NASA logo
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

← Activities for the Total Solar Eclipse

Moon Phases and Observations

The following activities will help participants observe and understand our changing Moon.

Lunar Phases: A Dance Under the Sun

Lunar Phases

Moon phases are commonly misunderstood. In this activity, participants model the phases with a light source and a small white ball.

  • Source: Lunar Planetary Institute
  • Target Audience: Ages 10 - 13 (and up)
  • Important Concepts: Models, projectiles, asteroids, craters, geologic history
  • Suggested Modifications: Use a bright lamp in a dark room as the Sun in order to do this activity inside. This often works better than outdoors because there is a higher contrast in light and darkness and it is a closer model to space.

Moon Journal

moon journal

Learners who keep a Moon Journal will track lunar phases for a month to directly observe how the Moon changes shape and location. They will record observations and try to find a pattern.

  • Source: International Observe the Moon Night & the Lunar and Planetary Institute
  • Target Audience: All ages
  • Important Concepts: Moon phases, scientific inquiry, lunar observation, the Moon's place in the sky in relation to the Sun
  • Suggested Modifications: To make this eclipse-related and emphasize that during the eclipse, we will see a New Moon, begin the Moon Journal 28 days before the eclipse, on July 25
Goddard Space Flight Center