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Name: Jennifer
Status: student
Age: 15
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999 - 2000


Question:
From a two mile long space station orbiting halfway between the earth and the moon, what would the phases of the earth and moon look like? Would the sun, earth, and moon appear to rise and set?

I need to know this for a book that I am writing with a junior member of my astronomy club.


Replies:
You can probably do a better job of answering this question than I can because you can draw a picture and see for yourself exactly what is going on.

Draw the sun and the earth, and make the side of the earth that faces away from the sun dark. Draw two big circles around the earth (but make the circles small compared to the distance between the earth and sun) and put a little paper disk representing the space station somewhere on the inner circle. Put a little paper disk representing the moon somewhere on the outer circle. Make both paper disks dark on the side facing away from the sun. Move the space station and the moon around on their orbits, always keeping their dark sides facing away from the sun, and you can see how the moon and earth will look to someone on the space station.

Now rotate the space station and see how the sun, moon, and earth rise and set from the viewpoint of someone on the space station.

Have a nice book.

Tim Mooney



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