Earth Science worksheet
Topic: The Sun Apparent Path
##### The Sun Apparent Path
1

On June 21, an observer in New York State will see the Sun set

(1) north of due east

(2) north of due west

(3) south of due east

(4) south of due west

2

The diagram below represents the horizon and the Sun’s apparent paths, A, B, and C, on three different dates, as viewed from the same location in New York State.

Which table correctly shows the dates on which the apparent paths of the Sun were observed?

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

3

The diagram below represents the apparent path of the Sun as seen by an observer on June 21 at a location in New York State.

Which diagram best represents the apparent path of the Sun at this same location on December 21?

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

Base your answers to questions 4 on the three Sun’s path diagrams below and on your knowledge of Earth science. The diagrams represent the position of the noon Sun along its apparent daily path as seen by an observer on the first day of three consecutive months (X, Y, and Z). The observer was located in Utica, New York.

4

Which dates are represented by months X, Y, and Z?

(1) X-February 1, Y-March 1, Z-April 1

(2) X-May 1, Y-June 1, Z-July 1

(3) X-August 1, Y-September 1, Z-October 1

(4) X-November 1, Y-December 1, Z-January 1

Base your answers to questions 5 on the diagram and data table below. The diagram represents the Sun’s apparent paths as viewed by an observer located at 50° N latitude on June 21 and March 21. The data table shows the Sun’s maximum altitude for the same two dates of the year. The Sun’s maximum altitude for December 21 has been left blank.

5

Which diagram represents the approximate location of the Sun at 3 p.m. on March 21?

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

6

Positions 1, 2, and 3 in the diagram below represent the noon Sun above the horizon on three different days during the year, as viewed from Binghamton, New York.

At which position was the noon Sun on January 21, as viewed from Binghamton?

(1) above position 1

(2) below position 3

(3) between position 1 and position 2

(4) between position 2 and position 3

Base your answers to questions 7 on the diagram below and on your knowledge of Earth science. The diagram represents the apparent path of the Sun across the sky at a New York State location on June 21. Point A represents the position of the noon Sun. Points A and B on the path are 45 degrees apart.

7

Compared to the Sun’s apparent path on June 21, the Sun’s apparent path on December 21 at this location will

(1) be shorter, and the noon Sun will be lower in the sky

(2) be longer, and the noon Sun will be higher in the sky

(3) remain the same length, and the noon Sun will be lower in the sky

(4) remain the same length, and the noon Sun will be higher in the sky

Base your answers to questions 8 on the diagram below and on your knowledge of Earth science. The diagram represents Earth orbiting the Sun. Four positions of Earth in its orbit are labeled A, B, C, and D. Letter N represents the North Pole. Distances are indicated for aphelion (Earth’s farthest position from the Sun around July 4) and perihelion (Earth’s closest position to the Sun around January 3). Arrows indicate directions of movement.

8

Between which pair of lettered positions is the Sun’s vertical ray moving from the equator southward to the Tropic of Capricorn?

(1) A and B

(2) B and C

(3) C and D

(4) D and A

9

Which diagram represents the apparent path of the Sun on March 21 for an observer at the equator?

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

Base your answers to questions 10 on the diagram below and on your knowledge of Earth science. The diagram represents four apparent paths of the Sun, labeled A, B, C, and D, observed in Jamestown, New York. The June 21 and December 21 sunrise and sunset positions are indicated. Letter S identifies the Sun’s position on path C at a specific time of day. Compass directions are indicated along the horizon.

10

When the Sun appears to travel along path D at Jamestown, which latitude on Earth receives the most direct rays from the Sun?

(1) 42° N

(2) 23.5° N

(3) 0°

(4) 23.5° S

Base your answers to questions 11 on the diagram in image provided and on your knowledge of Earth science. The diagram is a model of the sky (celestial sphere) for an observer at 50° N latitude. The Sun’s apparent path on June 21 is shown. Point A is a position along the Sun’s apparent path. Angular distances above the horizon are indicated.
11

The Sun travels 45° in its apparent path between the noon position and point A. Identify the time when the Sun is at point A. Include a.m. or p.m. with your answer. [1]

Allow 1 credit for 3 p.m. or 3:00 p.m.

• Note: Allow credit if the “p.m.” lacks periods.

Base your answers to questions 12 on the data table below, which shows the length of a shadow, in centimeters, made by an object at different times during the day in New York State.

12

Explain what causes the length of the shadow to change during the day. [1]

Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:

• — The altitude of the Sun in the sky changes.

• — Earth rotates.

• — the Sun’s position in the sky

• — the apparent motion of the Sun

Base your answers to questions 13 on the diagram in image provided and on your knowledge of Earth science. The diagram represents the apparent paths of the Sun observed in solar time (time based on the Sun’s position in the sky) at Albany, New York, on June 21 and December 21. A portion of the Sun’s path on June 21 is shaded. A protractor has been included in the diagram.
13

On the diagram in the image provided, draw an X to indicate the position of sunrise on March 21. [1]

°

Allow 1 credit if the center of the X is within or touches the clear box shown below.

• Note: Allow credit if a symbol other than an X is used. If a student correctly draws a line to

• represent the March 21 Sun’s path, the sunrise position must still be indicated.

Base your answers to questions 14 on the diagram in image provided and on your knowledge of Earth science. The diagram represents the Sun’s apparent path on the equinoxes and the longest and shortest days of the year for a location in New York State. Points X, Y, and Z represent the solar noon positions along daily Sun paths X, Y, and Z.
14

On the diagram in the image below, draw one arrow in each box on path Z to indicate the Sun’s apparent direction of movement along path Z. [1]

Allow 1 credit if both arrows are correctly drawn.

• Example of a 1-credit response:

Base your answers to questions 15 on the diagram below and on your knowledge of Earth science. The diagram represents the apparent path of the Sun across the sky as seen by an observer on Earth’s surface on June 21. Points A, B, C, and D represent positions of the Sun at different times of the day. The angle of Polaris above the horizon as seen in the nighttime sky is indicated.

15

Describe the changes in the length of the observer’s shadow as the Sun appears to move from position A to position D. [1]

Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:

• — The length of the observer’s shadow will decrease from A to C, then increase from C to D.

• — The shadow will get shorter, then longer.

• — The shadow was longest at A, became shortest at C, then became longer at D.

• — decreases then increases