The Earth's Orbit

Smithsonian Institution

These eleven activities relate to the results of the motion and position of the Earth in its orbit, investigating both the causes and the effects of changing seasons. It starts simply by trying to quantify the observation that it is colder in the winter and ends by measuring the tilt of the Earth. This is chapter two of the online book Eyes on the Sky, Feet on the Ground, containing explorations into astronomy as a classroom tool for learning how to theorize, experiment, and analyze data. The activities are fully illustrated and contain detailed, step-by-step instructions as well as suggested discussion topics.

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Subject: Geoscience:Lunar and Planetary Science, Atmospheric Science:Climatology
Resource Type: Activities:Classroom Activity
Grade Level: Intermediate (3-5)
Climate Literacy Principles: Sun Drives Earth System:Daily Variations, Diurnal Cycle, Sun Drives Earth System, Axial Tilt, Energy Balance, Solar Heat, Energy, Radiation
Topics: Solar system, Climate