Find out what reasons a lunar eclipse. Then, use a file plate to make a model that mirrors why they don’t occur as often as you could expect.

You are watching: Solar eclipse project


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Materials

Paper plate, take-out container, or an additional flat surchallenge through increased edges (thick product recommended)

Pencil, pen, or noting pen

Scissors

Small sphere, approximately 3-5 centimeters (1-2 inches) in diameter, or one more object to recurrent the Sun

(Optional) jar, lid, or an additional round object that have the right to be provided to trace out a circle


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1. Find Out about lunar eclipses

Solar and lunar eclipses have the right to take place once the Sun, Moon, and also Earth line up in particular ways. Lunar eclipses have the right to just occur throughout a full moon – in other words once the Moon and also Sun are on opposite sides of Earth. When sunlight reaches Earth, a shadow is cast on the side of Earth oppowebsite from the Sun. If the Moon passes via this shadow, it outcomes in a lunar eclipse.

But just because a lunar eclipse have the right to take place throughout a full moon does not expect it will certainly. This is bereason the Moon"s orbit is slightly tilted. So commonly, the Moon passes above or listed below Earth"s shadow quite than via it.

The time period once the Moon, Earth, and Sun are lined up and also on the exact same aircraft – allowing for the Moon to pass with Earth’s shadow – is referred to as an eclipse seaboy. When a full moon occurs during an eclipse seakid, the Moon travels with Earth’s shadow, producing a lunar eclipse.

Unlike solar eclipses, which require distinct glasses to see and can be seen just for a few brief minutes in a very limited area, a full lunar eclipse deserve to be viewed for as much as an hour by anyone on the nighttime side of Earth – as long as skies are clear.


2. Build an eclipse model

Draw or map a circle 3-5 inches (8-13 centimeters) in diameter in the middle of the plate.
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Tip 1. Image credit: derekwadsworth.com/derekwadsworth.com-Caltech | + Expand also image


In the facility of that circle, draw a small circle and label it "Planet."
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Step 2. Image credit: derekwadsworth.com/derekwadsworth.com-Caltech | + Expand image


At the edge of the paper plate, make a small arrow pointing external that you will certainly usage as a recommendation in the following action and also later in the project.
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Tip 3. Image credit: derekwadsworth.com/derekwadsworth.com-Caltech | + Expand image


On the inside edge of the larger circle, note four evenly spaced points at 0, 90, 180, and 270 levels (3, 12, 9, and also 6 o’clock). You need to align the 90 level (12 o’clock) allude through the recommendation mark you made in the previous action.Label each point as follows:Point 1 (at 90 levels, or 12 o’clock)Point 2 (at 180 degrees, or 9 o’clock)Point 3 (at 270 levels, or 6 o’clock)Point 4 (at 0 levels, or 3 o’clock)
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Steps 4 and also 5. Image credit: derekwadsworth.com/derekwadsworth.com-Caltech | + Expand image


Carefully cut alengthy the larger circle you attracted, founding at the 90 or 270 level marks (12 or 6 o’clock). You may desire to poke a starter hole to make an easy spot to begin cutting. Sheight cutting at the 180 and also 0 degree marks (9 and also 3 o’clock), leaving a couple of millimeters of uncut room prior to proceeding to cut roughly the circle. You must be left through a circle still connected to the plate at 180 and 0 levels (9 and also 3 o"clock).
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Tip 6. Image credit: derekwadsworth.com/derekwadsworth.com-Caltech | + Expand image


With both cuts made, gently twist the cut circle in the center of the plate so the 90 degree (12 o’clock) point rises up slightly and the 270 level (6 o’clock) suggest dips dvery own slightly. Be cautious not to tear the paper between the two cuts.

3. Check for an eclipse

The edge of the tilted circle represents the tilted orlittle of the Moon around Planet. The external component of the plate represents the aircraft in which Earth’s shadow falls.

Place your plate on a flat surface and also suggest the reference arrowhead away from you. Then, location a things representing the Sun on the oppowebsite side of the plate from the arrow.

Use your model to answer these questions:

Wbelow would the complete moon be located? (Hint: remember a full moon is on the opposite side of Planet from the Sun.)Is that allude in the exact same airplane as Earth’s shadow? Would there be a lunar eclipse during this complete moon?

4. Travel around the Sun

Pick up the plate and also relocate it counter-clockwise to the 180 degree (9 o’clock) place roughly the Sun. As Planet orbits the Sun, the orientation of the Moon’s tilt stays the same, so make certain to keep your reference arrow pointed in the very same direction it was pointed as soon as you began.

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Use your design to answer these questions:

Wbelow would the full moon be located now?Is that suggest in the exact same plane as Earth’s shadow?Would tbelow be a lunar eclipse in the time of this complete moon?

5. Go all the way around!

Repeat these actions by relocating the plate to the 270 degree (6 o’clock) and also 0 level (3 o’clock) positions approximately the Sun. Answer the same questions as in Tip 4 for each place.


6. Make a prediction from your model

Moving the version all the means about the Sun represents one year. The time of year once an eclipse occurs is called an eclipse season. Based on what you"ve watched via your version, how frequently would certainly you suppose that an eclipse seaboy occurs?