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 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.
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 Kids InfoBits. You can connect to these from home. All you need is your CRRL Library Card!
Here's a helpful booklist to help you learn more about the sun and the moon, and the way it affects our planet.
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.
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.