Cubs in Orbit - Sun

Report Copyright Infringement View in OSM UK View in OSM NZ


Use a torch / lantern, tennis ball (moon) and football (earth) to show how the earth goes around the sun


Per group: Torch, Football, tennis ball


Switch the lights off!
Demonstrate and explain, using a torch / lantern, tennis ball (moon) and football (earth), and three cubs, to show
1) The earth spinning, and how a marked spot passes from light to dark
2) The earth going round the sun (football around round lamp)
3) The moon going around the earth (as the earth goes around the sun!)

Give each group a torch, tennis ball and football and let them experiment with it, each with a different question (eg. below) to investigate and explain to the rest of the pack. Sixer (or seconder) to organise their 6 / to demonstrate it to everyone else.

1) How does the earth goes around the sun?
Key points, takes 365 days to do one circuit, spins around on it's axis once every day

2) Why we have day and night
Because the earth is rotating on it's axis, so we face away from the sun for 12 hours a day

3) How a solar eclipse happens.
The moon, which rotates around the earth, comes between earth and the sun: because it is closer to the sun, it blocks out it's light.

4) How a lunar eclipse happens.
The earth casts it's shadow across a full moon when they are in perfect alignment, stopping the moon reflecting the light of the sun and making it dark.


  • astronomer
  • Team challenge

Badge Links

  • Astronomer - Sun
  • Team Leader - Lead
  • Teamwork - Team game