What Time Is It?
ES0405  From Sunrise to Sunset: Keeping Time with the Sun

These animations show three representations of our rotating planet. Look at them carefully to identify sunrise and sunset. Use the locations of sunrise and sunset to help you figure out where noon and midnight occur on each model.

  !   Click the image to see the models move through a full rotation. Use the slider button or the next and back arrows to examine different continents moving through different times of the day.

Images captured using Earth and Moon Viewer by John Walker
and with satellite imagery provided by the Living Earth, Inc.

6. When the east coast of the United States is experiencing sunrise, where on Earth is the sun setting?

7. When the west coast of Africa is experiencing sunrise, approximately what time is it in India?

As you watch the movie, focus on your own location and visualize the changing view you would see from Earth as your location moves through a day. Imagine how the sun appears to move through the sky through the day.

Now think for a moment about shadows caused by the sun. Shadows cast by objects in sunlight always point away from the sun. Think about the direction shadows would point in the morning, at noon, and in the afternoon.

8. Describe how you think the direction of a shadow cast by a flagpole at your location would change through the daylight hours.

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