On a clear night, the moon can provide a lot of light! Where does it all come from??
Believe it or not, the secret behind all the light of Mr. Moon is the sun! The moon itself does not actually give off any light. The light we see coming from the moon is light being shined onto the moon by the sun, which bounces off the moon and then shines down on Earth! (It’s almost like the moon is a mirror for sunlight!)
Because the moon moves in circles around the Earth, we’re sometimes able to see more of its lit-up side, and we’re sometimes able to see less, depending on where the moon is in its orbit and how much of that lit-up side is facing us! This is why you sometimes just see a little sliver of the moon, and sometimes you see the whole big thing!
Have you ever made a diorama?
A diorama is a 3D model of something bigger, and they’re often made to represent the solar system!
You can make a diorama of the solar system using an old box and some balls of different sizes, like a marble, a golf ball, and a tennis ball!
Create a diorama of the sun, Earth, and moon to show their orbits. Use a flashlight to shine light from your diorama’s sun onto its moon. Do you see the way the moon is lit up on only one side? How does the view of the moon’s reflected light change as the moon orbits around the Earth?