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Solar System 8 th Grade (adapted by Mrs. Hubbard).

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1 Solar System 8 th Grade (adapted by Mrs. Hubbard)

2 What causes Day / Night? Earth’s rotation (spin) Earth rotates on its axis (imaginary line through the north and south poles). It takes about 24 hours to make one complete rotation. At any one time, half the Earth is illuminated by the Sun.

3 Flat Earth vs. Spherical Earth SUN Flat Earth Sphere If Earth were flat, at noon all the sun’s energy would hit the surface at the same angle. Since Earth is a sphere, the Sun’s energy hits the surface at different angles…causing differential heating

4 Direct vs. Indirect Sunlight Because of Earth’s spherical shape, the light that reaches from the Sun hits at angles. These angles of light are known as either: Direct or Indirect sunlight. Indirect = more spread = less intense energy Direct = concentrated = more intense energy

5 If Earth had NO Inclination (tilt) If Earth had NO tilt, then there would be no seasons throughout the year & each day would be an equinox (12 hours of light & 12 hours of night)

6 Earth’s Inclination (tilt) Earth IS tilted (inclined) which helps cause the seasons and different amounts of day and night throughout the year. 23.5º inclination ATMOSPHERE

7 Earth’s Revolution Earth revolves (orbits) around the Sun once every 365 ¼ days = 1 year. Every 4 th year a day is added…LEAP YEAR. Elliptical orbit (oval) Winter Spring Summer Autumn

8 What Causes Seasons Combination of Earth’s tilt (differential heating of surface) & revolution (orbit) around the Sun causes seasons. NOT DISTANCE FROM SUN!! Northern hemisphere tilted toward the Sun = more Direct Sunlight = Summer Northern hemisphere tilted away from Sun = Indirect Sunlight = Winter

9 How does the moon stay with Earth? Earth’s gravity pull is greater than the Moon’s and has trapped it for billions of years!! Earth pulls on the moon more than the moon pulls on Earth. (Earth is more massive = greater gravity). Moon is ¼ the size of Earth.

10 What if… – If moon was not moving, Earth’s gravity would pull it in! If Earth did not have gravity, the moon would fly out into space! (Law of Inertia) EARTH MOON

11 What is the Law of Inertia? This is Newton’s 1 st Law of Motion. Law of Inertia states: 1.An object in motion will stay in that same motion (direction & speed) until change is caused by an outside force. 2.If an object is at rest, it will remain at rest until an outside force acts upon it…puts it in motion.

12 Centrifugal Motion Since the Earth’s gravity is present, and the moon is in motion (tries to go straight, but can’t), it starts a circular path around Earth (orbit / revolution). This revolution around Earth causes an outward pull (Centrifugal Motion) which counters the inward pull of gravity.

13 Cont… This constant inward pull from gravity, along with the constant outward pull by the moon’s centrifugal motion eventually reached a point of equilibrium some 4.5 billion years ago…ever since, the moon has been our closest neighbor!

14 Our Moon Earth’s moon is its only natural satellite It is about ¼ the size of Earth. It’s average distance from Earth is about 230,000 miles (if you were traveling 60 mph in a car from Earth to the Moon, it would take about 5 months!!) The moon does NOT generate its own light…the Sun’s light reflects off of it.

15 Moon’s Motion Rotation – The Moon spins on its axis once every 27.3 days (1 day = 27.3 Earth days) Revolution – The Moon goes around the Earth every 27.3 days (1 year = 27.3 Earth days) Full Moon to Full Moon = 29.5 days…?

16 Why we get Phases of the Moon. From space, half the moon is always illuminated by the Sun. – The moon is a sphere, so the light coming from the Sun can only illuminate half of it at one time. From Earth, we see shadows (phases) because of the angles between the positions of the Sun, Moon, and Earth.

17 Moon Phases Diagram SUN What we see from Earth View from space

18 Eclipses of the Moon The Moon revolves (orbits) Earth once every 27.3 days. Its path around Earth is not on a straight, even plane. Once in a while, the moon will pass directly in front or behind the Earth! – Solar Eclipse – Lunar Eclipse Moon’s orbital path is slanted.

19 Solar Eclipse When the moon passes directly in between the Earth & Sun. The moon casts a shadow on parts of Earth. Sun not to scale

20 Lunar Eclipse When the moon passes directly behind the Earth and the Earth is blocking the Sun’s light from reflecting off the moon.

21 Pictures Solar Eclipse: Lunar Eclipse = =

22 Moon & Tides The Moon does pull Earth some with its own gravity. Its pull is less than Earth’s so it does NOT affect the solid surface…but it does affect Earth’s oceans.

23 What are tides? Tides are the rise & fall of sea level near a coastline. Since Earth rotates so fast we experience four tides everywhere per day! – 2 High Tides – 2 Low Tides

24 Spring & Neap tides Neap Tide Spring Tide Occur during the 1 st & 3 rd quarter moons Occur during the New and Full moons Difference b/w high & low tides are small. Difference b/w high & low tides are greater.

25 Moon & Earth’s Rotation The dynamics between the Earth’s waters and the Moon’s gravity pull slows Earth’s rotation.

26 Seasons on Earth Earth revolves (orbits) the Sun avg. speed of 70,000mph. 1 orbit takes about 365 ¼ days. Earth’s orbit is not a circle, it is elliptical (oval). – Elliptical orbit causes Earth’s distance from Sun to vary. Aphelion Perihelion Tilt of Earth causes seasons!!! Not distance from Sun.

27 Direct vs. Indirect Sunlight

28 Sunlight’s path through our Atmosphere Because Earth is curved and tilted, this causes sunlight to pass through varying amounts of Earth’s atmosphere.

29 Causes of Seasons on Earth (recap) Earth is tilted on its axis at 23.5 degrees. As Earth revolves around the Sun, different parts of Earth receive varying sunlight intensity. – Direct sunlight – Sunlight/heat is more concentrated on an area of land – more intense – warmer climate. – Indirect sunlight – Sunlight/heat is more spread out, has to distribute energy to more land – less intense – cooler climate Earth is curved (sphere) – This causes sunlight/energy to pass through different thicknesses of atmosphere The more atmosphere light has to pass through, the less intense it is = cooler weather (climate) The less atmosphere light has to pass through, the more intense it is, = warmer weather (climate)


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