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Earth, Moon, and Sun -- An Orbit Refresher


Earth, Moon, and Sun -- An Orbit Refresher

A refresher on the orbital positions and movements of the Earth, Moon and Sun.

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Physical Science 9.2a - The Earth Moon Sun System

The Earth Moon Sun System. The orbit of the moon around the earth, the orbit of the earth around the sun, and a discussion of the relative sizes and distances. From the Physical Science course by Derek Owens.

Sun, earth, moon animation

Simple animation of the earth and moon moving about the sun. This animation is a follow-up to this one: dedicated to the many hundreds of people over the years emailed to complain that the earth was not spinning fast enough. This one even includes the moon's orbit, tilted at about 6 degrees relative to the earth's orbit about the sun.

Does The Moon Really Orbit The Earth?

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According to Newton's law of gravitation, the sun should pull way harder on the moon than the Earth does. So does the moon actually orbit the Earth? Why?

Special thanks to Ariel for submitting this awesome question to our Facebook page!

Hill Spheres and lunar orbit:

True shape of moon's orbit:

Newton's law of gravitation vs. Hill Sphere:

Have an idea for an episode or an amazing science question you want answered? Leave a comment or check us out at the links below!
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It's Okay To Be Smart is written and hosted by Joe Hanson, Ph.DFollow me on Twitter: @jtotheizzoe
Email me: itsokaytobesmart AT gmail DOT com
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Produced by PBS Digital Studios:

Joe Hanson - Creator/Host/Writer
Joe Nicolosi - Director
Amanda Fox - Producer, Spotzen IncKate Eads - Associate Producer
Stephen Bohls - Editing/Motion Graphics/Animation
Katie Graham - Director of Photography
John Knudsen - Gaffer

Theme music:
Ouroboros by Kevin MacLeod

Other music via APM

Stock images from Shutterstock, stock footage from Videoblocks

French subtitles by Alessandro Dal Cero


Last week's video:
What's The Loudest Possible Sound?

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Phases of moon explained using an orrery

As the moon rotates around the earth it travels through phases.
The alignment of the sun, earth, and moon create the phases.
I use an orrery to explain the moon's alignment during,
new moon, waxing crescent, ist quarter, waxing gibbous, full moon, waning gibbous, last quarter, waning crescent, and back to new moon.

Sun, Earth, Moon animation

Simple animation of the sun, earth and moon moving around each other.

***UPDATED: for those bothered by the earth's rotation being too slow relative to the time it takes the earth to go around the sun.

Moon Phases Demonstration

Emily Morgan, author of Next Time You See the Moon, takes you through the phases of the Moon in a demonstration that will be easy to replicate in your own classroom.

HOW IT WORKS: Orbital Mechanics

Orbital mechanics theory is explained in simplified terms focusing on Newtonian-Kepler celestial and universal gravitation principles.

The Sun, Earth, and Moon - Solar System for Kids

In this video you will be taken on a spectacular adventure to the Earth, Sun and Moon. You will learn interesting facts about these 3 aspects of the solar system for kids. Specifically your child will learn the length of Earths orbit, length of the Suns diameter and why we always see the same side of the moon. If your child is interested in the Solar System, this is a great video that will teach them about the Sun, Earth and Moon.

This video is part of a collection of videos that is focused on teach children about the Solar System. Have your little astronaut join Smile and Learn on this spectacular adventure.

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The Earth and Moon Position to the Sun

First Term - Science - Grade 4 - Unit 3 - Lesson 2

The Earth,Moon and Sun System

A video about the relative positions of the Earth Moon and Sun

The Earth, Moon, and Sun System with Orrery

This film is about the earth, the moon, and the sun and how they work together. With the us of an orrery, it explains the moon's phases, earth's orbit, night and day, and why there are seasons. Also examines distance, rotation, and temperature. For students

Synchronous Rotation of the Moon

Why does the same side of the Moon always face the Earth? The Moon has synchronous rotation: it's rotation period is the same as its period of revolution.

Earth image credit: NASA

Moon Orbit Animation

Moon Orbit Animation:
The moon is tidally locked to the earth.
One side of the moon always faces the earth.

Earth's motion around the Sun, not as simple as I thought

CassioPeia Project

More at

3D printed Sun Earth Moon Orrery

I have always been fascinated by astronomy ever since I was a kid. The motions of celestial bodies orbiting around each other were often shown with orreries in ancient times.

This is my first attempt at designing a basic orrery with the sun, earth and moon. Too keep things simple the earth completes a full orbit around the sun for every 360 turns of the crank and the moon takes 30 rotations of the crank to orbit around the earth. I will be refining my design in a future version which will hopefully show the orbits of more planets with greater accuracy.

Gravity and Orbits Simulation (Phet)- Sun Moon and Earth- Phet Simulations-Motion of Moon around Sun

This video shows how the moon revolves around the sun. The shows the relative motion of moon with respect to earth and the sun. This video uses the Phet simulations to explain how Earth and Moon revolve around the sun.
This Animation video of gravity and orbits shows the velocity of earth and Moon using velocity vectors. Gravitational force between Earth and Sun is denoted by the original force arrows (vectors).

Sun, Moon and Earth Animation By CD (1)

Sun, Earth, Moon

Solar system lesson idea. Demonstrate how the Earth orbits the Sun and how the Moon orbits the Earth.

The orbiting of the Sun, Earth and Moon: Linguistic Miracles of Quran

Quran's Challenge for a Literary Equivalent to God's Words remains unmatched even after One and a Half Millenium.

And now using the most modern of Technological means of communication available to us, The Linguistic Miracles are being re-told so that anyone and everyone can enjoy these Linguistic Miracles of The Divine Book.

May Allah Swt Accept it from Us.

Imagine the Treasures that are still waiting for us to discover and Learn!

A quick explanation of the Miraculous and Divine precision of the language used in the Qur'an.

While watching this Animated Video, Please keep in mind that Quran was sent 1400+ years ago, and there was no editorial process involved as Prophet Muhammad pbuh couldn't read or write, so once he (pbuh) revealed Quran he (pbuh) couldn't re edit it or change it later on as that would have caused a huge uproar.

#LinguisticMiracles #NoumanAliKhan #FreeQuranEducation



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