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Do you remember which motion of Earth makes a day (24 hours) happen? And which motion of Earth makes a year (365 days) happen?
Click (or touch) anywhere to go back and review or screen capture your work.

#2. WHAT is a DAY? WHAT is a YEAR?

Earth spins one time around to make one day. Each time you have a birthday you have completed one more trip (orbit) around the Sun.

The Sun's path across the sky in summer (red) and winter (blue). Image credit: PUNCH Outreach Team

Imagine that you are the orange person in the center. The diagram shows the Sun’s path at two different times of year. Trace the two paths with your fingers. Notice that in summer (red line), the Sun rises north of east (NE) and sets north of west (NW). And in winter (blue line) the Sun rises south of east (SE) and sets south of west (SW).

Image credit: PUNCH Outreach Team

Fill In the Blanks

  • DRAG & DROP to FILL-IN-THE-BLANKS in the paragraph below. NOTE: The word will only drop successfully when the cursor tip (or your fingertip on mobile devices) is within the light-colored box above the blank which will turn yellow when the word is properly positioned.
  • TO UNDO YOUR CHOICE click on the blue circle
    next to the dropped word.

lowest fewer sunrise rotating day-night western year 12 seasons orbit

How many times have you traveled around the Sun in your life so far? It takes one
for Earth to go around, or
the Sun one time. When you are 12 years old you have gone around the Sun
times. Each day, the Sun appears to rise on the eastern horizon and set on the
horizon because Earth is spinning, or
, toward the east. As Earth keeps rotating after sunset, the distant stars appear to rise and set during the night. A new day begins with another
, and the sky once again becomes too bright to see the other stars. This is called the day-night cycle. In summer, the Sun appears highest in the sky which causes longer days with more hours of daylight. In winter, the Sun appears
in the sky which causes shorter days with
hours of daylight. Knowledge of the
cycle and the yearly cycle of the
has always been important to growing food and learning how to live well on our world.
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