2Carefully, push the pencil into the middle of the foam ball (the moon).
3Turn on the lamp (the sun) and turn off the room lights.
4Hold the pencil with the ball out at arm’s length.
5With your arm held out straight, turn your whole body slowly to the left.
6Take a photo of what you see each 1/8th of a turn (or draw it in your notebook).
How It Works
As you move the moon, you’ll begin to see different phases. Remember that the moon (represented by the foam ball) does not make its own light, it only reflects light from the lamp (represented by the sun). The phases are caused by how much reflected light we can see from earth (that's you!). Since the moon orbits around the Earth every 27 days, these phases repeat over and over. It's a cycle!
Check out the Full Lesson on Moon & Its Phases!
In this lesson, we learn that:
The moon’s phases are caused by its orbit around the earth.
The moon does not make its own light, it only reflects it.
The phases of the moon repeat in a cycle about every 28 days.
The moon is smaller than the sun but appears the same size because it’s closer.