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Activity Number 1 - An Experiment
To see the effect of the earth's tilt.
- a globe or map of the earth
- a small flashlight.
- In a darkened classroom, have your students shine the light directly down on the equator. Is the light bright? Can you see its outline clearly?
- Keeping the flashlight at the same height and over the equator, have them tilt the flashlight so that it shines on the Tropic of Cancer, north of the equator. Does the area of light look like the one which was created when they shone the flashlight directly on the equator? Does the light cover a larger area? What does the shape of the light look like? Are some parts of the area lit by the flashlight brighter than others?
The shape and the intensity of the light changed when they shone it on the Tropic of Cancer because the beam hit the surface at an angle and spread over a larger area.
The earth's tilt affects the strength of the sun's rays at different points on the earth's surface.
Adapted from Brenda Wyman, Weather - Investigations in Science Series. (Cypress Calf. Creative Teaching Press Inc., 1995) P.15.
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