# Proof that the moon is closer to Earth than the sun

wabbit
Gold Member
I think instead that experiment and obsserve is deeply rooted in evolution, apes already do it, kids do it naturally - the evolutionary success of the human species is in part built on it - and it is only after being trained to not question authority and accept what whatever is in The Book as The Truth that we sometimes gradually lose our natural urge to ask and wonder, because we have by then learned by experience that the answers are just a list of dry facts with little relation to concrete experience .

Welcome to the PF.

Explain the 2 types of eclipses to her, and show her pictures and animations. And find out when the next solar eclipse is -- Road Trip!
Very good logic Berkeman!!
Lunar eclipse is "easy" to spot. But for solar eclipse, they have to travel around the world to give proof.

Jimster41
Define "proof". To me the fact that we've sent people to the moon and spacecraft near the sun is pretty good proof.
The next obvious question will be " did you see them land on the moon ?" or " how do you know whether they really went ? " (or she might just think of it as another story in her story book ) or some other question like that for which the only solution will be to take her to a large enough telescope(which doesn't exist) which can be focused on the remains of the Apollo missions or take her to an orbit around the moon and show her ,which is not possible either , so only other way is through simple demonstrations like the tennis ball , eclipse and other methods mentioned.

Vanadium 50
Staff Emeritus
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how do you know whether they really went
One could make the exact same argument about whether Fresno exists.

One could make the exact same argument about whether Fresno exists.
No , because you can actually take her to Fresno, if needed you can take her to any other place in the world if you can afford it. If you start explaining the technical details of the Apollo missions and how they did land on the moon , you will probably overwhelm her.

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mfb
Mentor
No , because you can actually take her to Fresno, if needed you can take her to any other place in the world if you can afford it.
There are too many places on earth to visit all of them. And booking a flight every time a question about a town comes up... even if you can afford it it does not sound practical. Sometimes it is more reasonable to trust evidence collected from others.

There are too many places on earth to visit all of them. And booking a flight every time a question about a town comes up... even if you can afford it it does not sound practical. Sometimes it is more reasonable to trust evidence collected from others.
Yes , I just thought that telling a 9 year old that the fact that some people landed on the moon and some spacecrafts were sent to study the sun is the proof to show that moon is closer to the earth than the sun, is not the most appropriate way to "prove " it, because she will have to blindly trust the "evidence" she may not understand yet and will lead to questions which will require you to prove that the moon landings did happen in the first place ,which will just complicate and prolong the proof for the original question. In #21 Shyan explained it well.

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BobG
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Yes , I just thought that telling a 9 year old that the fact that some people landed on the moon and some spacecrafts were sent to study the sun is the proof to show that moon is closer to the earth than the sun, is not the most appropriate way to "prove " it, because she will have to blindly trust the "evidence" she may not understand yet and will lead to questions which will require you to prove that the moon landings did happen in the first place ,which will just complicate and prolong the proof for the original question. In #21 Shyan explained it well.
She'll also ask why you've never visited the quiche restaurant down the street, but ate at the barbecue place across town, instead.

And, unless you're a family that actually travels the world, what's the difference between Atlantis and Paris?

I think the demo with the light and phases is something a kid would understand. Watching a solar eclipse would also be great because... well, because solar eclipses are cool! Even partial eclipses.

But, oh, why didn't she ask this question in 2004 or 2012 when you could have shown her the transit of Venus? That was so cool on so many levels - such as how humans finally figured out how far the Earth was from the Sun.

davenn
Showing the phases of the moon with a tennis ball and flashlight should make things clear about how the moon goes through its phases, and why it does so. Visibly showing that it HAS to go between the Earth and the Sun at some point.