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Our planet is the Earth: it is shaped like a sphere and gets heat and light from the Sun. The Earth spins on its axis. A day on Earth is 24 hours, because it takes it that long to make a complete spin. Have a look at Earth being tilted on its axis.


Earth axis


The spin of the Earth makes us see the Sun rising in the east in the morning and setting in the west in the evening. The half of the Earth that faces the Sun has day and the other half night. This alternates as the Earth spins.


It takes the Earth one year (365.25 days) to orbit the Sun. In the summer, days are longer and the Sun shines higher in the sky. The Earth's orbit is like an ellipse. Check the shape of an ellipse in the following diagram.


Orbit of Earth and seasons


Our calendar year is 365 days long, so every four years we add an extra day to make up the time; this is called a leap year (when February has 29 days).


Earth and moon


A satellite is something that orbits around a planet. The Earth has a natural satellite: the Moon.

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