About the Moon
Where did the Moon come from?
We don't know for certain how the Moon formed, but the leading theory, nicknamed the Big Splash, states that a Mars sized body called Theia impacted the Earth creating debris. The debris circled the Earth until gravity pulled it together to form our Moon.
Why do we have Seasons?
When Theia crashed into the Earth's surface it is said to have tilted the Earth's axis at a 23.5 degree angle to the Sun. This tilt is the reason we have seasons. As the Earth spins on its axis the North & South turn closer or further away from the Sun. The parts of the planet furthest from the Sun are coldest. This is Winter. The parts of the planet closest to the Sun are warmer. This is Summer. The seasons are more extreme the further North or South you live. The Equator is the middle of the planet & is always the about same distance from the sun, so does not really experience seasons
Life on Earth?
The Moon is important to life on Earth. The moon holds the Earth steady in the sky. Without the moon our planet would wobble about in the sky. Life could not have formed on a wobbly, unstable planet. The Earth's environment would've been too changeable for life to get started. The reason the Moon holds the Earth steady in the skyis because it is big compared to the size of the Earth & therefore, with the help of gravity, has some control over the speed and angle with which the Earth spins.
Relative size of the Earth & Moon
In terms of diameter the Moon is about a third the size of the Earth. There are no other planets in the solar system with a moon as big as this.
What causes the Sea Tides?
The moon causes the tides on the Earth. As the Moon orbits the Earth it pulls the earth's oceans with it, causing low and high tides on different continents.
Will the Moon always be there?
Over time the Moon will gradually drift further away from the Earth. It currently moves about 4cm further away from the Earth every year.
What is a Solar Eclipse?
Have you ever been lucky enough to see a Solar Eclipse? A solar eclipse is when the moon comes into orbit directly infront of the sun blocking the light. For this the moon must appear the same size as the Sun. The Sun is 400 times the diameter of the moon & is 400 times further away so they appear exactly the same size.
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Move onto our next section if you would like to know about gravity, orbits & why we have seasons
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