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Listed under:  Science  >  Forces and energy  >  Mechanical energy  >  Motion  >  Rotational motion  >  Orbits
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An eclipse of the Moon

The phases of the Moon and lunar eclipses occur due to the Moon's orbit of Earth, and its position in relation to both the Earth and the Sun. Watch this animation showing a model of the Moon's orbit, its phases and a lunar eclipse. Discover what a total lunar eclipse is and what causes the red colour of a 'blood moon'.

Interactive Resource

NASA: Eyes Eclipse 2017

This interactive 3D simulation of the total eclipse of August 21st, 2017 enables users to navigate to different locations to watch a simulation of what the eclipse would look like from that area from start to finish. The simulation is available as a web and desktop applications suitable for most devices.

Teacher resource

Looking to the Moon

Use these tasks and resources to investigate how the Earth rotates and how its rotation affects what we see in the sky, in particular the views of the moon. Students explore the relative position and rotation of the moon to the Earth and use this to investigate why we only see one side of the moon.

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Total lunar eclipse

This is an overlapping slightly tilted (lower at left) and linear series of colour exposures of the full Moon at night during a total lunar eclipse. The nine symmetrically timed images clearly outline a circular dark central region about 2.5 Moon diameters wide, encompassing three coppery-red full Moon discs. The central ...

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Earth and space: student guide

This is a student guide about Earth's resources and the night sky and space that contains information and hands-on inquiry activities. It is part of a comprehensive curriculum resource that covers Earth and space science and Physical sciences physics content descriptions in year 7 of the science curriculum. The resource ...

Interactive Resource

Earth and space: student digital activities

This is a set of student digital activities about Earth's resources and the night sky and space that contains a rich array of interactive activities, film clips and notebook questions to assist learning. It is part of a comprehensive curriculum resource that covers Earth and space sciences and Physical sciences physics ...

Teacher resource

Earth and space: teacher guide

This is a teacher guide about Earth's resources and the night sky and space that provides an overview of lessons including worksheets and assessment. It is part of a comprehensive curriculum resource that covers Earth and space sciences and Physical sciences physics content descriptions in year 7 of the science curriculum. ...

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Dr Karl discusses mining asteroids

Imagine an asteroid, half the size of a football field, hurtling towards Earth at a speed of 28,000 kilometres per hour! Watch this clip to find out about Asteroid 2012 DA14 and whether it poses any threat to Earth. You will also discover why mining prospectors are keen to capture asteroids such as this one. Could the next ...

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The Moon landing

Some say landing on the moon is as one of humanity's greatest achievements. Learn about the history of the moon landing and some of the challenges faced by scientists. See actual footage of the astronauts on the moon as part of the Apollo 11 mission.

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Why do astronauts float in space?

Have you wondered what it would be like to be an astronaut floating around in the International Space Station? In this clip, Catalyst's Dr Derek Muller investigates what causes this weightlessness in space. Derek challenges some people visiting the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney to explain why they think astronauts float. ...

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Meteorites, asteroids, orbiting and gravity

Learn how Galileo Galilei's work overturned Aristotle's ideas about falling objects and led to an understanding that Earth revolves around the sun. Find out how Isaac Newton showed that the laws of motion on Earth and in space are the same, and that he discovered that the gravitational force of attraction between any two ...

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Living on the International Space Station

What would it be like to live on a space station? In this clip you'll see footage of astronauts on the International Space Station and discover what their daily life is like. You'll also find out about how the space station was built and about some important research being done there.

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Big sky sunsets at Windorah, Qld

In this clip the narrator will show you a place that she likes to visit. This place is near Windorah in Queensland. The narrator says that this is 'big sky country'. She likes to sit in the sand dunes and watch the colours around her change as the sun goes down.

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Is the supermoon really super?

Does the Moon ever appear bigger and brighter in the night sky? Find out as astronomer Tanya Hill from the Melbourne Planetarium explains why we sometimes see a 'supermoon'.

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A long history of the Moon

The Moon is a familiar object in the night sky and impacts life on Earth as it orbits our planet. Watch this animation showing how the moon has changed since its formation 4.5 billion years ago. See how the Moon's surface altered over time as volcanoes and asteroids created the basins and craters present on the Moon today.

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Why sunsets and sunrises will never be blue or green

Can you guess how many sunsets and sunrises an astronaut on the International Space Station sees every 24 hours? Sixteen! Imagine seeing all those spectacular colours so many times a day (even if the view lasts only a few seconds as they zoom by). Find out exactly why sunrises and sunsets are red, orange and golden but ...

Teacher resource

Primary Connections: Earth's place in space

This is an extensive teaching unit focused on learning, through a collaborative, inquiry-based approach, how celestial motion affects days, months and years, and how our solar system works. It includes comprehensive lesson plans, as well as student handouts and other teaching resources, for seven structured lessons that ...

Teacher resource

Primary Connections: Night and day

This comprehensive teacher resource explores how the Earth’s rotation on its axis causes regular changes, including night and day, using a series of collaborative inquiry-based learning activities. The sizes, shapes, positions and movements of the Sun, Earth and Moon are investigated, and shadow changes throughout the day ...

Teacher resource

Where does the sun go at night?

This sequence of resources focuses on investigating day and night, the movement of the sun across the sky, shadows and the moon. Observing the difference between the day and night sky and the movement of the sun across the sky at regularly time intervals provides data collection activities for students.

Interactive resource

Light and shadows: casting shadows

Look at how a tree makes a shadow during a sunny day. Notice that objects always casts shadows that face away from the Sun. Examine how the shape and position of a shadow is related to the time of day and position of the Sun. Explore the shadows cast by different objects such as a bike, an umbrella and a child. Position ...