Doppler 9&10 STEM- Fall Equinox
Have you wondered how weather happens or what science is?
Today is the day! It is officially fall. The official start of fall occurs generally around Sept. 22 annually. It is known as the Autumnal Equinox. Let’s break down what that means: the autumnal equinox can be broken down into two parts…Autumnal and Equinox. Autumnal simply implies fall, while equinox means equal, or equal day and night. Today is one of two times a year you will have the same amount of daylight hours as nighttime hours.
If you didn’t know, we get seasons based on the tilt of the earth. Today, the earth’s tilt allows the suns direct sunlight to shine at the equator. Another way to think about it would how much light the sun is shining on the earth on the autumnal equinox. The sun is shining on exactly half of the earth during the equinox, hence equal day and equal night. From today forward the suns rays will point south of the equator until we reach the Winter Solstice, which is the official start of winter.
We have a cool experiment you can do at home that shows you what the earth looks like during the equinox better explain the seasons we see in Northern Michigan.
The Experiment: The Seasons Change
This is an easy experiment you can do at home to really explain not only the fall equinox, but all four seasons in Northern Michigan.
What You Need
- Black Corkboard or Black Colored Paper
- Pencil or Pen
- Marker to mark Equator
- Round Object (I used an old Orange) for Model Globe
- Styrofoam Cube or Platform
- Stars, Satellite, Astronauts, and other Awesome Stickers!
- A Dark Room
- Put together a simple background to make this experiment fun!
- Mark the equator with your marker
- Place your pencil or pen through your model globe
- Stick your pencil or pen onto the platform
- Turn the Lights Off
- Turn on your flashlight
- Point the flashlight at different angles at the globe
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