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Motions of the Sun Lab

University of Nebraska Astronomy Applet Project, Astronomy Education at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln

This Motions of the Sun Lab is an interactive applet from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Astronomy Applet project.

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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

About the Content

  • The NAAP Motions of the Sun Lab uses an animated simulator, along with student guide and background information, to enable students to manipulate variables--including time of day, day of year, and observer's latitude--to understand the apparent motion of the sun in the sky.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Applications are cool, allow for some nice visualization of how an observer's view of the sun path changes and the differences between sidereal and solar time. Without a primer on the celestial coordinate system I fear a student could be a little lost.

About the Pedagogy

  • Several similar NAAP labs (Basic Coordinates and Seasons Lab and The Rotating Sky Lab) precede this activity, but with sufficient student background knowledge, it can be used as a stand-alone.
  • Instructor's page for this activity is at http://astro.unl.edu/naap/motion3/motion3_i.html, along with pre- and post- questionnaires.
  • Very well designed and user-friendly.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Simulator is interesting and draws the player in to figure out how to manipulate the variables. Easy to work with - needs a bit of content support.
  • Requires Adobe Flash Player.
Entered the Collection: October 2014 Last Reviewed: October 2014

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