One common misconception is that the seasons are caused by how close the Earth is to the Sun. Today you get to do an experiment that shows how seasons are affected by axis tilt, not by distance from the Sun. And you also find out which planet doesn’t have sunlight for 42 years.

The seasons are caused by the Earth’s axis tilt of 23.4o from the ecliptic plane.


  • Bright light source (not fluorescent)
  • Balloon
  • Protractor
  • Masking tape
  • 2 liquid crystal thermometers (optional)
  • Ruler, yardstick or meter stick
  • Marker
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8 Responses to “Seasons”

  1. Liquid crystal sheets are what thermometer strips for aquariums are made from. You can also find them on Amazon.

  2. Cindy Soderlund says:

    Specifically, what is it called at the fish tank store and it’s purpose for fish because the sales rep has no clue of what I’m looking for when I say liquid crystal sheet?

  3. Yes that’s right. You can get them for a couple dollars at a fish tank supply store.

  4. Cindy Soderlund says:

    Hi. In regards to the liquid crystal thermometers, are you referring to the liquid crystal sheets noted in the Unit 13 Shop List? Thanks!

  5. hat’s a good question. The Earth has an atmosphere, and the moon does not, so you can see the blackness of space on the moon, but the blue scattered light (called the sky) on the Earth!

  6. Mia-Louise Connor says:

    I have a question about space but not really seasons, so I suppose this is the wrong place to write it really, but I will ask anyway. How is it that we can stand on the surface of the moon and look out over space, however we can’t stand on the surface of earth and look out over space? Is this something that is known by scientists? I am not sure to what to look for on the internet or wise I would look for it myself. Sorry to ask such a tricky question. 🙂

  7. Jeanne Eicks says:

    Do you have a purchasing recommendation for liquid crystal thermometers?