why does the moon not spin off into space?
Generally, the Moon does not spin off into space because it is held in place by
the Earth's gravity; the same thing that holds you and me on the surface of the
Earth. Having said that there are a number of reasons why the Moon is actually
getting a little further away each year at a speed of about 4cm per year.
do we get eclipses?
ANONYMOUS, AGE 11, HARTLEPOOL
There are two types of eclipses, eclipses of the moon
(or lunar eclipses) and eclipses of the sun (or solar eclipses). Lunar eclipses
occur when the Earth stops light from the Sun reaching the Moon. Solar eclipses
happen when the Moon stops light from the Sun reaching the Earth. Lunar eclipses
are much easier to see because you can see them anywhere on the Earth that you
can see the Moon, Solar eclipses are much harder to see as you have to be in very
special places to see them.
How long does it
take for the moon to orbit the sun? I have this question for homework, but cannot
find the answer anywhere!
JADE, AGE 13, GRIMSBY
The Moon doesn't orbit the Sun, it orbits the Earth. It takes the Moon about
27 days to complete one orbit.
Does the moon
have a dark side and does it turn blue during the blue moon phase?
AGE 14, COLORADO
Answer: The Moon
takes about 27 days to spin once on its axis but also takes the same time to complete
one orbit around the Earth. This means that the same half of the Moon always points
to the Earth.
So there is a 'side' that we never
get to see but it does receive sunlight just like all parts of the Moon.
term of "blue moon" refers to the second full moon in a month. This doesn't happen
too often hence we say that "something happens once in a blue moon".
It doesn't actually turn blue though! This has reference to a 19th century proverb
but that's a rather long story. The next blue moon will be in June 2007.
doesn't the moon have a atmosphere?
MELISSA VIGUIER, MUSSLEBURGH
The Moon does have an atmosphere but it's very thin. The reason it doesn't
have a thick atmosphere like Earth is that there is not enough gravity to hold
on to it.
The Moon during an eclipse
the distance between moon and earth changing?
The Apollo Space missions left special mirrors on the Moon. This allows us
to bounce a laser beam off these mirrors and very accurately measure how long
it takes the laser to get back to the Earth.
doing this we know that the Moon is moving away from us at a distance of about
3.5 cm per year.
What are Moon dials and what
are they used for, are they different to sundials?
AGE 12, DERBYSHIRE
are a number of different items called Moon dials. The most common one is attached
to a normal clock and is used to show the phase of the Moon at that moment in
The other sort as you guessed, similar to
a sun dial and is used to tell the time. Click
here to make a sun dial
Why do people
on Earth always see the same face of the Moon?
The gravity of the Earth pulls on the Moon and the gravity of the Moon pulls
on the Earth. This has been happening for the past few billion years and so eventually
the Moon and Earth have 'locked' in on each other due to the pull of gravity.
Many of the other planets in the Solar System have
moons and these too keep the same face pointing to their planet. Its called synchronous
Why are there different size craters
on the moon?
LAURA, AGE 13, DURHAM
Craters are formed when pieces of rock smash into the surface of the Moon.
The same thing has formed craters on Mercury, Venus, Mars and even the Earth.
A larger rock smashing into the surface will cause
a bigger crater than a smaller one and a piece of rock that smacks into the surface
very fast will produce a bigger crater than one travelling slower.
do we see the moon in the daytime?
HIMANI, AGE 15, ILFORD
The Moon goes around the Earth and the Earth goes around the Sun. This movement,
along with the spin of the Earth means that the Moon and Sun seem to move around
our sky quite independently of each other.
means that often both the Moon and Sun will be above the horizon at the same time.
We can see the Moon because its being lit by the
Sun. So as long as nothing stops sunlight getting to the Moon, like the Earth
does during an eclipse, then we will be able to still see the Moon in the daytime
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