Saturday, May 15, 2010

Times and Seasons Unit 1 - The sun and the day

Gen. 1: 14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

The sun, moon and stars all are signs of time moving.  As we watch them move and change we can see the progression of time.  Lets learn more about the sun and how it helps us establish time.

The Earth is rotating all the time.  If you drew an imagionary line through the center of the earths rotation, that would be the axis.

It takes the earth almost 24 hours to rotate once on its axis.  As the earth rotates parts of the earth are closer to the sun then the others.  The part of the earth that is closest to the sun is lit up by the sun, making it daytime in that area.  The part of the earth that is farther from the sun is darker, making it night time there.
Try this experiment.  Find a globe or a ball.  Practice helping this ball rotate on its axis.  Now put this ball near a source of light.  See how one side of the ball is lighter then the other.  When you rotate the ball the part of the ball that is light changes.  This is how we get day and night.

The sun tells us what time it is. As the Earth spins on the axis the sun appears to move in the sky.  For the most part the sun stays in the same place, infact it is the Earth's movement that makes the sun appear tomove.  In the morning the sun starts out low in the sky in the east.  As the earth rotates the sun appears to slowly rise up higher into the sky. By noon the sun is high in the sky, making that the brightest part of the day. In the afternoon the sun starts slowly falling lower in the sky.

In the evening we can have lovely sunsets as the suns light is low in the sky. When the sun moves through the sky it helps us see time move also.

At night the moon comes out and travels through the sky like the sun. The stars can been seen sparkling at night also. The moon and the stars give us a little bit of light at night to see by.

The sun sets our rhythm of the day.  When it is light outside we are awake and using its light to work and do good.  When it is dark outside we sleep while our bodies grow and recharge.  The scriptures instruct us to follow this pattern.
D&C 88: 124 retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated.

The sun makes shadows. When the sun shines on an object it lights that object up.  Because the light is hitting the object and not the ground it can cause a shadow, the shadow is generally in the shape of the object.  The shadow will change depending on the position the sun is at in the sky.  Watching the position of the shadows can be another way to tell the time of the day.  A fun way to watch the way shadows change is to make a sundial.  Follow this link below to create a sundial as a science project.

Try this experiment. Create a Sundial with Science Kids at home.

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