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Learning objects Earth rotation: stargazing

TLF ID L1130

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 photograph of the night sky. Observe the pattern of light from the stars. Answer a series of questions by experimenting with the model. For example, identify a circular light pattern photographed from the North Pole. This learning object is one in a series of four objects.

Educational details

Key learning objectives
  • Students recognise that the Earth’s rotation makes stars appear to move in the night sky.
  • Students predict the pattern of apparent motion of stars as seen from a range of latitudes on Earth.
Educational value
  • Provides opportunities to explore how the rotation of the Earth affects the view of stars in the sky.
  • Includes an animated model that can be manipulated to determine how the latitude of a viewer's position on Earth is related to their view of the stars.
  • Tests understanding of key concepts is tested through an interactive quiz.
  • Supports repeated use through random variation of questions.
Year level

7; 8

Learning area
  • science
  • Science/Earth and space sciences
  • Science/Science inquiry skills
  • Science/Science understanding
    • Science/Earth
    • Science/Solar system
    • Science/Sun
    • Science/Night and day
    • Science/Astronomy
    • Knowledge;
    • Comprehension;
    • Application
    Student activity
    • Interactives;
    • Analysis;
    • Modelling;
    • Multiple choice questions;
    • Comprehension activity
    Learning design
    • Experiential learning;
    • Independent learning;
    • Problem solving;
    • Visual learning

    Other details

    • Script writer
    • Name: Rod Rees
    • Organisation: Rees Films Pty Ltd
    • Address: Blackburn VIC 3130 Australia
    • Technical implementer
    • Publisher
    • Date of contribution: 28 Jan 2014
    • Organisation: Education Services Australia
    • Address: Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
    • URL:
    Access profile
    • Colour independence
    • Device independence
    • Hearing independence
    Learning resource type
    • Interactive Resource
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer - minimum version: 8.0 (MS-Windows) - maximum version: 9.0 (MS-Windows)
    • Firefox - minimum version: (MS-Windows)
    • Safari - minimum version: 5.1 (MacOS)
    Operating systems
    • MacOS - minimum version: 10.6
    • MS-Windows - minimum version: XP - maximum version: 7
    • © Education Services Australia Ltd, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements