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Upper Elementary Science - II
3.13 Earth's Satellite: The Moon

The Earth orbits the Sun and the Moon orbits the Earth. The Moon is the satellite of the Earth. One may think of a satellite as a device that gets blasted into space by a rocket and then orbits Earth, sending down radio signals and scientific measurements. That is one kind of satellite. In astronomy, the word satellite can mean any heavenly body that orbits another. The word satellite comes from the Latin for attendant, meaning someone who waits on an important person.

The moon looks bright, but it does not make its own light, as the Sun does. The Moon reflects the light cast on it by the Sun. There are nights when no Moon appears in the sky at all, even if the sky is clear. Thatís the time called as the New Moon. The Moon is out there, but it cannot be seen. In fact, when it is New Moon time, the Moon is overhead during the day, but the bright sunlight makes it impossible to see it from Earth.

Over the course of a month, the Moon may look as if it is changing shape and size, but what changes is the way the Moon reflects sunlight to our eyes on earth. It takes twenty-nine days for the Moon to go through all its phases, from New Moon to Full Moon and back to New Moon again. When more of the Moon is becoming visible each night, it is said that the Moon is waxing. When less of the Moon is becoming visible each night, it is said the Moon is waning.

The Moon is mostly a big ball of rock. There is no atmosphere on the Moon -- no air, no water, no clouds, and no rain. Nothing grows on the Moon. All that can be seen on the lunar landscape are rocks and moon dust.

Human beings have visited the Moon and walked on its surface. In July 1969, three American astronauts-Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong blasted off from Cape Kennedy on the Apollo 11 space mission to the Moon. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the Moon. As he stepped from his spacecraft onto the Moonís surface, he said, ďThatís one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.Ē

Directions: Answer the following questions.
Q 1: The moon orbits the Earth in about ______ days.

Q 2: What year did the first man walk on the moon?

Q 3: What is the center of the solar system?

Q 4: How long does it take the earth to revolve around the sun?
365 days
26 days
4 years

Q 5: The shape of the moon actually changes during the month.

Q 6: Does the moon have air?

Q 7: The Moon and the Earth do all of the following movements except ___________.

Q 8: There is no ______________ on the moon.

Question 9: This question is available to subscribers only!

Question 10: This question is available to subscribers only!

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