About This Chapter
Who's it for?
Anyone who needs help learning or mastering introductory astronomy material will benefit from taking this course. There is no faster or easier way to learn introductory astronomy. Among those who would benefit are:
- Students who have fallen behind in understanding the Earth, sky and Moon
- Students who struggle with learning disabilities or learning differences, including autism and ADHD
- Students who prefer multiple ways of learning science (visual or auditory)
- Students who have missed class time and need to catch up
- Students who need an efficient way to learn about the Earth, sky and Moon
- Students who struggle to understand their teachers
- Students who attend schools without extra science learning resources
How it works:
- Find videos in our course that cover what you need to learn or review.
- Press play and watch the video lesson.
- Refer to the video transcripts to reinforce your learning.
- Test your understanding of each lesson with short quizzes.
- Verify you're ready by completing the Earth, sky and Moon chapter exam.
Why it works:
- Study Efficiently: Skip what you know, review what you don't.
- Retain What You Learn: Engaging animations and real-life examples make topics easy to grasp.
- Be Ready on Test Day: Use the Earth, sky and Moon chapter exam to be prepared.
- Get Extra Support: Ask our subject-matter experts any Earth, sky and Moon question. They're here to help!
- Study With Flexibility: Watch videos on any web-ready device.
Students will review:
This chapter helps students review the concepts in an Earth, sky and Moon unit of a standard intro to astronomy course. Topics covered include:
- Observing stars from Earth
- Local sky features, including the horizon, zenith and meridian
- Changes in the sky due to latitude and longitude
- Measuring objects in the sky
- Estimating the size of astronomical objects
- The four seasons on Earth
- The color-changing Sun
- Formation of the Moon: theories
- The atmosphere of the Moon
- Causes of the phases of the Moon
- How the Moon rises and sets
- The solar and lunar eclipse
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.
2. Measuring Objects in the Sky: Angular Size & Distance
This lesson will teach you about the celestial sphere, angular distance, angular size and diameter, arc minutes, and arc seconds. You'll also learn some neat tricks on how to use your own hands to measure these.
3. Important Points on the Celestial Sphere
This lesson will discuss some important points and lines located on the celestial sphere, including the zenith, nadir, celestial equator, meridian, and north and south celestial poles.
4. The Cycle of the Seasons in Astronomy
This lesson will explain to you why the Earth has different seasons, what the equinoxes and solstices are, their names, and if the distance the Earth is from the Sun influences the seasons.
5. Geography of the Four Seasons
This lesson will explain how the earth's axis and rotation affect seasons. In doing this, it will also highlight the concept of the summer and winter solstices, as well as how seasons vary around the globe.
6. The Horizon Coordinate System
This lesson will describe a celestial coordinate system known as the horizon system or altazimuth system, as well as important terms such as altitude, azimuth, zenith, and angular distance.
7. The Equatorial Coordinate System
This lesson will teach you about the fundamentals of the equatorial system, including declination, right ascension, the vernal equinox, angular diameter, and celestial equator.
8. What is Precession?
You've probably heard of the term precession. But what is this really? And what significance does it have to our night sky? This lesson will explain what it is and what it causes.
9. Lunar Eclipse: Definition & Types
This lesson will teach you about the lunar eclipse. You'll learn the difference between a penumbral, partial, and total lunar eclipse, and see what totality means with respect to a total lunar eclipse.
10. What Is a Solar Eclipse?
This lesson will describe what a solar eclipse is, why it's possible, when a partial or a total one will occur, and what cool effects occur during one.
11. Annular Eclipse: The Changing Size of the Moon
This lesson will explain what an annular eclipse is and why it occurs with respect to the sizes of the Moon, the Sun, and the position of the Moon during its orbit.
12. How Can We Predict An Eclipse?
This lesson will tell you when lunar and solar eclipses are possible, what nodes have to do with it, how long eclipse seasons last, and what the Saros cycle is.
