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Moving Image

A total eclipse

Eclipses occur when the Sun, Earth and Moon are perfectly aligned. Find out why an eclipse does not occur each month (the approximate time it takes for the moon to orbit the Earth). Use the animation to help explain how a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse occur.

Moving Image

An eclipse of the Moon

The phases of the Moon and lunar eclipses occur due to the Moon's orbit of Earth, and its position in relation to both the Earth and the Sun. Watch this animation showing a model of the Moon's orbit, its phases and a lunar eclipse. Discover what a total lunar eclipse is and what causes the red colour of a 'blood moon'.

Assessment resource

Solar eclipse: assessment

Test your understanding of the phenomena of solar eclipses by manipulating interactive models in response to directions, by answering multiple-choice questions and by responding to open-ended questions. View and print a report on your work. This assessment object is one in a series of two objects.

Interactive resource

Eclipses: solar eclipse [ESL]

See how the Moon orbits the Earth as the Earth orbits the Sun. Control the motion of the Moon in its orbit around the Earth. Work out how the Moon goes through different phases during a lunar month. Work out how solar eclipses happen. Find out why different types of eclipses can occur. See why solar eclipses are rare. Find ...

Interactive resource

Earth rotation: merry-go-round

Watch an animation of the Earth rotating in space showing day and night, the equinox where locations on Earth experience close to equal hours of daytime and night-time (12 hours) and views of the Earth from above the North and South Poles. Explore how the rotation of the Earth affects the objects seen in the sky. Compare ...

Interactive resource

Earth rotation: stargazing

Watch an animation of the Earth rotating in space showing day and night, the equinox where locations on Earth experience close to equal hours of daytime and night-time (12 hours) and views of the Earth from above the North and South Poles. Position a camera at different places on the Earth's surface to take a time-lapse ...

Interactive resource

Following the Moon: eclipses and shadows

Look at how sunlight is blocked during solar and lunar eclipses. Examine diagrams showing positions of the Sun, Moon and Earth. Notice that the umbra and penumbra of the Moon are 'shadows' on the Earth during a solar eclipse. See how the Earth blocks sunlight during a lunar eclipse.

Interactive resource

Seasons

Control the motion of the Earth in its orbit around the Sun. Work out how the Earth’s orbit and the tilt of its axis determine seasons in the different hemispheres. Work out how the Earth’s orbit and the tilt of its axis determine day length in the different hemispheres. Examine the heating effect of the Sun. Compare seasons ...

Interactive resource

Seasons: Earth and the Sun

Control the motion of the Earth in its orbit around the Sun. Examine the heating effect of the Sun. For example, explore why it is colder at the poles than at the equator. This learning object is part of a series of four objects. The series is also packaged as a combined learning object.

Interactive resource

Seasons: Earth's orbit

Control the motion of the Earth in its orbit around the Sun. Work out how the Earth’s orbit and the tilt of its axis determine seasons in the different hemispheres. Compare seasons at different locations on the Earth. For example, work out that when it is summer in China, it is winter in Australia. This learning object ...

Interactive resource

Seasons: the hemispheres

Control the motion of the Earth in its orbit around the Sun. Work out how the Earth’s orbit and the tilt of its axis determine day length in the different hemispheres. For example, work out the equinoxes. This learning object is part of a series of four objects. The series is also packaged as a combined learning object.

Interactive resource

Seasons: latitude

Control the motion of the Earth in its orbit around the Sun. Work out how the Earth’s orbit and the tilt of its axis determine daylight hours at different latitudes. For example, compare daylight hours during different seasons at the equator and at the poles. This learning object is part of a series of four objects. The ...

Interactive resource

Eclipses

See how the Moon orbits the Earth as the Earth orbits the Sun. Control the motion of the Moon in its orbit around the Earth. Work out how the Moon goes through different phases during a lunar month. Work out how solar eclipses and lunar eclipses happen. Find out why different types of eclipses can occur. See why solar eclipses ...

Interactive resource

Eclipses: solar eclipse

See how the Moon orbits the Earth as the Earth orbits the Sun. Control the motion of the Moon in its orbit around the Earth. Work out how the Moon goes through different phases during a lunar month. Work out how solar eclipses happen. Find out why different types of eclipses can occur. See why solar eclipses are rare. Find ...

Interactive resource

Eclipses: lunar eclipse

See how the Moon orbits the Earth as the Earth orbits the Sun. Control the motion of the Moon in its orbit around the Earth. Work out how the Moon goes through different phases during a lunar month. Work out how lunar eclipses happen. Find out why different types of eclipses can occur. Find the connection between Moon phases ...

Assessment resource

Lunar cycles: moon phases: assessment

Test your understanding of moon phases by completing ten multiple-choice questions. For example: identify how long it takes for the Moon to make one complete orbit around the Earth; choose an explanation for moon phases. Experiment with a model to help you answer the questions. For instance, move the position of the Moon ...

Assessment resource

Seasons: Earth's orbit: assessment

Test your understanding of why some parts of the Earth experience seasons. Create a model to show the relationship between the Earth and the Sun, and use it to explain how the Earth’s orbit and the tilt of its axis determine the seasons in the different hemispheres. Using a simplified model of the Earth and Sun, predict ...

Assessment resource

Seasons: daylight hours: assessment

Test your understanding of how different times of year affect the amount of daylight received at different locations on Earth. Work out how the Earth’s orbit and the tilt of its axis determine day length in three different locations: Wanganui, Beijing and Singapore. For example, interpret data from a table that shows a ...

Assessment resource

Seasons: Sun’s energy: assessment

Test your understanding of the heating effect of the Sun on Earth. Use interactive models to investigate this effect as Earth rotates on its axis and orbits around the Sun. Interpret these factors to answer questions. For example, use your interpretation of the models to answer questions about the Sun's heating effect during ...

Interactive resource

Seasons: latitude [ESL]

Control the motion of the Earth in its orbit around the Sun. Work out how the Earth’s orbit and the tilt of its axis determine daylight hours at different latitudes. For example, compare daylight hours during different seasons at the equator and at the poles. This learning object is part of a series of four objects.