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The Moon: A Resource Guide


5. Some Educational Activities for Learning about the Moon

Observing (and Understanding) Lunar Phases (from the Pacific Science Center's Astro Adventures Program). Click on Favorite Science Activities in the menu at left and then on Observing Lunar Phases. This sequence of superb inquiry-based activities helps people of all ages to understand the changing appearance of the Moon over the course of a month.

Exploring Lunar Phases with a Daytime Moon (from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific's Astronomy from the Ground Up Program). Uses the Sun and Moon in the sky, plus a Styrofoam ball to help visualize the Moon's phases.

Crash Landing (from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific's Family ASTRO Program). Participants imagine survivors of a crash on the Moon and figure out what is most essential for their backpacks to survive.

Does the Moon Rotate (from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific Night Sky Network Program). A brief demonstration using models of why the Moon keeps one face to the Earth.

Impact Craters (a series of activities and resources from the Hawaii Space Grant Consortium's Exploring Planets series). Students drop things from a height onto a "lunar surface" to simulate the making of craters.

Exploring the Moon (a 158-page teacher guide with activities from NASA). Put together by the planetary science group at the University of Hawaii in 1997, this guide has a wide range of activities on lunar science and exploration for middle and high school level.

A visual demo of the phases of the Moon (from the Project ASTRO Site at the National Optical Astronomy Observatories)

Relevant Issues of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific's newsletter for teachers, The Universe in the Clasroom:

The Lunar and Planetary Institute's Site "Connect to the Moon" offers a wide range of other resources for educators (with the proviso that almost everything on the site is NASA based).

6. Webcasts about the Moon

Dr. Anthony Colaprete (NASA Ames Research Center) discusses "Prospecting for Water on the Moon: The Upcoming LCROSS Mission" (January 21, 2009, Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures

Moon Myths and Moon Misconceptions: Phil Plait (author of Bad Astronomy), planetary astronomers Paul Spudis, and others separate moon fact from fiction in this humorous hour (July 6, 2009, SETI Institute Are We Alone show)

Short NASA video on the LCROSS Mission

Brief Interview with Brian Day, Education Lead for the LCROSS Mission (see Episode 3)

7. The Moon in Popular Culture

Science Fiction about the Moon

The Moon in Art and Literature

The Moon in Pop Songs

The Moon in Music (part of an astronomical music list)


1. Books about Our Scientific Understanding of the Moon

Chaikin, Andrew A Man on the Moon. 1994, Viking Press. A well-reviewed history of manned lunar exploration and what it taught us.

Harland, David Exploring the Moon: The Apollo Expeditions. 1999, Praxis/Springer-Verlag. Reviews the work of the astronauts on the Moon in the context of what we now know about lunar geology.

Hockey, Thomas The Book of the Moon. 1986, Prentice Hall. A basic primer on many aspects of the Moon; out of print, but used copies can be found on line.

Kustenmacher, Werner The Moon: A Guide for First-time Visitors. 1999, Formmer's. Not entirely serious, this is a tourist guide book to the Moon, written as if travel there were already common place. Interesting combination of fact and whimsy.

Moore, Patrick Patrick Moore on the Moon. 2001, Cassell/Stirling. An updated edition of a classic book on the history of our understanding of the Moon, with observing hints and maps.

Spudis, Paul The Once and Future Moon. 1998, Smithsonian Inst. Press. A geologist discusses what our exploration of the Moon has taught us, and what we might do in the future to know and use the Moon better.

2. Books about Observing the Moon

Kitt, Michael The Moon: An Observing Guide for Backyard Telescopes. 1992, Kalmbach. Eighty-page illustrated primer for beginners.

Massey, Steve Exploring the Moon. 2006, New Holland. An observing guide from an Australian perspective, with good hints about techniques and equipment.

North, Gerald Observing the Moon: The Modern Astronomer's Guide. 2000, Cambridge U. Press. Very detailed observing guide for serious moon watchers.

Rukl, Antonin Atlas of the Moon. 1993, Kalmbach. Reference book which includes 76 carefully drawn maps of the Moon, plus an overview of what we know about our satellite and its motions.

Wlasuk, Peter Observing the Moon. 2000, Springer-Verlag. Guide to observing and the geology you can see.

Wood, Charles The Modern Moon: A Personal View. 2004, Sky Publishing. A thorough introduction to observing the Moon, by Sky & Telescope's moon columnist and a planetary geologist.

3. Books about the Moon and Popular Culture (including Mythology)

Jablow, A. & Withers, C. The Man in the Moon: Sky Tales from Many Lands. 1969, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.

Krupp, E.C. Beyond the Blue Horizon: Myths and Legends of the Sun, Moon, Stars, and Planets. 1991, HarperCollins. Superb collection of astronomical tales from many cultures. Best book to start with.

Montgomery, Scott The Moon and the Western Imagination. 1999, U. of Arizona Press. A history of how we came to know the Moon, and the responses in literature, art, and philosophy.

Moroney, Lynn Moontellers: Myths of the Moon from Around the World. 1995, Rising Moon. Children's book of moon legends, with background information.

Phillips, R., ed. Moonstruck: An Anthology of Lunar Poetry. 1974, Vanguard.

4. Miscellaneous Books about the Moon

Cocks, Elijah & Josiah Who's Who on the Moon: A Biographical Dictionary of Lunar Nomenclature. 1995, Tudor.

Sheehan, William & Dobbins, Thomas Epic Moon: A History of Lunar Exploration in the Age of the Telescope. 2001, Willmann-Bell. How observers mapped the Moon over time.

Wright, Hamilton, et al. To the Moon: A Distillation of Great Writings from Ancient Legend to Space Exploration. 1968, Meredith Press.

5. Children's Books about the Moon

Asimov, Isaac & Walz-Chojnacki, Greg The Moon. 1994, Gareth Stevens. Part of the Asimov library of astronomy for children.

Bourgeois, Paulette The Moon. 1995, Kids Can Press, Toronto. Includes both cultural and scientific view of the Moon.

Bredeson, Carmen The Moon. 1998, Franklin Watt/Grolier. For younger kids.

Cole, Michael The Moon: Earth's Companion in Space. 2001, Enslow.

Davis, Don & Hughes, David The Moon. 1989, Facts on File. Part of the Planetary Exploration series for middle-school students.

Heller, Janet How the Moon Regained Her Shape. 2007, Sylvan Dell. Uses a native American folk myth to teach about the moon's phases and encourage children's self-esteem. Has an end section of science ideas.

Hitt, Robert The Moon. 1998, Grolier/Michael Friedman. 64-page introduction to moon motions and exploration.

Krupp, E. C. The Moon and You. 1993, Macmillan. Beautifully illustrated primer for younger children by a noted astronomy educator.

Rosen, Sidney Where Does the Moon Go? 1992, Carolrhoda Books. Primer for younger kids by an astronomer.

Stott, Carol Moon Landing: The Race for the Moon. 1999, DK Books. Lavishly illustrated kids' encyclopedia.

Vogt, Gregory Apollo Moonwalks: The Amazing Lunar Missions. 2000, Enslow. Nice review by a NASA educator.

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