Lab
The Size of the Moon
Printer Friendly Version
After determining the
circumference of the Earth
, the Greeks utilized their observations of lunar eclipses to determine the size of the Moon. Lunar eclipses occur when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are exactly aligned and the Earth blocks the rays of the Sun from striking the Moon. To help visualize this event, watch this
video
showing the lunar eclipse of November 8th, 2003, taken in Grimbergen, Belgium. During totality, the red illumination of the Moon is due to the refraction of long wavelengths of red light by the Earth's atmosphere. If the Earth were to have no atmosphere, then the Moon would have been totally black.
Originally the Greeks compared the time it took the Moon to enter into the shadow of the Earth to the time it took it to leave the shadow. Later it was done by examining a sketch of the Moon as the shadow of the Earth partially covered It. By examining the curvature of the shadow we can find the ratio of the size of the Moon compared to the Earth. The ratio can be found by locating the center of the Earth’s shadow.
Refer to the following information for the next four questions.
For this activity you will need a compass, protractor, and centimeter ruler.
Using the picture given above, make two points on the edge of the shadow of the Earth.
Construct a tangent line to each point on the shadow’s curvature - this is a line which will just barely touch a curve at one point.
Construct a normal line at each point - this is a line that is perpendicular to the tangent line.
The two normal lines will cross; this represents the center of the Earth’s shadow.
Clearly illustrate your tangent and normal lines on your sketch.
Measure the radius of the Earth's shadow in centimeters.
Measure the radius of the Moon in centimeters.
Determine the size of the Moon as a percentage of the size of the Earth.
If the average radius of the Earth is 6378 km and the average radius of the Moon is 1737 km (
link
), what is your percent error for the percentage you calculated in the previous question?
Related Documents
Lab:
Labs -
2-Meter Stick Readings
Labs -
Acceleration Down an Inclined Plane
Labs -
Addition of Forces
Labs -
Circumference and Diameter
Labs -
Cookie Sale Problem
Labs -
Density of a Paper Clip
Labs -
Determining the Distance to the Moon
Labs -
Determining the Distance to the Sun
Labs -
Eratosthenes' Measure of the Earth's Circumference
Labs -
Force Table - Force Vectors in Equilibrium
Labs -
Home to School
Labs -
Indirect Measurements: Height by Measuring The Length of a Shadow
Labs -
Indirect Measures: Inscribed Circles
Labs -
Inertial Mass
Labs -
Introductory Simple Pendulums
Labs -
Lab: Rectangle Measurements
Labs -
Lab: Triangle Measurements
Labs -
Marble Tube Launcher
Labs -
Quantized Mass
Labs -
The Size of the Sun
Labs -
Video Lab: Falling Coffee Filters
Resource Lesson:
RL -
Basic Trigonometry
RL -
Basic Trigonometry Table
RL -
Curve Fitting Patterns
RL -
Dimensional Analysis
RL -
Linear Regression and Data Analysis Methods
RL -
Metric Prefixes, Scientific Notation, and Conversions
RL -
Metric System Definitions
RL -
Metric Units of Measurement
RL -
Potential Energy Functions
RL -
Properties of Lines
RL -
Properties of Vectors
RL -
Significant Figures and Scientific Notation
RL -
Vector Resultants: Average Velocity
RL -
Vectors and Scalars
Review:
REV -
Honors Review: Waves and Introductory Skills
REV -
Physics I Review: Waves and Introductory Skills
REV -
Test #1: APC Review Sheet
Worksheet:
APP -
Puppy Love
APP -
The Dognapping
APP -
The Pool Game
APP -
War Games
CP -
Inverse Square Relationships
CP -
Sailboats: A Vector Application
CP -
Satellites: Circular and Elliptical
CP -
Tensions and Equilibrium
CP -
Vectors and Components
CP -
Vectors and Resultants
CP -
Vectors and the Parallelogram Rule
WS -
Calculating Vector Resultants
WS -
Circumference vs Diameter Lab Review
WS -
Data Analysis #1
WS -
Data Analysis #2
WS -
Data Analysis #3
WS -
Data Analysis #4
WS -
Data Analysis #5
WS -
Data Analysis #6
WS -
Data Analysis #7
WS -
Data Analysis #8
WS -
Density of a Paper Clip Lab Review
WS -
Dimensional Analysis
WS -
Frames of Reference
WS -
Graphical Relationships and Curve Fitting
WS -
Indirect Measures
WS -
Lab Discussion: Inertial and Gravitational Mass
WS -
Mastery Review: Introductory Labs
WS -
Metric Conversions #1
WS -
Metric Conversions #2
WS -
Metric Conversions #3
WS -
Metric Conversions #4
WS -
Properties of Lines #1
WS -
Properties of Lines #2
WS -
Scientific Notation
WS -
Significant Figures and Scientific Notation
TB -
Working with Vectors
TB -
Working with Vectors
REV -
Math Pretest for Physics I
Copyright © 2007-2024
William A. Hilburn
All rights reserved.