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Phases of the
The phases of the Moon depend on its
position in relation to the Sun and the
Earth. As the moon orbits the Earth we see
different amounts of the Moon's surfaces
(light and dark parts)
The moon is illuminated because it
reflects the light from the sun
We see a full moon when the light side
faces the earth
We see a new moon where the dark half
faces us
The phase of the Moon changes as it orbits the Earth…read more

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Sidereal means
`related to stars'
A sidereal day is the time taken for the Earth to spin on its own axis once. - It takes about
23 hours and 56 minutes.
Solar and Sidereal days are different because the Earth orbits the Sun as well as spinning
on it's axis.
It approximately takes 4 minutes less than solar days because the orbit of the Earth around the sun is an oval
shape and therefore takes more than 360 degrees for the Earth to rotate enough for the Sun to appear in the
same position.…read more

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How do planets appear to
All the planets in the Solar System orbit the Sun in the same direction but at different
The closer the planet is to the Sun, the quicker the planet will move.
They appear to move gradually from west to east
Every so often, though planets seems to change direction and go the other way, making a
fixed loop in it's track before continuing on as normal. ­ This is called the retrograde
This happens because both the planet and Earth are moving around the Sun ­ so we are
seeing the motion of the planet relative to Earth
Mars appears t change direction once every two or so years. (Slower ­moving planets that
are further out , `change direction less frequently)
What it
looks like
in the Sky…read more

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How do the stars change position
during the night
The stars appear to change position the year
the ? Earth slowly spins on its axis
night as the
The stars still remain in the place but as the Earth spins it's as if the stars are moving as
The stars we see in the sky changes during the year because as the Earth moves around
the Sun, the direction we face changes slight each day
This means we can see a slightly different path of sky each night, so we see different
stars. When we are on one side of the Sun, we see one side of the sky at night; six months
later, when we are on the other side of the Sun we see the other half of the sky at night
A patch of stars we might see Another set of patch of stars
one night we might see on a different
night…read more

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What is an Eclipse ? Why are
they rare?
An eclipse is when light is blocked from or to another celestial body
· There are two types of eclipse; solar where light from Sun is blocked and
lunar where light from Moon is blocked
· These eclipse are very rare the Moon orbits the Earth once in a month, so
you expect to see a lunar eclipse every month, followed by a solar eclipse
two weeks later.
· However, this assumption does not happen; the eclipses are much rarer
than this because the Moon's orbit is tilted relative to the plane of the
Earth's orbit by about 5 degrees. So most of the time the Sun, Moon and
Earth don't line up to cause eclipses.
Lunar Eclipse Solar Eclipse…read more

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