Explore the moon with binoculars, and learn more its features in this science projects for kids: the moon. You'll be amazed what you can see by simply looking at the moon on a clear night!
What You'll Need:
- Clear night
- Paper and pencil
Step 1: Choose a clear night with a full or nearly full moon. (The moon will rise shortly after sunset.)
Step 2: Sit comfortably outdoors in a place where you can see the moon.
Step 3: Use binoculars to look closely. What features to do you see?
How many large craters do you see? Can you count the small craters? You should be able to spot Tycho crater near the southern pole and Copernicus crater near the equator and slightly west of center.
Both of these craters have long, radiating, extending lines that you should be able to see through your binoculars. These rays were caused by material flung out when the crater was created by a meteor impact.
Look for the flat plains called "seas" (which don't hold water). These may have been created years and years ago when huge meteorites struck the moon and blew away huge basins that soon filled with liquid lava. The three most visible seas (or maria, as they are often called) are the Sea of Showers near the northern pole, the Sea of Serenity near the equator and to the east, and the Sea of Tranquility, just south of the Sea of Serenity.
Step 4: Draw your own moon map. Start with a large circle, then fill in all the craters and seas that you observe.
Step 5: Label the larger features. You can use other reference books to find names for the smaller features. If you prefer, pretend that you are the first person to explore the moon and name the features yourself!
Keeping reading on the next page to learn how you can two friends can act out the phases of the moon.