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Earth Movements and Time Zones



Earth Movements and Time Zones
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.59

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    observation, europe, hemisphere, helping, circular, grid, rotation, revolution, geographical, prime, knowing, zone, directly, clocks, gain, rotate
     content words:    South Pole, North Pole, Greenwich Mean Time, International Date Line, United States, Mean Time, New York, Green Bay, South America


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Earth Movements and Time Zones
By Trista L. Pollard
  

1     Every day you wake up to the sun in the morning sky. When you go to sleep, you are covered by the Earth's darkness. Day and night are made possible by the Earth's rotation. Thanks to observation and astronauts, geographers have learned valuable information about how Earth moves.
 
2     Earth rotates on its axis. This means that it turns constantly on a central point. This central point or axis runs through the center of the Earth. If you look at a globe, you will see this axis. It runs through the South Pole and the North Pole. As our planet turns, only half of its surface is in light. So, while it is daylight in your half of the world, it is night in the other half. Night is caused when the Earth rotates out of sunlight. Our planet rotates from west to east. That means the sun appears to rise in the east and appears to set in the west. Since the Earth rotates continuously, places that were dark rotate back into the light. This is when a new day dawns.
 
3     It is hard to believe our planet moves each day. However, you actually see this movement. Think about a clear sunny day. In the morning, the sun should be to your east. You may not know what direction the east is from you. However, you should just look where the sun is located in the morning. That is to the east. Remember, as the Earth rotates to the east, the sun appears to rise. By the middle of the day, the sun should be directly over your head. Once you enter late afternoon, the sun should be to your west. That is your way of knowing that the Earth rotates each day. What about cloudy days? Well, the sun is still shining. However, you won't see the sun because it is covered by clouds. In spite of the clouds, it is still light outside. Just know that the sun is over your head at 12 o'clock noon.

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