The Sun- Earth- Moon System Vocabulary

Term Definition
Sphere A round three dimensional object who's surface is the same distance from the center at all points.
Axis An imaginary line around which earth spins.
Rotation The spinning if earth on its axis, which causes day and night to occur.
Revolution Earths yearly orbit around the sun.
Ellipse Elongates, closed curve that describes earths year long orbit around the sun.
Solstice An astronomical event that occurs twice each year as the Sun reaches its highest or lowest excursion relative to the celestial equator on the celestial sphere.
Equinox The time or date (twice each year) at which the sun crosses the celestial equator, when day and night are of equal length (about September 22 and March 20).
Moon Phase The different forms the moon takes in its appearance from earth.
New Moon The phase of the moon when it is in conjunction with the sun and invisible from earth, or shortly thereafter when it appears as a slender crescent.
Waxing When the illuminated part of the moon is growing.
Full Moon The phase of the moon in which its whole disk is illuminated.
Waning When the illuminated section of the moon is decreasing in size.

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