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07.05: The Earth in Space

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Jordan Arviv

on 1 November 2013

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Transcript of 07.05: The Earth in Space

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli
07.05: The Earth in Space
One of the biggest misconceptions in science is the idea that seasons are caused by the distance between Earth and the sun. Some people think that the Earth is hotter and colder because the Earth is way farther or closer away from the sun. Also, people would think that days and nights were caused due to Earth going around the sun. But those are all myths and misconceptions!
Seasonal Changes
The tilt in the Earth's axis of rotation is the reason for the seasons. When the Northern Hemisphere is tilted toward the sun, the season is summer. Simultaneously, in the Southern Hemisphere, the season would be winter.
As the Earth rotates and the Northern Hemisphere begins to shift away from the sun, the season goes from summer to autumn. At the same time, the Southern Hemisphere begins its tilt towards the sun, beginning spring. Day and Night The length of day and night are equal at vernal equinox and autumnal equinox. In the Northern Hemisphere, during summer, days are long and nights are short. At that same time in the Southern Hemisphere, it is winter and nights are long and days are short. During the winter in the Northern Equinox, the days are short and the nights are long. During that same time, it is summer in the Southern Hemisphere and the nights are short and the days are long.
Different lengths of Days and Nights
You may have noticed that as the seasons change, so does the lengths of days and nights. As the earth rotates on its axis, it creates the effects of days and nights. It creates the illusion of the sun moving across the sky even though the Sun is a stationary object. But the lengths of the days and nights are also caused by the tilt of Earth's axis. As we orbit the sun, the angle at which sunlight strikes us changes a little day by day. So when a hemisphere is pointed towards the sun, it means that there will be a longer period of sunlight.That is why summer days feel longer than winter days, and why winter nights seem to last forever!
The Size of the Moon as it appears from Earth
Did you know that if you hold out your arm while holding a nickel, and try to cover the moon with the nickel then that the nickel will completely cover up the moon? This makes it seem like the moon is a very tiny object floating around in our sky. Well to be honest, the moon isn't really that small. It looks small because the Moon is a long distance away from the Earth. The Moon is on average 384,400km away. I say on average because the distance from the Earth to the Moon changes, since the moon has an elliptical orbit around the Earth.
Instructions: Let's see what you have learned from the presentation! Fill in the blank with the correct answer.
1.) Seasons are caused by ______________
2.)When the Northern Hemisphere is tilted to the sun, what season is it?________________
3.) During the summer, in the Southern Hemisphere the _________ are longer than the _______.
4.) The Moon appears to be bigger when it is at ___________of its orbit, and smaller when it's at __________ of it's orbit.
In the learning activity, students were instructed to do a fill in the blank activity prior to the presentation given.By doing this activity,it allows students to go back through the presentation if there are terms they didn't fully understand or don't remember and to be be able to review this information. Also, by completing this activity, it gives students easy to remember information to help them understand how each part of the lesson has an effect on the Earth-Moon-Sun system.
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