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Solar webquest

The Sun, the Earth & the Moon:

A WebQuest

Essential Question: How does the position of the Earth in the Solar System affect the conditions of life on our planet? 

Introduction:

Picture this: you and a team of your classmates have been chosen by NASA to welcome a friendly group of Space Travelers who are traveling to the earth from another universe. The visitors are particularly interested in how the position of the earth affects life on earth.In the following WebQuest, you will use the power of teamwork and the abundant resources on the Internet to learn how the position of the Earth in the solar system affects the conditions of life on our planet.

Task:

You and your team will explore astronomical phenomena to answer our visitors' questions: 1) Why is there day and night on earth?
2) How can the solar system be described in terms of the orbits of the planets?What are lunar eclipses?
3) Why does the moon look different as it orbits around the earth? Describe the different phases.
4) “Who helped you to understand about your planet and the solar system?”
5) What are the reasons for our seasons?

 Background Resources:

The Solar System  The Solar System FormationThe Moon - from Information Please The Moon : The Earth's Satellite Earth, Sun & Moon Activity & Quiz  

1.     The Sun, the Earth & the Moon

Use the following resources to answer the following:

Why is there day and night on earth?  Or “How come it just got so dark?”

·         Describe the earth’s rotation around the Sun

·         Explain the rotation of the earth on its axis and its connection to our day and night

·         How does the position of the earth in our Solar System affect the conditions of life on our planet? 

 Letter from Stephanie-Day and Night Cycles
http://www.amnh.org/education/resources/rfl/web/antarctica/s_cycles.html
What is Day and Night? - From Star Child. http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/questions/question31.html About Day and Night - from the Lunar & Planetary Institute
http://www.lpi.usra.edu/education/skytellers/day_night/about.shtml
The Space Place - Why is the Earth Rotating? - from NASA
http://spaceplace.jpl.nasa.gov/en/kids/phonedrmarc/2003_march.shtml
Day and Night - from University of Richmond
http://oncampus.richmond.edu/academics/education/projects/webunits/cycles/day.html
Try the Experiment.
Take a look at many views of day & night on earth: Day and Night Viewer
The Night Side - a Satellite Map

2.    The Sun, the Earth & the Moon

 Unit Questions:

·         How can the solar system be described in terms of the orbits of our planets? What are lunar eclipses? Or, “Where did your moon go?”

·         Describe an orbit.

·         Describe the solar system in terms of the orbits of the planet.

·         What are lunar eclipses?

·         How does the position of the earth in our Solar System affect the conditions of life on our planet?

Background - Explore the Solar System:

Kidcyber - The Planets
http://www.kidcyber.com.au/topics/planets.htm
Our Solar System - from NASA
http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=
SolarSys&Display=Kids
The Solar System -from StarChild - includes movie about the solar system.
http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/solar_system_level2/solar_system.html

Orbits of the Planets:

What is an Orbit? - Article by NASA
http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/5-8/features/orbit_feature_5-8.html
Motion of the Planets - Orbit Shapes Animation
http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/physical_science/physics/mechanics/orbit/orbit_shape_interactive.html&text=t

Motions of the Planets
- Windows on the Universe website
http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/the_universe/uts/planets.html&edu=elem
Elliptical Orbits
http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/physical_science/physics/mechanics/orbit/ellipse.html&edu=elem

About Lunar Eclipses:

Lunar Eclipses
http://library.thinkquest.org/3645/eclipses.html
All about Lunar Eclipses
http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/moon/eclipse.html&edu=mid
Animation of a Total Lunar Eclipse
http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/time/lunar_anim.html
 Moon's Orbit and Revolution

3.    The Sun, the Earth & the Moon

 Why does the moon look different as it orbits around the earth? Or, “How come your moon seems to be disappearing?” 

 Unit Questions: 

·         Describe the different phases of the moon

·         Why does the moon appear to change over time in our night sky?

·         How does the moon affect how tides are formed?

·         How does the position of the earth in our Solar System affect the conditions of life on our planet?

Resources:Moon Phases
http://library.thinkquest.org/J0112188/moon_phases.htm
Phases of the Moon: Zoom Astronomy
http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/astronomy/moon/Phases.shtml
Virtual Reality Moon Phase Pictures
http://tycho.usno.navy.mil/vphase.html
The Moon: The Exploratorium
http://liftoff.msfc.nasa.gov/academy/universe/MOON.HTML
Phases of the Moon Model : from Harcourt Publlishers
http://www.harcourtschool.com/activity/moon_phases/
Take the Moon Puzzle Quiz
http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/astronomy/activities/radiobuttonquiz/Moonpz.shtml
  How does the moon affect how tides are formed?Explore the following web resources.Tides - and the MoonLunar TidesOcean TidesTidesWhy Tides?                 

4.   The Sun, the Earth & the Moon

Unit Questions:

What are the reasons for our seasons? 

Or, “Why is it so cold out here?”

  • *Describe the earth’s rotation around the Sun
  • *Describe how the tilt of the earth and its orbit cause the seasons

Animation - Reason for the Seasons - Earth, Moon & Sun Interactions
View this animation and click on question mark for directions.
World Book Online
Use  World Book Online to search for "Seasons".
The Seasons and Axis Tilt
http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/astronomy/
Earth's Tilt is the Reason for the Season
http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/earth/climate/cli_seasons.html
Reason for the Seasons
http://www.uwm.edu/~kahl/CoVis/Seasons/
Understanding the Seasons through Pictures
http://www.astronomy.org/programs/seasons/index.html

Cosmic Map
Test your knowledge of the seasons using this animated quiz.

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