Due to building maintenance, Cooper Branch is closed until further notice. Cooper customers can pick up their holds at the Montross Branch

The Earth, the Moon, and the Sun

How do the Sun and the Moon affect the Earth? Without the Sun, the Earth would be a big ball of frozen mud, just another asteroid, drifting in space with no gravity to anchor it here and nothing to give us heat and light. We could not be here without the Sun.

The Moon is another story. The Moon could not be here without the Earth. Most scientists now believe that the Moon was ripped from the Earth by a massive impact billions of years ago. Our Moon is very much like our Earth-- except that it has no atmosphere. There may be some water frozen at the poles, left over from an earlier time. There also seem to have been volcanoes there once. You can find old lava flows on the Moon. Just look for the dark spots.

What happens on the Sun and the Moon can change what we see and feel here on Earth. Solar flares can mess up TV and radio, and the Moon's gravity affects the tides. How will we affect the Moon? We have visited the Moon, and sometime in the future, there could be a Moon colony. Scientists are already working out the details for that.

Learn more about the Earth, the Moon and the Sun on the Web and in the library.

 Databases at the CRRL

We have a special science resource to help you with your reports--The New Book of Popular Science. Need more magazine articles? We have those, too! Search Info Trac Kids Edition. Want general encyclopedia-style articles? Look at Grolier Kids and Kids InfoBits. You can connect to these from home. All you need is your CRRL Library Card.

Materials to check out from the library:

Blue Planet: An Imax Space Film-- About Earth.
The video Blue Planet dramatically reveals the forces affecting the Earth's fragile ecological balance: hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes and, ultimately, humankind. 

Boy, Were We Wrong about the Solar System!
Looks at how scientific theories have changed over time concerning the solar system.

Extreme Planets! Q & A. Smithsonian.
Has answers to questions such as: What makes up a planet? Why is Earth the only known world where life exists? How can a planet's day actually be longer than its year? So buckle up as you blast off for an extreme voyage through the solar system, from Mercury to Neptune and beyond!

Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life. Bang, Molly.
Living Sunlight by Molly BangExplains the cyclical relationship between photosynthesis in plants and respiration in animals.

 The Moon.  Simon, Seymour.
A basic introduction to Earth's closest neighbor, its composition, and man's missions to it. Illustrated with photographs of the moon taken in space.

Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11. Floca, Brian.
Here is the story of the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon -- a story of leaving and returning during the summer of 1969, and a story of home, seen whole, from far away by steady astronauts in their great machines. 

Our Solar System. Simon, Seymour.
Describes the origins, characteristics, and future of the sun, planets, moons, asteroids, meteoroids, and comets.

 The Sun. Chrismer, Melanie.
An introduction to the Sun for beginning readers.

What's So Special about Planet Earth? Wells, Robert E.
"Move to another planet? Sounds interesting! In our imaginary spaceship, let's check out the planets in our solar system. Mercury is closest, but it has no air, and it's either sizzling hot or bitterly cold. The atmosphere on Venus is poisonous; plus, human beings would cook there. Mars might work, but you'd always have to be in a protective shelter. And if you got to the outer planets, you couldn't even land as they are mostly made of gas! Our home planet is looking good. Why is Earth so comfortable for plants, animals, and people? As Robert E. Wells explains, it's because of our just-right position form the sun, marvelous atmosphere, and abundant water. Our planet is very special and perfect for us, and that's why we must do all we can to keep Earth healthy."

On the Web

Factmonster: The Sun
What's the Sun made of, and how does it work? Gives answers to these questions and a list of terms to know. Link out to more information about the formation of the solar system and the Moon.

Facts About the Moon for Kids
Just the facts: how fast, how far, how big, nicknames, a moon calendar, and more.

Planet Earth Information
The National Geographic Society lays out important facts about our planet.

The Sun from HAO Education
This is a slightly easier introduction to the Sun. Answers basic questions and briefly discusses aurorae and eclipses. Includes Web links for further study.