Module Introduction

The Earth,
Though, in comparison of Heaven, so small
Nor glistering, may of solid good contain
More plenty than the Sun that barren shines.

John Milton,
Paradise Lost, 1665

This module will overview movements of Earth, the Moon, and other astronomical bodies and the effects these movements have on what we observe from here on Earth.


Upon completion of this module, the student will be able to:

  • Define motions of objects, including rotation, revolution, and precession
  • Identify parts of the points on the Celestial Sphere, such as the celestial poles, meridian, zenith, celestial equator, and ecliptic
  • Identify measurement systems used by astronomers
  • Explain why we experience seasons, and the descriptions used to discuss seasons
  • Explain why the Moon goes through its phases, and the terminology used to explain the phases of the Moon
  • Identify types of eclipses
  • Explain why eclipses occur