Motions of the Sun across the sky

| October 17, 2015

As you use both of the interactivities, notice the motion of the Sun and the ways we specify the motion of astronomical objects in the sky.
First, begin with the Motions of the Sun simulator. Complete the following steps:
1.Begin by specifying the day and month in Time and Location Controls.
2.In Animation Controls, select continuous and loop day first, and then click Start Animation.
3.Watch the clock and check when the Sun appears to be at the highest position in the sky.
4.Then, change the selection in Animation Controls to step by day. This lets you observe how the position of the Sun will change at noon from month to month.
5.Close the browser window to return to the assignment.
Now that you have seen how the position of the Sun changes throughout the year, continue onto the second interactivity.
Access the Celestial Sphere interactivity and complete the following steps:
1.Select the link at the top: Click here for background information.
2.In the popup that displays, set the Lock the Time of Day To: field to noon.
3.Manually move the bar from May to December.
4.Close the browser window to return to the sorting planets activity.
5.Each icon shows the path of the Sun on a given date at noon for a mid-northern hemisphere latitude (40 degrees as in the animation). Rank the images with the Sun’s position in the correct chronological order beginning in February through December by dragging them to the correct position.
Assignment Instructions: Based on your experience using the above interactivities, address the following topics. Submit your responses to this assignment.
•Describe what happens to the position of the Sun at noon of each month.
•Explain the seasonal patterns of change in the Sun’s position.
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