NCERT Textbook - Motions of the Earth Class 6 Notes | EduRev

Geography (Prelims) by Valor Academy

Created by: Rohini Seth

Class 6 : NCERT Textbook - Motions of the Earth Class 6 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


MOTIONS OF THE EARTH
3
3
Let’s Do
Take a ball to
represent the
earth and a
lighted candle to represent
the sun. Mark a point on
the ball to represent a
town X. Place the ball in
such a way that the town
X is in darkness. Now
rotate the ball from left to
right. As you move the ball
slightly, the town will
have its sunrise. As the
ball continues to move,
the point X gradually gets
away from the sun. This
is sunset.
Figure 3.2 : Day and Night on the Earth due to rotation
Figure 3.1 : Inclination of the Earth’s
axis and the orbital plane
As you know that the earth has two types of motions,
namely rotation and revolution. Rotation is the
movement of the earth on its axis. The movement of
the earth around the sun in a fixed path or orbit is
called Revolution.
The axis of the earth which is an imaginary line,
makes an angle of 66° with its orbital plane. The
plane formed by the orbit is known as the orbital plane.
The earth receives light from the sun. Due to the
spherical shape of the earth, only half of it gets light
from the sun at a time (Figure 3.2). The portion facing
the sun experiences day while the other half away from
the sun experiences night. The circle that divides the
day from night on the globe is called the circle of
illumination. This circle does not coincide with the
axis as you see in the Figure 3.2. The earth takes about
24 hours to complete one rotation around its axis.
The period of rotation is known as the earthday. This is
the daily motion of the earth.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 2


MOTIONS OF THE EARTH
3
3
Let’s Do
Take a ball to
represent the
earth and a
lighted candle to represent
the sun. Mark a point on
the ball to represent a
town X. Place the ball in
such a way that the town
X is in darkness. Now
rotate the ball from left to
right. As you move the ball
slightly, the town will
have its sunrise. As the
ball continues to move,
the point X gradually gets
away from the sun. This
is sunset.
Figure 3.2 : Day and Night on the Earth due to rotation
Figure 3.1 : Inclination of the Earth’s
axis and the orbital plane
As you know that the earth has two types of motions,
namely rotation and revolution. Rotation is the
movement of the earth on its axis. The movement of
the earth around the sun in a fixed path or orbit is
called Revolution.
The axis of the earth which is an imaginary line,
makes an angle of 66° with its orbital plane. The
plane formed by the orbit is known as the orbital plane.
The earth receives light from the sun. Due to the
spherical shape of the earth, only half of it gets light
from the sun at a time (Figure 3.2). The portion facing
the sun experiences day while the other half away from
the sun experiences night. The circle that divides the
day from night on the globe is called the circle of
illumination. This circle does not coincide with the
axis as you see in the Figure 3.2. The earth takes about
24 hours to complete one rotation around its axis.
The period of rotation is known as the earthday. This is
the daily motion of the earth.
© NCERT
not to be republished
19 MOTIONS OF THE EARTH
Figure 3.3 : Revolution of the Earth and Seasons
What would happen if the earth did not rotate?  The
portion of the earth facing the sun would always
experience day,  thus bringing continuous warmth to
the region. The other half would remain in darkness
and be freezing cold all the time. Life would not have
been possible in such extreme conditions.
The second motion of the earth around the sun in
its orbit is called revolution. It takes 365 days (one
year) to revolve around the sun. We consider a year as
consisting of 365 days only and ignore six hours for
the sake of convenience. 
Six hours saved every year are added to make one
day (24 hours) over a span of four years. This surplus
day is added to the month of February. Thus every
fourth year, February is of 29 days instead of 28 days.
Such a year with 366 days is called a leap year. Find
out when will the next leap year be?
From the Figure 3.3, it is clear that the earth is
going around the sun in an elliptical orbit.
Notice that throughout its orbit, the earth is inclined
in the same direction.
A year is usually divided into  summer, winter, spring
and autumn seasons. Seasons change due to the change
in the position of the earth around the sun.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 3


MOTIONS OF THE EARTH
3
3
Let’s Do
Take a ball to
represent the
earth and a
lighted candle to represent
the sun. Mark a point on
the ball to represent a
town X. Place the ball in
such a way that the town
X is in darkness. Now
rotate the ball from left to
right. As you move the ball
slightly, the town will
have its sunrise. As the
ball continues to move,
the point X gradually gets
away from the sun. This
is sunset.
