8A20.15 - Lunar Phases - Terminator Line Demo

Code Number:
Demo Title:
Lunar Phases - Terminator Line Demo
Lunar Terminator Line
Area of Study:
Solar System
Lunar globe (small), Slide projector, Camera and Power Supply, Terminator Line Model Globe, Rotating Platform, Arm attachment for platform with Camera and Globe mounts, Video camera, Lunar Globes, Slide Projector, wireless camera.

 Put the lunar globe on one of the small tables and focus the camera on the globe.  Put the slide projector on a table or lecture bench at the other side of the auditorium.  Turn out the lights, and rotate the table with the globe within the projectors light. You will see the lunar terminator line movement on the monitors.

The table is a little awkward to rotate because the power and video cords get in the way.  To get around this attach the arm attachment to the rotating platform.  The unit becomes more compact if you use a wireless video camera and then the wire issue is moot.

The globe may also be tilted using the tripod head that is mounted to the arm attachment.

  • Barbara Andereck, "A Room-Size Model of Lunar Phases", TPT, Vol. 61, #1, Jan. 2023, p. 49.
  • Emil Noordeh, Patrick Hall, Matija Cuk, "Simulating the Phases of the Moon Shortly After Its Formation", TPT, Vol. 52, # 4, April 2014, p. 239.
  • Nestor Camino, Alejandro Gangui, "Diurnal Astronomy: Using Sticks and Threads to Find Out Latitude on Earth", TPT, Vol. 50, # 1, Jan. 2012, p. 40.
  • Jack Higbie, "Correction", TPT, Vol.  38, # 8, Nov. 2000, p. 455.  
  • Jack Higbie, "Angle of the Crescent Moon", TPT, Vol. 38, # 7, Sept. 2000, p. 371.
  • Laurence A. Marschall, "Bringing The Moon Into The Classroom", TPT, Vol. 34, # 6, Sept. 1996, p. 360.
  • Jennifer Bond Hickman, "Moon Dance: A "Handy" Way to Teach Moon Phases", TPT, Vol. 31, # 3, Mar. 1993, p. 178.
  • Pat Murphy, Ellen Macaulay, and the staff of the Exploratorium, "Moon Watch", Exploratopia, p. 131.
  • Janice VanCleave, "Determine How the Positions of the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth Affect Moon Phases", Super Science Challenges, p. 32.
  • Janice VanCleave, "Changes", 201 Awesome, Magical, Bizarre, & Incredible Experiments, p. 16.
  • Janice VanCleave,  "Moon Phase: The Moon's Visible Lighted Surface",  A+ Projects in Astronomy, p. 119.
  • #13, "Moon Watch", Janice VanCleave's 203 Icy, Freezing, Frosty, Cool, and Wild Experiments.
  • #29, "Lunar Calendar", Janice VanCleave's 204 Sticky, Gloppy, Wacky, and Wonderful Experiments.
  • 3.3, "The Phases of The Moon", Project & Demonstrations in Astronomy by D.Tattersfield, p. 34.

Disclaimer: These demonstrations are provided only for illustrative use by persons affiliated with The University of Iowa and only under the direction of a trained instructor or physicist.  The University of Iowa is not responsible for demonstrations performed by those using their own equipment or who choose to use this reference material for their own purpose.  The demonstrations included here are within the public domain and can be found in materials contained in libraries, bookstores, and through electronic sources.  Performing all or any portion of any of these demonstrations, with or without revisions not depicted here entails inherent risks.  These risks include, without limitation, bodily injury (and possibly death), including risks to health that may be temporary or permanent and that may exacerbate a pre-existing medical condition; and property loss or damage.  Anyone performing any part of these demonstrations, even with revisions, knowingly and voluntarily assumes all risks associated with them.