Calculating day length

The shortest day of the year, the winter solstice, is around June 21 in the Southern Hemisphere. This day has the least amount of daylight hours. The longest day of the year, the summer solstice, is around December 21. This day has the greatest amount of daylight hours.

In this activity, students are invited to research and record the number of daylight hours for the solstices, the equinoxes and other days. They then describe their data and attempt to explain why the length of day varies.

What you need

  • Download student activity (menu at right)
  • Sunrise and sunset times from a newspaper or the Internet
  • Pen and paper

Calculating day length activity illustration

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Related Resources

Activity - PDF

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