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07.05: The Earth in Space

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Gabriela Quintanilla

on 30 December 2013

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Transcript of 07.05: The Earth in Space

Some common myths and misconceptions in science is the idea that seasons are caused by the distance between Earth and the sun,that the Earth is hotter and colder because the Earth is way farther or closer away from the sun and that days and nights were caused due to Earth going around the sun.

07.05: The Earth in Space

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 much longer.

If you hold out your arm while holding a nickel, and try to cover the moon with the nickel then 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. This is just an illusion, because the moon is not even close to being that small. It looks small because the Moon is at a long distance 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.

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.

Seasonal Changes

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.

Different lengths of Days and Nights
The Size of the Moon as it appears from Earth
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