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The Sun is a huge ball of burning gases which gives us heat and light.

The Sun gives us most of our weather features.

It is the largest star in the solar system.

Light and heat comes from the Sun

It is a long way away !
146 million km or 93 million miles If you could drive to the Sun at 70 miles per hour it would take over 50 000 days.

= 150 years longer than we live !

Light travels very, very fast!

Guess how long it takes for light to come from the SUN to the Earth.

8 years 8 days 8 hours 8 minutes

It takes

8 minutes
for light to reach us from the Sun!

Light travels 300 000 kilometres through space every second!

Light travels in a straight line.

If something gets in its path the light is blocked. A shadow is formed.



How do they form?

Day and Night

A day + a night = 24 hours
365 of these makes 1 year.
The Earth takes 1 year to orbit the Sun.

(What does orbit mean?)


The Earth is a ball (or sphere)

The Sun cannot shine on both sides of the Earth at the same time

Some of the Earth is bright - day Some is dark night The Earth spins so each part has day and night.

Day and night

Daylight in Ireland

Dusk in India

Dark in China

Light from the Sun



At midday here
It is dawn in the USA It is dusk in India


Australia is 10 hours ahead of Ireland so at 7am in Ireland, it is 5pm in Australia Can you work out what time it is in Australia when it is 12pm in Ireland? What time is it in Ireland if it is 6am in Australia?

As the Earth spins the position of the Sun varies.

Morning the sun rises - it is light. The Sun gets higher in the sky. Then the Sun sinks and sets.


Shadows move during the day

Watch the shadow of the stick to tell the time like a sundial.


6.00 pm 12.00 noon 14

6.00 am

The seasons:
the Sun provides light and heat but winter is cold

summer is warmer

What causes this?


Summer and winter

In winter the Sun stays low in the sky. In summer the Sun rises higher in the sky.


The horizon


Summer and winter

The earth is tipped as it spins Light and heat reach the Earth at different angles in summer and winter In winter the light and heat from the Sun is more spread out than during the Summer.
It feels colder


Beam of light

Sun Summer



The Earth spins from west to east. At midday the sun is at its highest in the sky. The Sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

A red sunrise is a sign for bad weather. A red sunset is a sign for good weather.

There is an imaginary line around the middle of the Earth. It is called the Equator. From the Equator to the North Pole is called the Northern Hemisphere. From the Equator to the South Pole is called the Southern Hemisphere.

We need the Sun to survive. Without the Sun, everything would freeze. The Sun helps plants to grow. The extra heat from the Sun in summer helps flowers, plants and trees to burst into flower and ripen its fruit. Many insects feed on summer fruits and flowers.

Bees collect nectar from flowers to make honey

Summer is the favourite season for most people. The days are longer, brighter and warmer. Many outdoor activities are planned and enjoyed. Families visit the seaside and enjoy the sunshine.

Ireland is at its closest point to the Sun on 21 June, often called the Summer Solstice. This is the longest day of the year or the day we expect to have the greatest number of daylight hours.

The Winter Solstice is 21 December, the day we have the shortest day or the least amount of daylight.

Be Careful!
If people stay out too long in the strong sun, they can get sunburnt. In some countries, the Sun may shine for many months at a time without any rain. This can cause a drought. Animals and fish may suffer from lack of water and die.

I look up from Earth and try to see The planets looking back at me. I gaze at bright and distant stars And search for Mercury, Venus, Mars. I squint at the Milky Way way up high And look for Jupiter in the sky. Where are Saturn, Uranus, Neptune? They're far away, high like the moon. A telescope would be the best For spotting Pluto and the rest. I look for planets in the sky.