# 5 - Seasons. Figure 1 shows two pictures of the Sun taken six months apart with the same camera, at the same time of the day, from the same location.

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1 ASTR 110L 5 - Seasons Purpose: To plot the distance of the Earth from the Sun over one year and to use the celestial sphere to understand the cause of the seasons. What do you think? Write answers to questions in the spaces provided. Figure 1 shows two pictures of the Sun taken six months apart with the same camera, at the same time of the day, from the same location. Month: Month: Figure 1: Pictures of the Sun taken six months apart from the Solar Dynamics Observatory, a satellite orbiting the Earth dedicated to studying the Sun. Q1. Are the images of the Sun the same size? Q2. If they are not the same size, how can you explain the difference? Q3. Below each image write the month in which you think it was photographed. Q4. What month or months of the year is your weather warmest? Adapted from Project STAR, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Page 1! of 13!

2 Plotting The Distance From The Earth To The Sun Materials Metric ruler Solar image cross-sections (Chart 1) Graph paper (Provided on Page 5) Calculator Procedure 1. Figure 2 shows twelve images of the Sun taken over the course of a single year. Rectangular sections from the middle of these pictures have been cut out (refer to Figure 3) and are presented in Chart 1: Solar Image Cross-Sections. Figure 2: Solar images (negatives) taken between January 12 to December 15 in a single year. The dark circles represent the full disk of the Sun as seen from Earth. Photographs in Chart 1. Photograph of the Sun Figure 3: Layout of the images presented in Chart 1. Each image section comes from a larger image of the Sun but cut through the middle of the solar disk. Adapted from Project STAR, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Page 2! of 13!

3 L (cm) d (km) Chart 1 - Solar Image Cross Sections Plate IX from The Paths Of The Planets by R. A. R. Tricker, 1967 Adapted from Project STAR, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Page 3! of 13!

5 Apr 1 Oct 1 The heavy printed circles are separated by 10 million kilometers. The lighter circles are spaced 2 million kilometers apart. Jan 1 Feb 1 Dec 1 Mar 1 Nov 1 May 1 Sep 1 Jun 1 Aug 1 Jul 1 Adapted from Project STAR, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Page 5! of 13!

6 Modeling the Sun s Motion On The Celestial Sphere Materials Metric ruler Celestial sphere with accessories Hemisphere Lab 2: Solar Motion Protractor Hawaiian star compass Yellow dots (Sun) Procedure Position your celestial sphere and horizon collar to correspond to the latitude of Hilo (20 latitude). As an example, Figure 4 shows the side view of the celestial sphere at the Summer Solstice somewhere on Earth located at a latitude of 42 North when the Sun is crossing the meridian. yellow dot Sun at the Summer Solstice Zenith Axis of rotation of Earth Celestial Equator North Celestial Pole Earth Figure 4: Celestial Sphere and horizon collar for a location on Earth at a latitude of 42 North. NB that the longitude does not matter. Set up the equipment for the latitude of Hilo before proceeding. Adapted from Project STAR, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Page 6! of 13!

7 FOR HILO 1. Summer Solstice: On the celestial sphere, place the Sun on the ecliptic line for June 22 by moving your yellow dot. Move the Celestial Sphere to simulate sunrise. Sunrise is the moment when the upper edge of the Sun is at the horizon line. Next, rotate the Celestial Sphere from East to West until the Sun is on the western side of the horizon. This movement represents the apparent motion of the Sun from sunrise to sunset on June 22, the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. Q12. In what cardinal direction did the Sun rise? Q13. In what cardinal direction did the Sun set? Q14. Moving the Sun marker from sunrise to sunset, count the number of intervals that pass the western horizon. This number represents the hours of daylight. How many hours of daylight are there on June 22? Q15. Place the Sun at the meridian (noon). Noon is when the Sun is halfway between its rising and setting positions or at its highest point in the sky for that day. Fill out Fig. 5 by referring to Fig. 4. On this figure draw the following: Axis of rotation of Earth: The rotation axis makes an angle equal to the latitude of Hilo with the horizon. Celestial Equator line: The Celestial Equator is 90 from the axis of rotation. Location of Sun with a circle: To find its location observe your celestial sphere on June 22. On this figure, write down the angles between: Axis of rotation of Earth and horizon Celestial Equator and horizon On this figure, label: the Earth with an E the horizon the zenith with a Z the Celestial Equator with CE the axis of rotation of Earth with AR the North Celestial Pole with NCP the Sun with S Figure 5 Q16. What pattern of stars will be close to zenith just after sunset? Q17. What pattern of stars is close to zenith at 1am? Adapted from Project STAR, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Page 7! of 13!

