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MAKING A YEAR-CLOCK

Push a long nail, point up, through the center of a 1 foot
square of heavy cardboard. Place the cardboard on a sunny
windowsill and do not move it again until this whole experiment has been completed. Mark a dot at the tip of the nail's shadow every day at the same time for several weeks.

You will realize that the shadow movement is related to
changes in the sun's position, and find that the sun does not travel in the same path each day. Determine what features change or stay the same from day to day.

Compare the shadow curves for widely different times of the
year (e.g., September, January, May) or exchange similarly
obtained information with a school further to the south or
north. This activity can also be done using the shadow of a flag-pole, a telephone pole, or a tall tree.

You can also do this: Make a pinhole in a piece of black
construction paper and fasten the paper to a sunny window.
When the rest of the room is darkened, the light from the sun will shine clearly through the hole. Stand a piece of white cardboard about 3 feet from the window so that the sun makes a small bright spot on it. (This spot is an image of the sun.)

Mark the location of the spot with a pencil and watch it for several minutes. Extrapolate ("ex-TRAP-oh-late": infer or estimate by extending or projecting known information) what path the sun's image would make on the paper from sunrise to sunset.

Does this make any sense when you think about the "midnight
sun" at the North Pole? (Probably South Pole, too.) I knew a person who had lived in Fairbanks, Alaska. She commented about the sun being always up or always down. Said it was really weird to work all "day," go to bed in daylight, get up in the morning and the sky looked the same as it had when she went to bed the night before. She also said it was really weird to do all that in the dark. It took a couple of years to get her internal clock to function properly.

This brilliant writer made up the term, "Year-Clock." I do
not know whether or not is a valid term.

 

 
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