Moon’s Apparent Motion

Moon Movement

Kids as well as adults observe the daily movement of celestial bodies across the sky. We can depend on the Sun to daily rise in the east, move across the southern sky, and then set in the west. The Moon follows the same path that the Sun traces out.

Actually, neither the Sun nor the Moon move westward across the southern sky each day. Instead, this apparent daily movement of these celestial bodies is due to the eastward rotation of the Earth.

Investigation

Facts:

  • When you are not moving, stationary things around you remain at the same distance from you.
  • When you are moving, stationary objects in front of you appear to move toward you, while stationary things beside and/or behind you seem to move in the opposite direction of your motion.


1.
While sitting in a stationary car, ask your kids to look at stationary objects, such as telephone poles  outside the car. Note: You are an observers. Your position of observation is a stationary car.

Are the telephone poles stationary (not moving)? Explain your answer.

2. When the car is moving, again ask your kids to look at telephone poles. Note: You are an observers. Your position of observation is a moving car.

Are the telephone poles stationary (not moving)? Explain your answer.

3. The Earth is rotating toward the east. Note: You are an observe. Your position of observation is on the surface of the rotating Earth.

Neither the Moon nor the Sun is daily moving toward the west. Explain why these two celestial bodies appear to rise above the eastern horizon, move across the southern sky, and then set below the western horizon.

35737: Astronomy for Every Kid: 101 Easy Experiment That Really Work Astronomy for Every Kid: 101 Easy Experiment That Really Work