Study Plan

Learning Goals

By the conclusion of this chapter, you should be able to:
  1. Explain how the stars appear to move through the sky, and how the motion of the stars differs when viewed from different latitudes on Earth.
  2. Explain why there are different seasons throughout the year.
  3. Summarize how the motion of the Moon in its orbit about Earth, together with the motion of Earth and the Moon around the Sun, shapes the phases of the Moon and the spectacle of eclipses.
  4. Sketch the alignment of Earth, Moon, and Sun during different phases of the Moon.

Prepare and Assess


    1. The Celestial Sphere and the Ecliptic
      Section: 2.2 and 2.3
    2. The Earth Spins and Revolves
      Section: 2.2 and 2.3
    3. The Moon's Orbit: Eclipses and Phases
      Section: 2.4 and 2.6
    4. The View from the Poles
      Section 2.2
    1. Ecliptic (Zodiac) Simulator
      Change the date to view the sky during different months of the year.
    2. Sun's Rays Simulator
      Note how the direct rays of the Sun hit different parts of Earth as the year progresses.
    3. Sun Motions Demonstrator
      Models the motions of the Sun in the sky using a horizon diagram, demonstrating daily and seasonal changes in the Sun’s position.
    4. Lunar Phase Simulator
      Be sure to note how the angle between the Sun and the Moon change during the Moon’s orbit.
    5. Moon Phases and the Horizon Diagram
      Change the position of the Moon and the Sun and note which phases of the Moon are visible in the daytime sky or evening sky.
    6. Eclipse Shadow Demonstrator
    7. Meridional Altitude Simulator
      Change the latitude and note the altitude at which the north or south celestial pole can be viewed.

Reassess and Apply

  1. Additional comments or issues to report:

Email Your Professor:

Your Name: 
Your Email Address: 
Your Professor's Email Address: