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Home School Life Journal ........... painting by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Happy Vernal Equinox!

Using a lamp or flashlight and a aluminum foil ball, we explored the relationships between the earth and the sun to explain the Vernal Equinox. (Sorry none of these pictures shows the lamp we used, but all the photos with the lamp light in the picture did not turn out and so I have posted only the ones without them. Imagine the lamp or flashlight as you look at the pictures.)

Tilt your ball a little bit so that the southern hemisphere is getting more light from the lamp or flashlight than the northern hemisphere. The vernal equinox is the time when the world has tilted such that the sun passes out of the southern hemisphere



Slowly tilt the ball so that the equator is centered again and the light becomes dominant again in the northern hemisphere. We in North American are in the northern hemisphere. After the vernal equinox, the sun will shine most brightly in our northern hemisphere. The northern hemisphere will be closest to the sun during the summer months of June, July, and August. 
Now slowly tilt the ball more so that the northern hemisphere is getting more light from the flashlight than the southern hemisphere. The tilting of the earth accounts for why we have warm seasons and cold seasons.
All photos were taken November 2011.
In the fall, the sun will cross back, and our world will go through winter darkness again. Wiggle the ball back and forth so the hemispheres are each getting light, first one then the other.

4 comments:

  1. Great activity and one I shall have to try out. We've been reading about the moon with my younger two and the other night my five year old saw the moon and squealed that she had seen a crescent moon! I always assume she doesn't listen (attention span of a newt) but it obviously is going in somehow!

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  2. Now in my semi-awake state I'm trying to remember if the Equinox is equal time for day and night or one longer..... I think equal time. So sleepy. Brain not processing post.

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  3. Yes, both the Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes have equal time for day and night.

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  4. How fun! Wishing you all a bright, beautiful, sunshine-filled spring!

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