The touchdown of the NASA rover, Curiosity, on Mars has created a media and popular culture frenzy that has refueled curiosity in house exploration. Not solely is the rover improved in design, however it’s improved in social media. You’ll be able to go to the Curiosity Fb web page or observe Curiosity on Twitter. It’s actually a rover for the trendy era.
However with the excitement over Mars, many individuals overlook our closest celestial neighbor, who influences our planet in dramatic methods, and whose floor has solely barely been explored. The moon, the topic of six U.S. landings and quite a few satellites from varied nations, has remained largely unexplored and unused, aside from a number of testing devices left by astronauts.
The far facet of the moon has by no means been explored in person–and it wasn’t till Apollo 8 that the U.S. truly photographed the far facet of the moon (for extra on the Apollo Program, take a look at this lesson). The far facet of the moon stays among the best potential websites for improved astronomical gear, notably telescopes, as scientists search to look additional into the universe.
The Far (not Darkish) Facet of the Moon
The far facet of the moon is often confused with the darkish facet of the moon–which at finest conjures up Pink Floyd’s iconic rock album, and at worst, the third Transformers film. The darkish facet is ever changing–whichever facet of the moon will not be altering is named the darkish facet; nevertheless, there’s a facet of the moon that’s by no means straight seen from Earth, due to a phenomenon often called tidal locking.
Tidal locking is the place the moon rotates on the identical velocity that it orbits across the Earth–thus all the time exhibiting the identical facet to the Earth. In case you’re a visible particular person, this YouTube video demonstrates tidal locking utilizing a tennis ball and an orange.
The phases and tidal results of the moon are nice locations to start out together with your lessons on how the moon virtually impacts our world. You need to use classes like this one on the phases of the moon or this one which additionally contains straightforward illustrations of moon phases and eclipses. One other lesson on how the moon impacts dwelling organisms, humorously titled, “The Moon Made Me Do It,” helps learners perceive details about tides, lunar cycles, and gravitational pull. Additionally, for some fundamental details on the night time sky and a few wonderful true/false questions dispelling many house myths, take a look at this text.
Objects in house lend themselves to mathematical calculations that may simply be scaffolded up in complexity. The next classes have a powerful mathematical focus with particular equations utilized in every class.
- This lesson focuses on discovering the gravity of the Earth, Moon, and Solar, which may be linked to a different lesson the density of the moon.
- Calculate the space between planets on this lesson, or use the components for the velocity of sunshine to measure distance on this lesson.
- Examine the completely different parts discovered within the Moon’s ambiance.
The actual-life software of those ideas permits excessive schoolers to observe math in a significant method, and in a topic space that many get pleasure from. The extra you perceive why a components is necessary, the extra prepared you’re to study.
The Moon Made Me Do It
Discover details about tides, lunar cycles, and gravitational pull, and the way they have an effect on the Earth.
Moon Phases and Eclipses
A lesson on the phases of the moon that has a easy evaluation on the finish the place pupils sketch the phases and clarify why they give the impression of being a sure method at every stage.
The Density of the Moon
This worksheet has 4 issues and solutions the place learners discover the density of the moon and different supplies when given fundamental data on the mass and radius of the moon.
Gravity and the Solar, Moon, and Earth
Stability visuals with detailed formulation on gravity by evaluating how the Moon is gravitationally pulled by each the Earth and the Solar.
Distance in House
This can be a nice sensible visualization the place learners scale the space between planets so as to see the true comparability of distance.
Planets and the Pace of Mild
Here’s a lesson that features an article for evaluation and questions (with a solution key) on utilizing the velocity of sunshine to measure distance.
The Moon’s Environment
This worksheet makes pupils analyze the weather within the Moon’s atmosphere–which is a good chemistry tie-in.