Figure 3.2 : Day and Night on the Earth due to rotation
Figure 3.1 : Inclination of the Earth’s
axis and the orbital plane
As you know that the earth has two types of motions,
namely rotation and revolution. Rotation is the
movement of the earth on its axis. The movement of
the earth around the sun in a fixed path or orbit is
called Revolution.
The axis of the earth which is an imaginary line,
makes an angle of 66° with its orbital plane. The
plane formed by the orbit is known as the orbital plane.
The earth receives light from the sun. Due to the
spherical shape of the earth, only half of it gets light
from the sun at a time (Figure 3.2). The portion facing
the sun experiences day while the other half away from
the sun experiences night. The circle that divides the
day from night on the globe is called the circle of
illumination. This circle does not coincide with the
axis as you see in the Figure 3.2. The earth takes about
24 hours to complete one rotation around its axis.
The period of rotation is known as the earthday. This is
the daily motion of the earth.
© NCERT
not to be republished
19 MOTIONS OF THE EARTH
Figure 3.3 : Revolution of the Earth and Seasons
What would happen if the earth did not rotate?  The
portion of the earth facing the sun would always
experience day,  thus bringing continuous warmth to
the region. The other half would remain in darkness
and be freezing cold all the time. Life would not have
been possible in such extreme conditions.
The second motion of the earth around the sun in
its orbit is called revolution. It takes 365 days (one
year) to revolve around the sun. We consider a year as
consisting of 365 days only and ignore six hours for
the sake of convenience. 
Six hours saved every year are added to make one
day (24 hours) over a span of four years. This surplus
day is added to the month of February. Thus every
fourth year, February is of 29 days instead of 28 days.
Such a year with 366 days is called a leap year. Find
out when will the next leap year be?
From the Figure 3.3, it is clear that the earth is
going around the sun in an elliptical orbit.
Notice that throughout its orbit, the earth is inclined
in the same direction.
A year is usually divided into  summer, winter, spring
and autumn seasons. Seasons change due to the change
in the position of the earth around the sun.
© NCERT
not to be republished
THE EARTH : OUR HABITAT
20
Let’s Do
Do you know how to draw an ellipse? Take a pencil, two pins and a loop of
thread. Now fix these pins on a paper as shown in the figure. Put the loop
on the paper enclosing these two pins inside the loop. Now hold the pencil
and draw the line keeping the thread tight and moving the pencil along it. The
figure represents an ellipse.
Look at the Figure 3.3. You will see that on 21
st
June, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted towards the
sun. The rays of the sun fall directly on the Tropic of
Cancer. As a result, these areas receive more heat. The
areas near the poles receive less heat as the rays of the
sun are slanting. The North Pole is inclined towards
the sun and the places beyond the Arctic Circle
experience continuous daylight for about six months.
Since a large portion of the Northern Hemisphere is
getting light from the sun, it is summer in the regions
north of the equator. The longest day and the shortest
night at these places occur on 21
st
 June. At this time
in the Southern Hemisphere all these conditions are
reversed. It is winter season there. The nights are longer
than the days. This position of the earth is called the
Summer Solstice.
On 22
nd
 December, the Tropic of Capricorn receives
direct rays of the sun as the South Pole tilts towards
it. As the sun’s rays fall vertically at the Tropic of
Capricorn (23° S), a larger portion of the Southern
Hemisphere gets light. Therefore, it is summer in the
Southern Hemisphere with longer days and shorter
nights. The reverse happens in the Northern
Hemisphere. This position of the earth is called the
Winter Solstice. Do you know that Christmas is
celebrated in Australia in the summer season?
On 21
st
 March and September 23
rd
, direct rays of
the sun fall on the equator. At this position, neither of
the poles is tilted towards the sun; so, the whole earth
experiences equal days and equal nights. This is called
an equinox.
On 23
rd
 September, it is autumn season in the
Northern Hemisphere and spring season in the Southern
Hemisphere. The opposite is the case on 21
st
 March,
Let’s Do
To understand
the earth’s
inclination in
the same direction, draw
a big ellipse on the ground
and take a flag with a
stick. Stand anywhere on
the line of the ellipse.
Point your flag to a fixed
point far away like on a
tree-top. Now move along
the ellipse keeping your
flag always pointing
towards that fixed point.
In this way, the axis of the
earth remains inclined
permanently in the same
position. The revolution of
the earth and the
inclination of the earth’s
axis in a fixed direction
cause seasons.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 4


MOTIONS OF THE EARTH
3
3
Let’s Do
Take a ball to
represent the
earth and a
lighted candle to represent
the sun. Mark a point on
the ball to represent a
town X. Place the ball in
such a way that the town
X is in darkness. Now
rotate the ball from left to
right. As you move the ball
slightly, the town will
have its sunrise. As the
ball continues to move,
the point X gradually gets
away from the sun. This
is sunset.