13. Why the Sun Changes Color
The Sun does not change its true color. However, the way we observe the Sun on Earth makes it appear that the sun changes color. Why this is so is outlined in this lesson.
14. Magnetosphere: Definition & Facts
In this lesson, you'll learn about how the northern lights are formed thanks to the magnetosphere and solar wind. Of course, you'll learn a lot more, including what the Van Allen belts, magnetopause, and magnetotail are.
15. How Gravity, the Moon & the Sun Influence Tides
This lesson will define tides, the tidal force, neap tide, and spring tide. It will also talk about how the sun, moon, and Earth interact to produce tidal bulges.
16. Tidal Friction: Effects on Earth & the Moon
This lesson will go over the concept of tidal friction, why it occurs, and how all of that has affected Earth's spin and day length, as well as the moon's rotation and distance from Earth.
17. Celestial Equator: Definition & Use
Ancient people used to believe all the stars in the night sky were fixed in place on giant glass spheres. They even invented ways to map these spheres, and we still use some of these methods today. This lesson will discuss the celestial equator and how astronomers use it.
18. First Quarter Moon: Definition & Summary
Have you ever wondered why a moon that looks like a half circle is called a first quarter moon? It has to do with the moon's trip around the earth and the lunar cycle as explained in this lesson.
19. Full Moon: Definition, Facts & Features
The full moon has long been a part of myths and legends in cultures around the world. We see a full moon approximately once a month because of how the earth, sun, and moon align. Learn more about it in this lesson.
20. What is a Waxing Moon? - Definition, Facts & Phase
When you see the moon getting bigger in the night sky you are seeing more and more of its illuminated surface. This growing moon is called a waxing moon.
21. What is an Equinox? - Definition & Types
After completing this lesson, you will be able to explain what the equinox is, describe the types of equinox, and what is special about the path of the Sun through the sky on the equinox. A short quiz will follow.
22. What is the Summer Solstice? - Definition & Facts
Why does the amount of daylight change throughout the year? This lesson helps answer that question through an investigation into the summer solstice. An illustration, lesson summary, and brief quiz are included.
23. What is the Vernal Equinox? - Definition & Facts
What causes the first day of spring and how do we know when it occurs? This lesson helps answer those questions through an investigation of the vernal equinox. A lesson summary and brief quiz will follow.
24. Why Does the Moon have Phases?
When you see the moon differently each night, you are viewing the different phases of the moon. This lesson explains this changing shape and how it is related to the positions of the earth, moon, and sun.
25. What is a Waning Moon? - Definition, Facts & Phases
As the moon shrinks in the sky from one night to the next, you observe what is called a waning moon. The moon appears to get smaller, but it's really all in how we see it.
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Other chapters within the Intro to Astronomy: Help and Review course
- The History of Astronomy: Help and Review
- How Scientists Think and Work: Help and Review
- Matter, Energy, and Astronomy: Help and Review
- Light in Astronomy: Help and Review
- Newton's Laws in Astronomy: Help and Review
- Rotational Motion and Astronomy: Help and Review
- Orbits, Tides, and Gravity: Help and Review
- Relativity in Time and Space: Help and Review
- Conservation Laws in Astronomy: Help and Review
- Earth's Spheres and Astronomy: Help and Review
- The Moon's Form and Phases: Help and Review
- The Atmosphere on Earth and Other Planets: Help and Review
- Influences on Climate: Help and Review
- The Sun and Energy: Help and Review
- Star Types and Significance: Help and Review
- Measurement of Star Qualities: Help and Review
- The Birth and Life of Stars: Help and Review
- Star Death and Stellar Remnants: Help and Review
- Formation of the Solar System: Help and Review
- Galaxies, Stars and Solar Systems
- Components of the Solar System: Help and Review
- Small Celestial Bodies in the Solar System: Help and Review
- The Milky Way Galaxy: Help and Review
- Characteristics of Galaxies: Help and Review
- Life & the Universe: Help and Review
- Navigation and Timekeeping in Astronomy: Help and Review
- Telescopes: Help and Review