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Phases and Eclipses

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Requires computer access
Requires downloading from the Web
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Main Topics & Concepts
Understanding Phases of the Moon 
Understanding Eclipses
This topic touches on California 8th grade Earth Science Standard 4e.
Science Probe Text
Not found.
Activities & Lessons
Activity Access Description
The Universe at Your Fingertips

Predicting Phases and Features


book Students first draw an image of how they think the Moon looks and then discuss why their pictures may vary. Then they analyze a series of lunar phase photos and sort them into a satisfactory sequence based on their experiences and ideas. Students can then start the "Modeling Moon Phases" or "Observing Phases and Features activities, depending on local observing conditions.
Earth, Moon, and Stars**
Activity 4, Modeling Moon Phases and Eclipses


book Students use spheres as the moon, and their head as the Earth, to model lunar events around a light bulb "Sun." They model phases, lunar eclipses and solar eclipses.
The Universe at Your Fingertips

Modeling Moon Phases


book Use Styrofoam balls to simulate the Moon, which is lit by a single light source. Students observe how different portions of their ball are illuminated as they hold it in various positions. They will create a complete series of phases matching the Moon's appearance.
The Universe at Your Fingertips
A-2 Observing Phases and Features


book Students make a daily record of Moon observations over a month. Using their record, they refine their predications about the Moon's phases, and determine the actual sequence of lunar phases

*Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Ordering info $$

**How to order a GEMS guide $$

Resources Access Description
Solar Eclipse 2001


web  This site hosts archived Webcast material on the solar eclipse that crossed southern Africa on June 21, 2001. Besides the eclipse itself, lots of information on basic eclipse science, and the adventures of the Webcast team that traveled to Zambia.

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Eclipse Homepage

web Information of the timing and location of eclipses, up to 2005, with links to many related resources on historical eclipses, publications, photography, etc.