There are several moons in the universe, but there is only one Moon or Luna. Earth’s satellite holds a place in everyone’s heart and is generally the first astronomical body people want to study. This Moon vocabulary word search introduces 33 glossary terms associated with our closest celestial neighbor.
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Moon Vocabulary Glossary
These are the vocabulary terms found in the Moon Word Search.
Albedo: A measure of how bright an object is or how much sunlight it reflects.
Apogee: Point of the Moon’s orbit when it is farthest from Earth.
Basalt: Volcanic rock found on the Earth and Moon formed by rapidly cooling lava.
Conjunction: The time when at least two celestial bodies appear closest in the sky.
Crater: A depression formed by the impact of a meteor.
Crescent: When the Moon appears as a thin, curved slice just before or after a New Moon.
Earthshine: Sunlight reflected back toward the Moon from Earth.
Ephemeris: Astronomical text that lists the position of celestial bodies at a given time.
Far Side: The side of the Moon that is not visible from Earth.
First Quarter: When the right half of the Moon is illuminated.
Full: When the entire Moon is illuminated by the Sun.
Gibbous: Phase of the Moon after First Quarter and after Full Moon when the Moon is nearly full.
Lacus: Portions of the Moon’s surface that look like lakes.
Librations: Rocking motion of the Moon as it orbits the Earth.
Limb: Outer edge of celestial body.
Lunar Rays: Lines on the surface from mass ejected by a meteor impact.
Magnitude: The brightness of a celestial object. The lower the number, the brighter the object.
Mare: A plain of basalt on the Moon formed by now-extinct volcanoes.
New Moon: When the Moon is on the same side of Earth as the Sun, so it isn’t visible in the sky.
Palus: Lunar feature that resembles a dark plain or swamp.
Perigee: The point where the Moon’s orbit is closest to the Earth.
Phases: The different illumination of the Moon depending on its position relative to the Earth and Sun.
Last Quarter: When the left half of the Moon is illuminated.
Lunar Eclipse: When the full Moon enters Earth’s shadow.
Opposition: When the Moon or a planet is on the opposite side of the sky as the Sun.
Penumbra: Shadow cast by a celestial object that only blocks part of the light.
Rille: Groove in the lunar surface that resembles a canyon.
Satellite: An object that orbits a celestial body, like the Moon orbits the Earth.
Selenography: Study of the topology and features of the Moon.
Tektites: Natural glass found on the Earth and Moon created by meteor impacts.
Terminator: The line between day and night that can be seen during the phases of the Moon.
Tides: Rising and falling of ocean levels on Earth from the gravitational forces of the Sun and Moon.
Umbra: Shadow cast by a celestial object that blocks illumination.