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S2 Our Solar System 05: The Earth in Space
Transcript of S2 Our Solar System 05: The Earth in Space
Hello class! Today we will be learning about the causes of the seasons and the motions of the Earth-Moon-Sun system. You will also learn about the size of the moon as it appears from Earth and the different lengths of day and night. It will be fun! Shall we start? Let's go!
*Keep in mind students, you should listen, not just hear, what I will be talking about today in class. Today's class will be very important, and it will benefit you now, and in the future! For your assignment, at the end of the lesson, you will have to complete an activity that demonstrates the motion of parts of the solar system. Our goal and objective today will be to complete the lesson, and the activity at the end of the lesson as well. Remember to listen, and when you have a question just raise your hand! I will be happy to answer it!
Causes of the Seasons
The seasons occur as Earth moves around its orbit.
- During the vernal equinox, the sun is overhead at the equator; the days become progressively longer as the Northern Hemisphere tilts further toward the sun.
- During the summer solstice, the sun is overhead at the Tropic of Cancer; this is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.
- During the autumnal equinox, the sun is overhead at the equator; the days become progressively shorter as the Northern Hemisphere tilts further away from the sun.
- During the winter solstice, the sun is overhead at the Tropic of Capricorn; this is the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.
*What are the vernal equinox, summer solstice, autumnal equinox, and winter solstice considered as? Well, they are seasonal marks!
Different Lengths of Day and Night
Motions of the Earth-Moon-Sun system
Size of the Moon as it Appears from Earth
From Earth, the moon’s appearance changes over time. For instance, the moon looks as much as 30 percent bigger during perigee than during apogee!
When it formed, the moon was 22,500 kilometers from Earth. Today, it's nearly twenty times as far, and getting farther.
It is said that the average distance between Earth and Moon is approximately 30 times Earth's diameter. <--- Source: http://freemars.org/jeff/planets/Luna/Luna.htm
*A little fun fact about the moon - The Moon is much smaller than the Earth, with a diameter of 2159 miles, or 3476 kilometers. It is airless, waterless and lifeless! Source: http://www.planetsforkids.org/moon-moon.html
Source for picture: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Moon
Earth’s axial tilt results in differing lengths of day and night.
Of the four inner planets in the solar system, Earth spins fastest—a rotation that gives us night and day. It means that the sun appears to move across the sky, but the sun is not moving—Earth is turning on its axis; the 24-hour cycle that affects our weather as the changing angle of the sun heats us and cools us. If our planet had an upright axis, the length of day and night would always be the same, whether at the equator, or north and south of the tropics. But Earth is tilted at 23 degrees; that means day and night vary through the year. As we orbit the sun, the angle at which sunlight strikes us changes a little day by day and it causes the seasons. Here, as the northern hemisphere tilts away from the sun, it's winter; days are short and nights are long. Six months later when the north tilts toward the sun, it's summer; days are long and nights are short. The reverse is the case in the southern hemisphere. As you can see by this information, the tilt of Earth's axis causes different regions on Earth to have days and nights of different lengths.
Earth, Sun, and Moon
Movement of Earth, Sun, and Moon in Space - Image
Earth-Sun System - Model
"Movement of the Earth Around the
Moon and Earth - Model
"Movement of the Moon Around Earth"
The sun, the moon, and Earth are separated by long distances in space. To help make sense of the motions of these astronomical bodies we can use a model, or in this case, models! Models help scientists visualize physical systems too large or too small to see directly. *Today scientists understand the motion of the Earth-Moon-Sun system because of models.
*Earth revolves around the sun in an elliptical orbit.
*The moon revolves around Earth in an elliptical orbit.
I hope you liked the lesson students! For PART 1 of this activity:
You will be split into 3 groups, group A, group B, and group C. Each group will have a computer, which they will use for this activity.
- Group A will use their computer to conduct research on
- Group B will use their computer to conduct research on
- Group C will use their computer to conduct research on
Each group will have a total of 15 minutes to get this part of the activity done.
*Remember to SHARE the computer and work as a team!
There has been observable phenomena on Earth caused by the motions of the Earth-Moon-Sun system. Observable phenomena include:
-Different lengths of day and night
-The size of the moon as it appears from Earth
Looks like we talked about these things!
My students did a great job today! We have met our objective, and goal! The activity I made for my students was a success, as it reviewed and tested them on what they learned and studied today! For the activity, my students were asked to work in groups. Each group had 15 minutes to conducte research on either seasons, moon motions, or day/night cycles. After the time limit was reached, each group picked a leader to go to the front of the class to share their search (information that they recieved from their conducted search). Then, each group shared what they learned in class today. At the end of the activity, each group had 10 minutes to use a mechanical model to demonstrate the motion of the sun, Earth, and moon, in the Earth-Moon-Sun system. *My students figured out that the Earth revolves around the sun in an elliptical orbit and the moon revolves around Earth in an elliptical orbit!
I thought that my activity was not too hard, or too easy. I believed that it was the perfect activity to test my students on the information they conducted, and what they have learned, today. The activity was fun, as my students say, and it also helped my class understand some of the observable phenomena caused by the motions of Earth, the sun, and the moon, and the Earth-Moon-Sun system itself! This is why I choose the activity for my class today.
*My students state that the loved collaborating with each other during the activity! They also liked working on the computer, using the model, and sharing their information with the rest of the class. Maybe I should do more activities like this more often?
*When the time limit is reached:
- Each group will choose a leader to go to the front of the class to represent their search.
-Each person from each group will share what they learned in class today.
For PART 2 of this activity each group will use a mechanical model (picture provided) to demonstrate the motion of the sun, Earth, and moon, in the Earth-Moon-Sun system. *Note to students: To use the model, slightly push the moon around and observe what happens. Then, slightly push the Earth around and observe what happens. *Each group has 10 minutes to do this part of the activity, and to summarize their results.