Wednesday, October 8, 2008

15 minutes : Know It : The Moon

The Moon
The moon is the brightest object in the night sky -- a natural night-light. People once believed that water on it's surface made it shine. Now we know that the moon's glow is reflected sunlight. A full moon may make you think of howling wolves. But wolves don't really howl at the moon. They just hunt more actively on night that are clearly lit.

Moon Shapes
Why does the moon appear to change it's shape every few days? it's circling Earth, and as it moves, it reflects sunlight, creating the shapes (or phases) that we see. At first the moon is not visible (a new moon). Then it "grows" (or waxes). After the full moon, it "shrinks" (wanes). Tonight, see what phase the moon is in.

Something to laugh about...
Q: What should you say to a blue moon?
A: put on a happy phase.

Q: How come the moon always looks so shiny?
A: because every few weeks there's a new one.

Q: Why was there a waiting list for astronauts to land on the moon?
A: it was full.

Also a little history....
Long ago Native Americans kept track of the seasons by naming each month's full moon based on what was common to see or happen that month. For example, April's full moon was called the Pink Moon because that was the month when on of spring's first flowers, the moss pink, bloomed. (If there are two full moons in any month, we call the second one a blue moon.) Hear are the nicknames for each month's full moon:
January - Wolf
February - Snow
March - Worm
April - Pink
May - Flower
June - Strawberry
July - Buck
August -Sturgeon
September - Harvest
October - Hunters
November - Beaver
December - Cold

From Martha Stewart Kids: Fall 2004

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