This week P6/7 have been learning about Earth and why we have different seasons. Many people think that some parts of the year are hotter because we’re closer to the Sun, but the real reason is that the Earth is tilted.
The Earth’s axis is tilted at an angle of 23.5 degrees. This means that the Earth is always ‘pointing’ to one side as it goes around the Sun. So, sometimes the Sun is in the direction that the Earth is pointing, but not at other times. The varying amounts of sunlight around the Earth during the year, creates the seasons.
The tilt of the Earth’s AXIS is the most important reason why seasons occur. We have hot summers and cold winters because of the tilt of the Earth’s axis. The tilt of the Earth means the Earth will lean towards the Sun (Summer) or lean away from the Sun (Winter) 6 months later. In between these, Spring and Autumn will occur.
The Earth takes 365.24 days to orbit the sun and as we move around the Sun during that time, the amount of light each area of the planet receives varies in length. The Earth rotates on its own axis roughly every 24 hours with respect to the sun. With this in mind, P6/7 took it upon themselves to see if we could tell the time by only using the Sun’s position in the sky. We had to control a host of variables to achieve this. The first was to align our sun dial to the angle of Edinburgh’s latitude, 55 °. When outside we then had to trace round our sun dial so that when we returned later, it would be in the same position. This made sure that our results 100% accurate. See for yourselves.