Celestial Mechanics:  Earth, Sun and Moon

Today’s lesson focused on celestial mechanics, or the interactions between the Earth, Sun and Moon. We talked about the Moon, Earth’s only natural satellite.   Students investigated in-depth the 8 phases of the Moon and learned to identify between the increasing (waxing) and fading (waning) sunlight on the moon. Also, students were able to differentiate between pictures of what the moon’s phases would look like from our view here on Earth versus what the moon’s phases would look like if we were in a satellite in space above the North Pole!

Mecánica Celeste: La Tierra, La Luna y El Sol

La lección del día de hoy, se centró en la mecánica celeste, es decir, en las interacciones entre la Tierra, la Luna y el Sol. Conversamos sobre la Luna, el único satélite natural de nuestra Tierra. Los estudiantes aprendieron sobre las 8 fases de la Luna y utilizaron un recurso mnemotécnico (“DOC”) para que les fuese más fácil identificar la luna creciente de la luna menguante. Los alumnos también lograron distinguir las distintas fases lunares observando imágenes obtenidas desde dos perspectivas distintas; las fases de luna vistas desde la Tierra, versus vistas desde un satélite en el espacio a la altura del Polo Norte.

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Author

Lauren Koppel

Lauren earned a Bachelor’s degree with a double major of Biology and Psychology from Clark University, and a Master of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. During her undergraduate years, she worked in a evolutionary neurobiology lab that studied the neural development of annelids (marine worms), with a focus on the sox family of genes. Lauren loves learning about how the world works (including everything from biology to chemistry to engineering), and is passionate about sharing that knowledge and enthusiasm with others. In the past, she has interned at the Museum of Science, where she educated learners of all ages through hands-on activities, games, and experiments. Other science education organizations with which Lauren has worked include The People’s Science, EurekaFest, and Eureka! of Girls Inc. of Worcester. Currently she lives in Boston, where devotes her free time to playing Quidditch, reading sci-fi novels, playing her ukulele, and enjoying all the culinary delights the city has to offer.

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