Astronomy Myth Buster
- Written by Aaron Clevenson
Do you know where the phases of the moon come from? Many people think they are from the moon passing through the EarthÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½s shadow. When the moon passes through the EarthÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½s shadow, this is a Lunar Eclipse. At most these happen twice a year. But the phases happen every 28 days. We always see the same side of the moon. The sun lights the side of the moon that is facing the sun. As the moon orbits the Earth we see different amounts of the lit side. The side that we see is completely lit when it is on the side of the Earth opposite the sun. This is the full moon. When the moon and the sun are on the same side of the Earth, then the lit side is facing the sun and our side is in shadow. This is the new moon. In between, we see crescents, quarter moons, and gibbous moons. For more information on the local astronomical observatory, visit the Web site at www.humble.k12.tx.us/observatory.htm. The Administaff Observatory is open to the public on the second Friday of every month.