Earth, Moon and Sun
The moon is full when the sunlit hemisphere is completely facing the Earth.

Earth, Moon and Sun

In this KS2 Science quiz we take a trip into space to look at our home planet, Earth, and two of it's closest neighbours - the Sun (which we orbit) and the Moon (which orbits us).

Earth is one of the 8 planets (Pluto is no longer regarded as a planet) which orbit the Sun. It has a circumference of 40,000 km which may sound big - until you realise that the Sun's circumference is 109 times larger! The Moon is not a planet - it is a moon and it orbits the Earth. Some planets have many moons - Jupiter for example has at least 67 in orbit around it! The Sun's temperature is approximately 5,500 degrees Celsius on its surface. If you think that's hot, consider the Sun's core, which is about 13,600,000 degrees Celsius! Luckily for us, the Earth is much, much cooler!

How well do you know our home planet and its relationship to the Sun and Moon? Try this science quiz to find out!

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  1. Which of the following is a planet?
    The Sun is a star and the Moon is a moon
  2. Which of the following is false?
    The Moon's shape doesn't change - it is always near-spherical - instead, its appearance changes throughout its 28 day orbit as different parts of it are in shadow
  3. What causes a lunar eclipse?
    Lunar eclipses last a few hours. It's completely safe to look at the Moon during an eclipse without using eye protection - of course, you must never look directly at a solar eclipse (which is when the Moon blocks our view of the Sun for a few minutes)
  4. When is the Moon full?
    When the dark hemisphere of the moon is completely facing the Earth, it is described as a new moon
  5. Which of the following lasts approximately 28 days?
    The Moon takes approximately 28 days to travel around the Earth. It also takes approximately 28 days to rotate on its own axis
  6. Which of these orbits the Earth?
    The Moon is the Earth's natural satellite, which means it orbits the Earth
  7. Which one of the following is not a phase of the moon?
    The Moon also passes through a Last Quarter phase, as well as Crescent (less than half full) and Gibbous (more than half full) phases
  8. Which celestial body is the Earth closest to?
    The Moon is only 239,000 miles away from the Earth. In space terms, that makes the Moon our next-door neighbour!
  9. Which of the following lasts approximately 24 hours?
    24 hours is the length of one day and is caused by the Earth spinning (rotating) on its axis. Remember: the Sun does not orbit the Earth!
  10. Why does the Moon look different during its different phases?
    Only one half (one hemisphere) of the moon is lit by the Sun, just as only one half of the Earth at any one time is lit by the Sun - on the other side it is night-time, and dark. Because the Moon is continuously orbiting, we can't always see all of its sunlit hemisphere from the Earth

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