Figure 3.2 : Day and Night on the Earth due to rotation
Figure 3.1 : Inclination of the Earth’s
axis and the orbital plane
As you know that the earth has two types of motions,
namely rotation and revolution. Rotation is the
movement of the earth on its axis. The movement of
the earth around the sun in a fixed path or orbit is
called Revolution.
The axis of the earth which is an imaginary line,
makes an angle of 66° with its orbital plane. The
plane formed by the orbit is known as the orbital plane.
The earth receives light from the sun. Due to the
spherical shape of the earth, only half of it gets light
from the sun at a time (Figure 3.2). The portion facing
the sun experiences day while the other half away from
the sun experiences night. The circle that divides the
day from night on the globe is called the circle of
illumination. This circle does not coincide with the
axis as you see in the Figure 3.2. The earth takes about
24 hours to complete one rotation around its axis.
The period of rotation is known as the earthday. This is
the daily motion of the earth.
© NCERT
not to be republished
19 MOTIONS OF THE EARTH
Figure 3.3 : Revolution of the Earth and Seasons
What would happen if the earth did not rotate?  The
portion of the earth facing the sun would always
experience day,  thus bringing continuous warmth to
the region. The other half would remain in darkness
and be freezing cold all the time. Life would not have
been possible in such extreme conditions.
The second motion of the earth around the sun in
its orbit is called revolution. It takes 365 days (one
year) to revolve around the sun. We consider a year as
consisting of 365 days only and ignore six hours for
the sake of convenience. 
Six hours saved every year are added to make one
day (24 hours) over a span of four years. This surplus
day is added to the month of February. Thus every
fourth year, February is of 29 days instead of 28 days.
Such a year with 366 days is called a leap year. Find
out when will the next leap year be?
From the Figure 3.3, it is clear that the earth is
going around the sun in an elliptical orbit.
Notice that throughout its orbit, the earth is inclined
in the same direction.
A year is usually divided into  summer, winter, spring
and autumn seasons. Seasons change due to the change
in the position of the earth around the sun.
© NCERT
not to be republished
THE EARTH : OUR HABITAT
20
Let’s Do
Do you know how to draw an ellipse? Take a pencil, two pins and a loop of
thread. Now fix these pins on a paper as shown in the figure. Put the loop
on the paper enclosing these two pins inside the loop. Now hold the pencil
and draw the line keeping the thread tight and moving the pencil along it. The
figure represents an ellipse.
Look at the Figure 3.3. You will see that on 21
st
June, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted towards the
sun. The rays of the sun fall directly on the Tropic of
Cancer. As a result, these areas receive more heat. The
areas near the poles receive less heat as the rays of the
sun are slanting. The North Pole is inclined towards
the sun and the places beyond the Arctic Circle
experience continuous daylight for about six months.
Since a large portion of the Northern Hemisphere is
getting light from the sun, it is summer in the regions
north of the equator. The longest day and the shortest
night at these places occur on 21
st
 June. At this time
in the Southern Hemisphere all these conditions are
reversed. It is winter season there. The nights are longer
than the days. This position of the earth is called the
Summer Solstice.
On 22
nd
 December, the Tropic of Capricorn receives
direct rays of the sun as the South Pole tilts towards
it. As the sun’s rays fall vertically at the Tropic of
Capricorn (23° S), a larger portion of the Southern
Hemisphere gets light. Therefore, it is summer in the
Southern Hemisphere with longer days and shorter
nights. The reverse happens in the Northern
Hemisphere. This position of the earth is called the
Winter Solstice. Do you know that Christmas is
celebrated in Australia in the summer season?
On 21
st
 March and September 23
rd
, direct rays of
the sun fall on the equator. At this position, neither of
the poles is tilted towards the sun; so, the whole earth
experiences equal days and equal nights. This is called
an equinox.
On 23
rd
 September, it is autumn season in the
Northern Hemisphere and spring season in the Southern
Hemisphere. The opposite is the case on 21
st
 March,
Let’s Do
To understand
the earth’s
inclination in
the same direction, draw
a big ellipse on the ground
and take a flag with a
stick. Stand anywhere on
the line of the ellipse.
Point your flag to a fixed
point far away like on a
tree-top. Now move along
the ellipse keeping your
flag always pointing
towards that fixed point.
In this way, the axis of the
earth remains inclined
permanently in the same
position. The revolution of
the earth and the
inclination of the earth’s
axis in a fixed direction
cause seasons.
