All About the Moon - Celebrating World Space Week, October 4-10 Vol. 6 #3

Our Posterity = Our Children

Posterity comes from Middle English posterite, from Anglo-French pusterite, from Latin posterus ("coming after")


Last week, we spoke about World Space Week and the Apollo missions. Now let's take a look into the future of Moon exploration! NASA's next lunar exploration assignment is called Artemis. Just as the Apollo missions were responsible for putting the first men on the Moon, the Artemis program seeks to send a man back and send a woman for the first time!


Goals:

  • Travel to the Moon's South Pole.

  • Find and use water and other critical resources needed for long-term exploration.

  • Investigate the Moon’s mysteries and learn more about our home planet and the universe.

  • Learn how to live and operate on the surface of another celestial body where astronauts are just three days from home.

  • Prove the technologies we need before sending astronauts on missions to Mars, which can take up to three years round-trip.

Here is a video straight from NASA explaining a little more about the Artemis program!

Let's take a closer look at the most recognizable celestial object in our sky!


Where did it come from?

According to the NASA, there are a few theories on how the moon was formed. The leading one, sometimes known as The Big Splash, is a giant impact, about the size of Mars, knocked off pieces of a premature earth about 4.5 billion years ago creating the moon as we know it.



Other theories:

The Earth captured the moon.

The moon fissioned out of the Earth.

The Earth may have stole the moon from Venus (which has no moon).

What does it do?

The moon's gravitational pull on the Earth is the main reason for it's changing tides.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), here are the main types of ocean tides:


Diurnal Tide - has one high and one low tide every lunar day (Gulf of Mexico).

Semidurnal Tide - experiences two high tides and two low tides (East Coast of North America).

Mixed Semidurnal Tide - two high tides and two low tides of different size every lunar day (West Coast of North America).

Major Moon Misconceptions...

  • People south of the equator who face North to see the Moon will see the Moon upside down.

  • It takes about a month for the Moon to orbit Earth (27.3 days to complete a revolution, but 29.5 days to change from New Moon to New Moon)

  • The Moon has no side that is constantly dark. The front and back are alternately lit as it rotates. Therefore, a more accurate term is the far side of the moon not the dark side.

  • The Moon is not closer to the earth when it is on the horizon. For reasons not fully understood, low-hanging moons look unnaturally large.

We love the wide variety of information on the NASA website, but here are a few other interesting ones to look at!

Scholastic.com

Space.com

Did you know...

In the ancient Greek religion and myth, Artemis is the goddess of the hunt, the wilderness, wild animals, the Moon, and chastity. Artemis was the daughter of Zeus, king of the gods, and she has a twin brother, the god Apollo.

Let's Act Out the Phases of the Moon!

(Grades 1-6)



Your children will understand the phases of the moon by acting them out.

You will need materials like:

  • pencil

  • styrofoam ball

  • light source, like a flashlight or a lamp.

What your students will see in 30 minutes is what the earth sees in 30 days!

Let's design a landing system

(Grades 3-8)

Your children will design a landing system that will safely get two astronauts to the moon's surface. They can use thing like:

  • straws

  • rubber bands

  • marshmallows

  • paper or plastic cups

Let's make sure they are thinking like engineers and using the Design Process to create the most secure system to land the astronauts safely!

For more information on these activities and others that can help your children to understand the moon and all her glory, visit the website. Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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