Moon Experiments for Kids

Instructor: Amanda Robb
In this experiment you'll be learning about how the phases of the moon influences our view of the night sky. You'll be counting how many stars you can observe during each phase of the lunar cycle.

Introduction

Star gazing can be a relaxing activity for everyone. Best of all, it's free, and all you need is to walk outside at night to see a beautiful display of lights in the sky. But, what day of the month you go outside can affect how many stars you see.

During the month, the moon is in different phases. Phases of the moon are the different shapes that are lit up by the Sun. The transitions between these phases are called the lunar cycle. Although the moon changes all month, there are four main phases - the new moon where you can't see the moon at all, first quarter, where the moon gets bigger, full moon, where the moon is a full circle, and the last quarter, where the moon gets smaller.

Position of the moon and the four main phases of the lunar cycle
moon phases

To learn more about the lunar cycle and different lunar phases, you can read this lesson: Why Does the Moon Have Phases.

So, how can we know what days will be best for star gazing? To answer this question, we're going to count how many stars are visible during the four main phases of the moon.

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