Fly me to the Moon

Monday, June 08, 2009

02Moonshot
“Fly me to the Moon” – Photo credit: Miriam Sutton

My 23 hours of travel time ended at 10:00PM (4:00AM EST) Sunday night under moonlit skies over Honolulu and I arose before dawn Monday morning (with a phone call of an East Coast friend who had “forgotten” that I had left for Hawai’i). The moon was setting over a majestic Pacific Ocean this morning and I snapped a few photos, including this one as a plane departed the airport for a neighboring island.

02Ala Moana Park
Ala Moana Park – Photo credit: Miriam Sutton

Today was my recover-from-travel-day and exercise has always been a good antidote. One of the reasons I was looking forward to returning to Honolulu this summer was the Ala Moana Park. I’ve added a Google Earth image to the right that shows this marvelous piece of tranquility flanked by the towering city of Honolulu to the north and the Pacific to the south. A firmly established reef keeps the large ocean swells and breakers offshore from a protected swimming area that’s like a 1/2-mile long saltwater lap pool. It is AWESOME!


REVIEW TOPIC: LUNAR   CYCLE

The Moon orbits the Earth and both of these orbit the Sun.  When the Moon and Sun align themselves in a straight-line pattern with the Earth, their gravitational pull exerts more force on Earth’s oceans. This force is referred to as a tidal bulge and is reduced when the Moon and Sun form a right angle with Earth.  What are the four primary phases of the lunar cycle and which phases generate the strongest tides on Earth? What lunar phase generates “Spring” tides? What phase generates “Neap” tides? Create a drawing of the lunar cycle to illustrate your response. The NOAA Tides & Currents website might also be helpful.

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