Chapter Name: Some Natural Phenomena
Activity Name: Why does the shape of the moon change? in Stars and the Solar System
In this experiment, participants wrap a ball with white cloth to simulate the moon and observe how the shape of the illuminated part changes when rotated in bright sunshine.
- Ball, white handkerchief or piece of white cloth.
Step by Step Procedure:
- Wrap the ball tightly with the white handkerchief or cloth to represent the moon.
- Go outside in bright sunshine around 4 p.m.
- Hold the ball in front of your eyes and slowly turn around yourself.
- Observe how the shape of the illuminated part of the “moon” changes during rotation.
- Does sunlight fall on half the ball at all times while you turn around?
- Is the shape of the illuminated part on the ball the same in all positions during your rotation?
- Why does this happen? Refer to Figure 7 for better understanding.
- Perform the experiment in bright sunshine for better visibility of changes.
- Be careful while rotating to avoid any accidents.
Lesson Learnt from Experiment:
The experiment helps understand why the shape of the moon changes, and it introduces the concept of lunar phases, demonstrating how different portions of the moon are illuminated as observed from Earth.