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Tracking the Summer Solstice

  • Grades: 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

Try this small experiment to observe how the Sun reaches a higher point in the sky as the summer solstice approaches. Just follow these steps:

1. Starting today at 12 noon*, measure the length of a shadow cast by a fixed object (like a flagpole).
2. At noon tomorrow, measure the same shadow again.
3. Continue to measure the shadow each day at noon (weather and weekend interruptions are okay) for a couple of weeks.
4. Are your measurements the same each day or do they differ?
5. If the shadow is shorter each day, does that mean that the Sun is higher in the sky or lower?

*Be sure to make your measurements carefully at the same time each day. 12 noon is best, but other times will work.

  • Part of Collection:
  • Subjects:
    Astronomy and Space, Summer, Summer Themes
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