Fun Sun Facts

Here are some interesting facts about the sun!

  • The Sun is a star found at the centre of our Solar System.
     
  • It takes approximately eight minutes for light to travel from the Sun to the Earth.
     
  • The Sun's core is around 15 million degrees Celsius - that’s a lot of heat!
     
  • There wouldn’t be any life on Earth without the Sun. The Sun causes seasons, currents in the oceans, weather, climates, and many other phenomena.
     
  • Because of the Sun’s influence on Earth, many early cultures (the Ancient Egyptians and the Aztecs, for example) saw the Sun as a deity or god.
     
  • A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is between the Earth and the Sun.

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Make and Do: Sundial 

In today's lesson, Múinteoir Clíona showed you how to track the sun’s movements and shadows by making your very own sundial.  Here’s how!

What you need:

  • Modelling clay
  • Pencil
  • Cardboard
  • Glue
  • Ruler

How to make:

Step 1: Create the gnomon for the sundial. To do this, take a small amount of modelling clay and create a round, ball-shaped base. Flatten the bottom of the clay ball so that it does not roll around on a flat surface. 

Step 2: Place the pencil directly into the centre of the modelling clay ball so that the pencil can stand freely.  Cut the edges off the cardboard if it's from a cereal box, so it doesn’t have the sides attached to it still.  You should just have a flat rectangular piece of cardboard.

Step 3: Place an "X" on the bottom centre of the cardboard.  This is where the gnomon will be placed.

Step 4: Next, glue the modelling clay/pencil gnomon to the bottom centre of the cardboard where the "X" has been marked.  If you have hot glue or very strong glue use that but be very careful not to stick your fingers together and get help if needed!

Step 5: Find an open space that is directly in the sun for most of the day. Make sure the surface is flat and as level as possible. The sundial should not be on a tilted or on a sloped surface.  Align the sundial so that the first shadow cast on the cardboard is located on the left-hand side.

Step 6: To mark the first-hour point on the sundial, place the ruler on top of the shadow and use a marker to trace the shadow created by the gnomon. Make sure to write the correlating time at the top of the mark/line. Repeat this step every hour.

Tip: Use the same clock for each recording time so that the sundial will be consistent. 

The distance between each hour of time on the sundial should be relatively the same size at the base near the gnomon. When the sundial is completed, it should look as though it is divided into equal sections coming out from the gnomon.

Solar Silliness! 

Here are a few jokes that might light up your face.

Why did the sun go to school?  To get brighter!

What is the Sun's favourite chocolate bar? A Milky Way

"Dad, can you tell me what a solar eclipse is?"  No sun.

Send us pictures or videos of what you have done. Ask your parents to help you send them to rte.ie/learn