University of Michigan - Department of Astronomy

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Seasons Worksheet

Use the information From the introduction to start filling out table 1.  You'll finish filling out the table in the next few demonstrations.

Your GSI will move the projector to the other 3 positions so all 4 equinoxes and solstices are covered.  Finish filling out table 1 by making the same observations as above.  Be careful to pay attention to which row you record the information in.

Table 1: Ann Arbor

 

Rise position

Rise time

Date

Meridian altitude Deg above South

Set position

Set time

Hours of daylight

Autumnal equinox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter solstice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vernal equinox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer solstice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your GSI will now move to other locations on the Earth. Fill out the remaining table(s), then answer the questions at the end of the worksheet. Check with your GSI to determine whether or not you should hand in the intro as well as the worksheets.

Table 2: Chile

 

Rise position

Rise time

Date

Meridian altitude Deg above South

Set position

Set time

Hours of daylight

Autumnal equinox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter solstice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vernal equinox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer solstice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 3: Equator

 

Rise position

Rise time

Date

Meridian altitude Deg above South

Set position

Set time

Hours of daylight

Autumnal equinox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter solstice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vernal equinox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer solstice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 4: North Pole

 

Meridian altitude (Degrees above South)

Date

Hours of daylight

Autumnal equinox

 

 

 

Winter solstice

 

 

 

Vernal equinox

 

 

 

Summer solstice

 

 

 

 


Questions

  1. When does the sun rise at the north pole? When does it set? How does it move in between?



  2. When do we get the most hours of sunlight here in Ann Arbor? How many hours do they have in Chile that day?


  3. When is the Sun highest in the sky here in Ann Arbor? How high is it on that date in Chile?


  4. Where does the sun rise on the equinoxes in Ann Arbor? Where does it rise in Chile? On the equator?


  5. Where does the Sun rise on the summer solstice in Ann Arbor? In Chile? On the equator? Does the Sun rise in different directions for different locations?


  6. What day will the shadows at local noon be the shortest here in Ann Arbor? Will the shadows also be the shortest that day in Chile and on the equator? Explain.



  7. Give 2 reasons why it is warmer in summer than in winter.


  8. Why are the seasons reversed in the southern hemisphere?



  9. The Earth is at the farthest distance from the Sun (aphelion) around July 4, and closest to the Sun (perihelion) around January 4.  Does our closest approach to the Sun occur at the same time as the warmest weather in the northern hemisphere? In the southern hemisphere?  Explain.




  1. Count the number of calendar days for each season using the 21st as the first day of the season.  Check your total to make sure you have 365 days (no skips, no counting days twice)

Spring:

Summer:

Fall:

Winter:

Which season is the shortest?  Use Kepler’s law(s) to explain why.

 

 

 

 

 



  1. Summarize your findings. Include the cause of the seasons, where the most and least extremes are and why, and what effect does our distance from the Sun have on them.

 


Last modified: 4/21/08 by SAM

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