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Ch 12: The Moon: Formation & Phases

About This Chapter

Watch online videos to explore theories on the moon's origin and discover its eight phases. Each lesson is accompanied by a short quiz you can use to check your understanding of these topics.

The Moon: Formation & Phases - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

If you're interested in learning more about Earth's closest neighbor, check out the video lessons and quizzes in this chapter. Our experienced instructors can help you determine which theories on the moon's formation are the most plausible and demonstrate the relationship between the moon's orbit and its shape in the night sky. By the time you finish this chapter, you should be familiar with the following:

  • The capture, condensation, giant impact and fission theories
  • Characteristics of the moon's surface and atmosphere
  • The moon's orbit and synchronous rotation
  • The eight phases of the moon

Video Objective
Formation of the Moon: Theories Examine the capture, condensation, fission and giant impact theories used to explain the moon's formation.
Lunar Geology: Types of Moon Rocks Explore the types of rocks found on the moon's maria and terrae regions, such as vesicular basalt, anorthosite and breccia.
The Moon's Atmosphere Discover the chemical composition, mass and density of the moon's surface boundary exosphere.
How Earth & the Sun Affect the Phases of the Moon Learn how the moon's synchronous rotation and the relative position of the sun create the appearance of eight phases.
Moon Phases: Names & Sequence Take a closer look at the new, waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full, waning gibbous, third quarter and waning crescent phases of the moon.
Motion of the Moon: Sidereal Month vs. Synodic Month Differentiate between the time it takes the moon to orbit the Earth and the time it takes to pass through each lunar phase.
Predicting When The Moon Will Rise and Set Learn how sunrise and sunset can be used to predict moonrise and moonset during the new, first quarter, full and third quarter lunar phases.

7 Lessons in Chapter 12: The Moon: Formation & Phases
Formation of the Moon: Theories

1. Formation of the Moon: Theories

Explore the four major theories on the formation of the Moon. The theories include the fission theory, capture theory, condensation theory and giant impact theory. Also look at both information supporting and flaws found in these theories.

Lunar Geology: Types of Moon Rocks

2. Lunar Geology: Types of Moon Rocks

This lesson will discuss the layers of the Moon's interior, the dark and light colored areas of the Moon's surface, the Moon's craters, and how moon dust has formed over the ages.

The Moon's Atmosphere

3. The Moon's Atmosphere

This lesson will go over the lunar atmosphere, its composition, where it gets it atmosphere from, how it may lose its atmosphere, and what the technical term for the lunar atmosphere is.

How Earth & the Sun Affect the Phases of the Moon

4. How Earth & the Sun Affect the Phases of the Moon

This lesson will describe how the moon, Earth, and sun combine to form the phases of the moon. We'll also discuss the important concept of synchronous rotation.

Moon Phases: Names & Sequence

5. Moon Phases: Names & Sequence

This lesson will go over the phases of the moon. The full moon, new moon, waxing, waning, and gibbous phases and the order in which they occur and what they look like are discussed.

Motion of the Moon: Sidereal Month vs. Synodic Month

6. Motion of the Moon: Sidereal Month vs. Synodic Month

This lesson will teach you about the sidereal month and synodic month, how long they are, and how they are measured with respect to the stars and sun.

Predicting When The Moon Will Rise and Set

7. Predicting When The Moon Will Rise and Set

In this lesson, you'll learn when the moon will rise or set during four distinct phases: full moon, new moon, first quarter moon, and third quarter moon.

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