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Unit 5

The Earth-Moon-Sun System

TermDefinition
Rotation the spinning of a body, such as a planet, on its axis
Day the time it takes a planet to complete one full rotation on its axis
Axis an imaginary straight line that runs from the North Pole to the South Pole
Revolution the motion of a body that travels around another body in space
Year the time it takes for Earth to complete a full revolution around the sun (365¼ days)
Season a pattern of temperature and other weather trends typical for an area during a particular time of year
Equinox occurs when the Earth’s position in relation to the sun causes the sun’s light to shine equally on the Northern and Southern hemispheres
Solstice occurs when the Earth’s position in relation to the sun causes the sun’s light to shine at its maximum in one hemisphere and at its minimum in the other
Northern Hemisphere the half of Earth between the equator and the North Pole
Southern Hemisphere the half of Earth between the equator and the South Pole
Satellite a small body that is held in orbit around a larger body by that body’s gravity
Gravity the force of attraction that an object with mass exerts on another object with mass
Lunar phases the changing appearance of the moon due to changes in the portion of the moon that reflects sunlight back to Earth
Waxing occurs when the portion of the moon that is visible is increasing
Waning occurs when the portion of the moon that is visible is decreasing
New moon the part of the lunar cycle when the near side of the moon receives no sunlight and the moon is not visible from Earth
Waxing crescent the part of the lunar cycle when the portion of the moon that is visible is a crescent shape and increasing
First quarter the part of the lunar cycle when the portion of the moon that is visible has increased from a thin crescent to one half of the moon being visible
Waxing gibbous the part of the lunar cycle when the portion of the moon that is visible is more than half and continuing to increase
Full moon the point in the lunar cycle when the whole near side of the moon is in sunlight and visible from Earth
Waning gibbous the part of the lunar cycle when the portion of the moon that is visible is more than half but is decreasing
Third quarter the part of the lunar cycle when the portion of the moon that is visible has decreased from a full moon to one half of the moon being visible
Waning crescent the part of the lunar cycle when the portion of the moon that is visible is a crescent shape but is decreasing
Eclipse an event during which one object in space casts a shadow onto another
Lunar eclipse event when the Earth’s position blocks the moon from receiving any sunlight; the moon is in the Earth’s shadow
Solar eclipse event when the moon’s position blocks the Earth from receiving sunlight; the Earth is in the moon’s shadow
Umbra the complete shadow that an object casts; the darkest part of the shadow
Penumbra a spreading cone of lighter shadow around the darkest part of the shadow
Tide daily changes in the level of ocean water caused by differences in gravitational forces of the sun and moon across Earth
Tidal force gravitational forces exerted on the Earth by the sun and the moon which contribute to the tides
High tide water level that is higher than the average sea level
Low tide water level that is lower than the average sea level
Tidal range the difference between the levels of ocean water at high tide and low tide
Spring tide tides that have the largest daily tidal range
Neap tide tides that have the smallest daily tidal range
Created by: SchvederC