Learning objects Earth rotation: merry-go-round

TLF ID L1129

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 views from a spinning merry-go-round with views from above. Notice how objects appear to 'move' when seen from a spinning object. Compare views from the Earth with views from space. Locate celestial objects using photos taken from a different perspective. For example, locate the Andromeda galaxy by judging its position relative to a satellite. This learning object is one in a series of four objects.

Educational details

Key learning objectives
  • Students relate the view taken from a rotating object to a different view of the same scene.
  • Students recognise that apparent movement of objects may depend on the viewing frame of reference.
  • Students relate the changing position of the Sun, Moon and stars in the sky to the rotation of the Earth.
Educational value
  • Provides opportunities to explore how the rotation of the Earth affects the objects seen in the sky.
  • Includes an animated model that can be manipulated to determine how the Earth’s rotation is related to the visible cycle of day and night.
  • Tests understanding of key concepts through an interactive quiz.
  • Supports repeated use by random variation of questions.
Year level

7; 8

Learning area
  • science
  • Science/Earth and space sciences
  • Science/Science inquiry skills
  • Science/Science understanding
    • Knowledge;
    • Comprehension;
    • Application
    Student activity
    • Interactives;
    • Experiment;
    • Analysis;
    • Modelling
    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: http://www.esa.edu.au
    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