Monday, May 01, 2006

Interrelationships in Earth/Space Systems
1.6 The student will investigate and understand the basic relationships between the sun and the Earth. Key concepts include
a) the sun is the source of heat and light that warms the land, air, and water; and
b) night and day are caused by the rotation of the Earth.

· The sun is a star that produces both heat and light.
· The sun does not move its position.
· The sun gives us energy.
· We need energy to live.
· It also helps grow food, make weather, and keep things alive.
· The sun affects the water, soil, and air temperature.
· Temperatures are lower in shaded areas and higher when in direct sunlight.
· Earth is the planet that we live on; it is the only planets with conditions that allow humans to live.
· Earth rotates on its axis in a counterclockwise motion once a day.
· An axis is an imaginary line that the earth rotates around that you cannot see.
· It takes a full 24 hours to complete this rotation and this is why we have 24 hour days.
· It runs from the North Pole to the South Pole and rotates on it from west to east.
· We are rotating with the Earth constantly, but we cannot feel it.
· As the Earth rotates on its axis, the part that faces the sun goes through daytime and the part away from the sun goes through night time.
· As the Earth begins to rotate toward the sun we experience morning and when it begins to rotate away from it we experience afternoon, times in the middle of day and night.
· Because the sun is a source of heat, when we are closest to it (daytime) it is the warmest, whereas at night time it is furthest away from the heat source producing colder temperatures. This is also why it is darker at night time.
· When it is daytime on one side of Earth, the other side is experiencing night time.
· The relationship between daytime and night time is an opposite relationship.
· Earth is the third planet out of nine planets from the sun.
· The order of the planets is Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto
· The planets all circle around the sun in a counterclockwise motion just as the Earth does around its axis.
· It takes a 365 days for Earth to travel around the sun completely, this is why we have 365 days in a year.
· The sun rises in the East and sets in the West.
· This is called sunrise and sunset.
· The sun is at its highest point at 12:00 pm, directly in the middle of the sky.
· At times before 12 pm, the sun will always be more towards the east and at times after 12pm it will always be more towards the West, allowing you to see the general time without looking at a clock.

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