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Skip to content Donate Account. Links map The Weather Channel: U. Current Weather. Prepare materials for the activity. Find east and west by observing the sun in the morning and afternoon.
Observe north and south, and label the classroom walls. Add the north and south labels to the classroom walls: Use a compass, or a compass app on a smartphone or tablet, to show north and south and reinforce east and west. Have students line up the E and W on the compass with east and west labeled on the wall. Ask them to point toward the N, and explain that this direction is north.
In areas where there is snow, teach north and south by observing where snow melts faster: the south side of buildings in the northern hemisphere.
What Do You Think The Earth Looks Like?
North and south can also be observed with wind patterns. Track the weather using the provided Weather Channel website, and look for opportunities to take the students outside when north or south winds are blowing. Practice using cardinal direction s. Have students apply their understanding to a map. Extending the Learning Have students watch the sun over a matter of months and note the change in its location as the days shorten and lengthen.
The pinched, figurelike shape is due to the varying factors of the Earth's orbit in space. At any time of day, you could theoretically set up a camera to take a picture of the landscape that encompasses the apparent position of the Sun in the sky. If you came back the next day at the exact same time, 24 hours later, you'd find that the Sun had changed its position ever-so-slightly. If you did this every day for a full year , you'd discover two important things:. The fact that the Earth orbits the Sun once per year explains the first part.
But the motion of the Sun in its particular analemma shape is due to a combination of deep reasons. Let's find out why. The Earth in orbit around the Sun, with its rotational axis shown. All worlds in our solar system have seasons determined by either their axial tilt, the ellipticity of their orbits, or a combination of both.
Astronomy and space science - Revision 5 - KS3 Physics - BBC Bitesize
The first major contributor to the Sun's apparent motion is the fact that Earth orbits the Sun while tilted on its axis. The Earth's axial tilt of approximately When your hemisphere is tilted towards the Sun, the Sun's maximum position will rise closer to the zenith, while when your hemisphere is tiled away, the Sun's maximum position will depart farther from it.
When your half of the world is tilted towards our parent star, the path of the Sun through the sky appears longer, rises higher, and gives us more hours of daylight than average. Axial tilt is the cause of seasons on Earth, and explains why there's such a difference in the length and character of a day on the Summer Solstice versus the Winter Solstice.
The Sun's apparent path through the sky on the solstice is vastly different near the equator, at 20 degrees latitude left , versus far from the equator, at 70 degrees latitude right. From the latter location, the Sun is never visible during the winter solstice, as the axial tilt is greater than the latitude difference from the pole. In general, all across the Earth, the Sun appears to rise in the Eastern portion of the sky, rise up high overhead towards the equatorial direction, and then lower down and set in the West.
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High School Earth Science/The Sun and the Earth-Moon System
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