© NCERT
not to be republished
21 MOTIONS OF THE EARTH
1. Answer the following questions briefly.
(a) What is the angle of inclination of the earth’s axis with its orbital plane?
(b) Define rotation and revolution.
(c) What is a leap year?
(d) Differentiate between the Summer and Winter Solstice.
(e) What is an equinox?
(f) Why does the Southern Hemisphere experience Winter and Summer Solstice
in different times than that of the Northern Hemisphere?
(g) Why do the poles experience about six months day and six months night?
2. Tick the correct answers.
(a) The movement of the earth around the sun is known as
(i)  Rotation (ii) Revolution (iii) Inclination
(b) Direct rays of the sun fall on the equator on
(i) 21 March (ii) 21 June (iii) 22 December
(c) Christmas is celebrated in summer in
(i) Japan (ii) India (iii) Australia
(d) Cycle of the seasons is caused due to
(i) Rotation (ii) Revolution (iii) Gravitation
3. Fill in the blanks.
(a) A leap year has _______________ number of days.
(b) The daily motion of the earth is _______________.
(c) The earth travels around the sun in ______________ orbit.
(d) The sun’s rays fall vertically on the Tropic of ___________ on 21
st
 June.
(e) Days are shorter during ___________ season.
when it is spring in the Northern Hemisphere and
autumn in the Southern Hemisphere.
Thus, you find that there are days and nights and
changes in the seasons because of the rotation and
revolution of the earth respectively.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 5


MOTIONS OF THE EARTH
3
3
Let’s Do
Take a ball to
represent the
earth and a
lighted candle to represent
the sun. Mark a point on
the ball to represent a
town X. Place the ball in
such a way that the town
X is in darkness. Now
rotate the ball from left to
right. As you move the ball
slightly, the town will
have its sunrise. As the
ball continues to move,
the point X gradually gets
away from the sun. This
is sunset.
Figure 3.2 : Day and Night on the Earth due to rotation
Figure 3.1 : Inclination of the Earth’s
axis and the orbital plane
As you know that the earth has two types of motions,
namely rotation and revolution. Rotation is the
movement of the earth on its axis. The movement of
the earth around the sun in a fixed path or orbit is
called Revolution.
The axis of the earth which is an imaginary line,
makes an angle of 66° with its orbital plane. The
plane formed by the orbit is known as the orbital plane.
The earth receives light from the sun. Due to the
spherical shape of the earth, only half of it gets light
from the sun at a time (Figure 3.2). The portion facing
the sun experiences day while the other half away from
the sun experiences night. The circle that divides the
day from night on the globe is called the circle of
illumination. This circle does not coincide with the
axis as you see in the Figure 3.2. The earth takes about
24 hours to complete one rotation around its axis.
The period of rotation is known as the earthday. This is
the daily motion of the earth.
© NCERT
not to be republished
19 MOTIONS OF THE EARTH
Figure 3.3 : Revolution of the Earth and Seasons
What would happen if the earth did not rotate?  The
portion of the earth facing the sun would always
experience day,  thus bringing continuous warmth to
the region. The other half would remain in darkness
and be freezing cold all the time. Life would not have
been possible in such extreme conditions.
The second motion of the earth around the sun in
its orbit is called revolution. It takes 365 days (one
year) to revolve around the sun. We consider a year as
consisting of 365 days only and ignore six hours for
the sake of convenience. 
Six hours saved every year are added to make one
day (24 hours) over a span of four years. This surplus
day is added to the month of February. Thus every
fourth year, February is of 29 days instead of 28 days.
Such a year with 366 days is called a leap year. Find
out when will the next leap year be?
From the Figure 3.3, it is clear that the earth is
going around the sun in an elliptical orbit.
Notice that throughout its orbit, the earth is inclined
in the same direction.
A year is usually divided into  summer, winter, spring
and autumn seasons. Seasons change due to the change
in the position of the earth around the sun.
© NCERT
not to be republished
THE EARTH : OUR HABITAT
20
Let’s Do
Do you know how to draw an ellipse? Take a pencil, two pins and a loop of
thread. Now fix these pins on a paper as shown in the figure. Put the loop
on the paper enclosing these two pins inside the loop. Now hold the pencil
and draw the line keeping the thread tight and moving the pencil along it. The
figure represents an ellipse.
Look at the Figure 3.3. You will see that on 21
st
June, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted towards the
sun. The rays of the sun fall directly on the Tropic of
Cancer. As a result, these areas receive more heat. The
areas near the poles receive less heat as the rays of the
sun are slanting. The North Pole is inclined towards
the sun and the places beyond the Arctic Circle
experience continuous daylight for about six months.
