19/01/17

The moon — it can appear full, shining like a beacon in the night or just a sliver of a nightlight. Still, it’s always there.

But what if we didn’t have a moon?

Here are the top five things we would miss without it.

 

 

 

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Watch

Glossary

  • beacon – a light or other visible object serving as a signal, warning, or guide at sea, on an airfield, etc.
  • sliver – a small, thin, narrow piece of something cut or split off a larger piece
  • rotation – the action of rotating (spinning around) about an axis or centre
  • blink – a short moment
  • tides – the alternate rising and falling of the sea, usually twice in each lunar day at a particular place, due to the attraction of the moon and sun
  • lunar – of, determined by, or resembling the moon
  • solar – relating to or determined by the sun
  • tilt – an inclination usually measured in degrees
  • axis – an imaginary line about which a body rotates
  • hardly – scarcely (used to qualify a statement by saying that it is true to an insignificant degree); only with great difficulty
  • season – each of the four divisions of the year (spring, summer, autumn, and winter) marked by particular weather patterns and daylight hours, resulting from the earth’s changing position with regard to the sun

 

Watch and listen

Answer the questions below.

  • How far away is the Moon in kilometers? (0:05)
  • What is the second brightest object in the night sky? (0:40)
  • How long would a day on Earth last without the Moon? (1:00)
  • What would happen to ocean tides without the Moon? (1:20)
  • What would happen if the Earth didn’t tilt around its axis? (2:00)

Practice Makes Perfect

Fill in the blanks with the correct article (a, an, the, or no article). Go to Inside Science to find out more.

1. a.___ nights would be much, much darker. b.___ next brightest object in the night sky is c.___ Venus. But it still wouldn’t be enough to light up d.___ sky. e.___ full moon is nearly two thousand times brighter than Venus is at its brightest.

2. Without a.___ moon, b.___ day on earth would only last six to twelve hours. There could be more than c.___ thousand days in one year! That’s because the Earth’s rotation slows down over d.___ time thanks to the gravitational force — or pull of the moon — and without it, days would go by in e.___ blink.

3. A moonless earth would also change a.___ size of b.___ ocean tides — making them about one-third as high as they are now.

4. Forget about seeing any lunar eclipses — or any solar eclipses — without the moon, there would be a. ___ nothing to block b.___ sun.

5. Without a.___ moon b.___ tilt of our earth’s axis would vary over time. This could create some very wild weather. Right now, thanks to our moon, our axis stays tilted at twenty-three point five degrees. But without the moon the earth might tilt too far over or hardly tilt at all leading to no seasons or even extreme seasons.

Answers:

1. a. –   b. the   c. –   d. the   e. a   2. a. the   b. a   c. a   d. –   e. a   3. a. the   b. –   4. a. –   b. the   5. a. a/the   b. the

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