But it was not until last night that I finally "saw" how and why! It was so exciting!! haha I know, I'm such a geek! It was very discouraging at first because I read the 1st sentence about it in an astronomy book we have and it was really hard to picture what the book was saying. Here is that sentence:
The moving sun
Because earth spins on its axis every 23 hours 56 minutes, but also moves more than 2.5 million km along its orbit in that time, each point on our planet's surface must spin a little further each day to return to the same point in relation to the Sun - and as a result, a full 'day' in solar terms takes 24 hours.
This was one of those things where I read it, I understand what the words mean individually, but I do not understand the concept it was trying to explain. But then I thought about it a lot and discussed it with Geli and used a soccer ball and a beach ball as visual aids to act out what the book was saying and it worked! It made sense. I mean, that sentence specifically was not talking about the moon, but it was the key to "seeing" what the book was trying to explain. It is no longer a fact I accept because I'm told, but now I understand why!! It is a very liberating feeling. I understand the difference between an earth day and a solar day now. I will definitely be reading that book now.
The reason we only see one side of the moon is because it takes the same amount of time for the moon to spin on its axis as it does to complete its orbit around the earth. Again, it is one of those things that, at least for me, I had to use the soccer and beach balls to be able to visualize and understand it. And the reason that the moon's orbit and rotation times have synchronized is because of the earth's gravity constantly tugging at the moon. Understanding this really felt like some sort of epiphany haha.
the 2 sides of the moon
It is a very satisfying and fulfilling feeling, at least for me, to understand the world around us the best I can, and to continually learn more about our world and our universe.
I hope to be able to use the telescope a lot more this year. We have a lot of things to look at and learn :)