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Measuring Your Shadow
Have you ever shined a flashlight against a surface in the dark. If you point the flashlight straight toward a wall, for instance, you'd see a small circle of light. But if you slant the flashlight upward, the circle gets larger.
In the same way, sunlight is more concentrated in one area when it hits the earth directly, and when the sunlight hits the earth at a slant, the sunlight spreads out, making it less intense.
In the following activity, ultraviolet will be referred to as sunlight.
Purpose of this activity
To learn about the angle of the sun to the earth and how it affects you.
What you will do
Observe and measure your own shadow. Choose a weekend to perform this activity when you'll be able to return to the same location throughout the day. If you're a child wishing to complete this activity and you need help, ask a parent or older brother or sister to assist you.
What you'll need
Measuring tape, notebook, pencil or pen, and chalk.
You observed the sun's movement as you were watching your shadow. When your shadow is long earlier and later in the day, the sunlight is less intense and at a lower angle. When sunlight is more intense between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon, but particularly an hour before and after noon, try to stay in the shade and wear sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat with a wide brim and clothing that covers you.
Ahrens, Donald C. (1991). Meteorology Today, 4th Ed. St Paul: West Publishing Company, 79-93.
This article was posted on December 17, 2003