Since a large portion of the Northern Hemisphere is
getting light from the sun, it is summer in the regions
north of the equator. The longest day and the shortest
night at these places occur on 21
st
 June. At this time
in the Southern Hemisphere all these conditions are
reversed. It is winter season there. The nights are longer
than the days. This position of the earth is called the
Summer Solstice.
On 22
nd
 December, the Tropic of Capricorn receives
direct rays of the sun as the South Pole tilts towards
it. As the sun’s rays fall vertically at the Tropic of
Capricorn (23° S), a larger portion of the Southern
Hemisphere gets light. Therefore, it is summer in the
Southern Hemisphere with longer days and shorter
nights. The reverse happens in the Northern
Hemisphere. This position of the earth is called the
Winter Solstice. Do you know that Christmas is
celebrated in Australia in the summer season?
On 21
st
 March and September 23
rd
, direct rays of
the sun fall on the equator. At this position, neither of
the poles is tilted towards the sun; so, the whole earth
experiences equal days and equal nights. This is called
an equinox.
On 23
rd
 September, it is autumn season in the
Northern Hemisphere and spring season in the Southern
Hemisphere. The opposite is the case on 21
st
 March,
Let’s Do
To understand
the earth’s
inclination in
the same direction, draw
a big ellipse on the ground
and take a flag with a
stick. Stand anywhere on
the line of the ellipse.
Point your flag to a fixed
point far away like on a
tree-top. Now move along
the ellipse keeping your
flag always pointing
towards that fixed point.
In this way, the axis of the
earth remains inclined
permanently in the same
position. The revolution of
the earth and the
inclination of the earth’s
axis in a fixed direction
cause seasons.
© NCERT
not to be republished
21 MOTIONS OF THE EARTH
1. Answer the following questions briefly.
(a) What is the angle of inclination of the earth’s axis with its orbital plane?
(b) Define rotation and revolution.
(c) What is a leap year?
(d) Differentiate between the Summer and Winter Solstice.
(e) What is an equinox?
(f) Why does the Southern Hemisphere experience Winter and Summer Solstice
in different times than that of the Northern Hemisphere?
(g) Why do the poles experience about six months day and six months night?
2. Tick the correct answers.
(a) The movement of the earth around the sun is known as
(i)  Rotation (ii) Revolution (iii) Inclination
(b) Direct rays of the sun fall on the equator on
(i) 21 March (ii) 21 June (iii) 22 December
(c) Christmas is celebrated in summer in
(i) Japan (ii) India (iii) Australia
(d) Cycle of the seasons is caused due to
(i) Rotation (ii) Revolution (iii) Gravitation
3. Fill in the blanks.
(a) A leap year has _______________ number of days.
(b) The daily motion of the earth is _______________.
(c) The earth travels around the sun in ______________ orbit.
(d) The sun’s rays fall vertically on the Tropic of ___________ on 21
st
 June.
(e) Days are shorter during ___________ season.
when it is spring in the Northern Hemisphere and
autumn in the Southern Hemisphere.
Thus, you find that there are days and nights and
changes in the seasons because of the rotation and
revolution of the earth respectively.
© NCERT
not to be republished
THE EARTH : OUR HABITAT
22
1. Make a drawing to show the inclination of the earth.
2. Record the timings of sunrise and sunset at your place taking help from
your local newspaper on the 21
st
 of each month and answer the following :
(a) In which month are the days the shortest?
(b) In which months are the days and nights nearly equal?
1. Draw different shapes of ellipses by placing two pins nearer and farther
using the same loop of thread. Notice when the ellipse becomes circular.
2. On any sunny day, take a straight stick that is one metre long. Find out a
clean and level place on the ground. Place this stick into the ground where
it casts a distinctive (sharp) shadow.
Step (1): Mark the tip of the shadow with a stone or a twig or by any other
means. The first shadow mark is always towards the west. See
after 15 minutes and mark the tip of the shadow again. By then
it would have moved a few centimetres away. Now join the two
points and you have an approximate east-west line.
Step (2) : Stand with the first mark to your left and the second mark to
your right you are now facing north. This fact is true everywhere
on the earth because the earth rotates in west to east direction.
An alternative method is more accurate but requires more time. Set up your
shadow stick and mark the first shadow in the morning. Use a piece of
string to draw a clean arc through this mark around the stick. At mid-day,
the shadow will shrink or disappear. In the afternoon, it will lengthen again
and at the point where it touches the arc, make a second mark. Draw a line
through the two marks to get an accurate east-west line.
© NCERT
not to be republished
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