McGraw-Hill Science 2005

Return to Unit List
Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Science Grade 6
Grade 6
Summary Lesson Summary
The Moon in Motion

The Moon revolves around the Earth as the Earth revolves around the Sun. The Moon appears to change over time. The shape of the lit part of the Moon is its phase. We see phases of the Moon because half of the Moon is always lit by the Sun. However, on Earth we cannot always see the entire half of the Moon. The phases we see are parts of the half of the Moon that are lit. During a new moon you cannot see any of the lit half of the Moon. The phases also include the waxing phases, when it appears to get larger, and the waning phases, when it appears to get smaller.

Eclipses happen when the Earth and Moon pass through each otherís shadows. Lunar eclipses happen when the Moon passes through the Earthís shadow and does not receive sunlight for a short period of time. Solar eclipses happen when the Earth is in the Moonís shadow and sunlight is blocked from the Earth for a short period of time. Tides on Earth are another way the Moon can affect the Earth. The rise and fall of the water level along a shore is caused by the pull of the Moonís gravity on Earth.

The Moonís surface looks very different from Earthís. Craters were formed on the surface by objects from space hitting the Moonís surface. Maria, or large dark, flat areas were areas formed by huge lava flows. The Moon also has highlands, mountains, and valleys.