8 2. Autumn Equinox: On the Celestial Sphere, place the Sun on the ecliptic line for September 21 by moving your yellow dot. Move the Celestial Sphere to simulate sunrise. Next, rotate the Celestial Sphere from East to West until the Sun is on the western side of the horizon. This movement represents the apparent motion of the Sun from sunrise to sunset on September 21, the Autumn Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. Q18. In what cardinal direction did the Sun rise? Q19. In what cardinal direction did the Sun set? Q20. How many hours of daylight are there on September 21? Q21. Place the Sun at the meridian (noon) and fill out Fig. 6 in the same way as you filled out Fig. 5. On this figure draw the following: Axis of rotation of Earth: The rotation axis makes an angle equal to the latitude of Hilo with the horizon. Celestial Equator line: The Celestial Equator is 90 from the axis of rotation. Location of Sun with a circle: To find its location observe your celestial sphere on this date. On this figure, write down the angles between: Axis of rotation of Earth and horizon Celestial Equator and horizon On this figure, label: the Earth with an E the horizon the zenith with a Z the Celestial Equator with CE the axis of rotation of Earth with AR the North Celestial Pole with NCP the Sun with S Figure 6 Q21. What constellations are visible close to the southern horizon just after sunset? Q22. What is the location of Cygnus in the sky just after sunset? Adapted from Project STAR, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Page 8! of 13!

9 3. Winter Solstice: On the Celestial Sphere, place the Sun on the ecliptic line for December 21 by moving your yellow dot. Move the Celestial Sphere to simulate sunrise. Next, rotate the Celestial Sphere from East to West until the Sun is on the western side of the horizon. This movement represents the apparent motion of the Sun from sunrise to sunset on December 21, the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. Q23. In what cardinal direction did the Sun rise? Q24. In what cardinal direction did the Sun set? Q25. How many hours of daylight are there on December 21? Q26. Place the Sun at the meridian (noon) and fill out Fig. 7 in the same way as you filled out previous figures. On this figure draw the following: Axis of rotation of Earth: The rotation axis makes an angle equal to the latitude of Hilo with the horizon. Celestial Equator line: The Celestial Equator is 90 from the axis of rotation. Location of Sun with a circle: To find its location observe your celestial sphere on this date. On this figure, write down the angles between: Axis of rotation of Earth and horizon Celestial Equator and horizon On this figure, label: the Earth with an E the horizon the zenith with a Z the Celestial Equator with CE the axis of rotation of Earth with AR the North Celestial Pole with NCP the Sun with S Figure 7 Q28. What constellations will be rising from the east just after sunset? Q29. What constellation will just be setting in the northwest about 9pm? Adapted from Project STAR, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Page 9! of 13!

10 4. Spring or Vernal Equinox: On the Celestial Sphere, place the Sun on the ecliptic line for March 20 by moving your yellow dot. Move the Celestial Sphere to simulate sunrise. Next, rotate the Celestial Sphere from East to West until the Sun is on the western side of the horizon. This movement represents the apparent motion of the Sun from sunrise to sunset on March 20, the Vernal or Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. Q23. In what cardinal direction did the Sun rise? Q24. In what cardinal direction did the Sun set? Q25. How many hours of daylight are there on March 20? Q26. Place the Sun at the meridian (noon) and fill out Fig. 8 in the same way as you filled out previous figures. On this figure draw the following: Axis of rotation of Earth: The rotation axis makes an angle equal to the latitude of Hilo with the horizon. Celestial Equator line: The Celestial Equator is 90 from the axis of rotation. Location of Sun with a circle: To find its location observe your celestial sphere on this date. On this figure, write down the angles between: Axis of rotation of Earth and horizon Celestial Equator and horizon On this figure, label: the Earth with an E the horizon the zenith with a Z the Celestial Equator with CE the axis of rotation of Earth with AR the North Celestial Pole with NCP the Sun with S Figure 8 Q34. Describe the location of Orion in the sky just after sunset. Q35. What constellation is high in the southern sky at 9pm? Adapted from Project STAR, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Page! 10 of! 13

11 Discussion Questions: Write your answers in the spaces below. Q36. a) Does the Sun always rise exactly from the east? b) List the directions of sunrise at the beginning of each season: Summer: Winter: Autumn: Spring: Q37. a) Does the Sun always set exactly west? b) List the directions of sunset at the beginning of each season: Summer: Winter: Autumn: Spring: Q38. Compare the results from this activity with the data you collected in Lab 2: Solar Motion on the plastic hemisphere. a) Were your observations consistent with the data from your Celestial Sphere model? b) Describe how the direction of sunrise/sunset changed from the beginning of Autumn to the beginning of Winter. c) Use the Celestial Sphere to predict how your actual sunrise/sunset would look for the next three months. Write down the cardinal directions of sunrise and sunset. Adapted from Project STAR, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Page! 11 of! 13

12 Q39. How did the number of daylight hours change from the: a) Summer Solstice to the Autumnal Equinox? b) Autumnal Equinox to the Winter Solstice? c) Winter Solstice to the Spring Equinox? d) Vernal Equinox to the Summer Solstice? Q40. What is the difference between the number of hours for the day with the longest period of daylight and the day with the shortest period of daylight? Q41. Describe the changes in the noon position of the Sun from: a) Summer Solstice to the Autumnal Equinox? b) Autumnal Equinox to the Winter Solstice? c) Winter Solstice to the Spring Equinox? d) Vernal Equinox to the Summer Solstice? Q42. Was the Sun ever directly overhead at noon in Hilo? If so, when? Q43. a) Discuss how changes in the distance of the Earth from the Sun and changes in the angle of the Sun above the horizon affect the seasons. b) Which of these has a greater effect? Explain. Adapted from Project STAR, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Page! 12 of! 13

13 Q44. Describe the location in the sky of the constellation Orion at sunset for the beginning of each season: Summer: Winter: Autumn: Spring: Adapted from Project STAR, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Page! 13 of! 13

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