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The moon orbits the earth and is it's only permanent natural satellite. The Moon was formed 4.5 1 billion years ago, not long after the Earth. The most widely accepted explanation is that the moon formed from debris left over after a giant impact between the Earth and Mars sized body called Theia. The moon is in synchronous rotation with the Earth and will always show the same side to the earth. After the sun, the moon is the second brightest regularly visible celestial object in the Earth's sky. The moon causes tides creating a rhythm that have guided humans for thousands of years.
In a lunar eclipse the moon moves in an orbit around the Earth and at the same time the earth orbits the sun sometimes the earth moves between the sun and the moon when this happens the Earth blocks the sunlight that is normally reflected by the moon. Instead of light hitting the moon's surface. The earth shadow falls on it. This is an eclipse of the moon or a lunar eclipse. A lunar eclipse can only happen when the moon is full.
Astronomy involves anything outside the Earth's atmosphere. Astronomers study the Sun, Moon, planets, stars, galaxies and all other matter in the universe. Astronomy applies mathematics, physics, and chemistry in an effort to explain the origin of the universe. Astronomy is one of the oldest natural sciences. The early civilizations including the Babylonians, Greeks, Egyptians, Nubians and Chinese performed methodical observations of the night sky. Astronomy is one of the few sciences where amateurs play an active and important role by watching the skies and discovering new comets and stars.
Planets in our solar system circle around the sun. There are eight planets in our solar system. Smaller planets with solid ground include Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. There are four larger gas giants including Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. We are learning new things about our neighboring planets all the time. We send astronauts to space to take pictures, gather information and find out more about them. Their are eight planets inside of our own solar system and thousands of planets outside of our solar system.
Astronaunts are a special kind of scientist that takes space ships to outer space to study things like asteroids, the Earth's atmosphere, other planets and the moon. The first man to go into space was Yuri Gagarin from Russia in 1969. The first astronaut to walk on the moon with Neil Armstrong, from the United States, in 1969. Dr. Sally ride was the first American woman to make the journey to outer space when she flew aboard the Challenger in 1983.