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MUSE | Earth-Moon-Sun Dynamics | Course Overview and Materials | Building the EMS Model | Course Material 2A: Day & Night, Sunrise & Sunset


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course material 2B: Moonrise and Moonset


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Course Material 2A: Day & Night, Sunrise & Sunset

Students begin building an Earth-Moon-Sun (EMS) model by determining what bodies – and which of their motions – interact to cause day and night. They then elaborate on the model and determine how it relates to sunrise and sunset. Students use props such as globes and light sources to represent the Earth and Sun while they demonstrate how the Earth’s rotation results in day/night and sunrise/sunset phenomena.

day and night model

Successful completion involves

  • Constructing an EMS model to account for phenomena (effect to cause reasoning).

  • Altering a component of their EMS model and predicting what phenomena result from such a change (cause to effect reasoning).


Students will complete a Phenomena/Objects/Motions (POM) chart that answers the question "Why do we experience Day and Night?" They will include the phenomena observed, the objects and motions involved, a written explanation, and a diagram of their model. They will also do the same for the question "Why does the Sun rise in the east and set in the west?"