* Daylight Savings Time requires that measurements be taken one hour earlier, but I did not know to measure at 11:55 AM. The 11/4 measurement was taken exactly one hour later than it should have been, which may skew the data slightly.
The most difficult part about making precise measurements was measuring the shadow at exactly 12:55 PM once a week. It was also difficult to measure the shadow when Daylight Savings Time started because I was in class every day at 11:55. My data could have been improved if I measured the shadow with a tape-measure instead of a ruler, and also if I did not have class at the time we are supposed to measure the shadow.
The solar angle is the elevation angle of the Sun. The solar angle of the Sun seems to decrease as time passes from September toward November. The position of Earth in our orbit of the Sun causes the Sun to be lower in the sky. The solar angle of the Sun will continue to decrease until the winter solstice around December 22. Then, the solar angle will begin to increase again.
The greater the angle of the Sun at mid-day, the longer the day will be. The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, and the angle of the Sun is the lowest it will be in the sky.
The higher the Sun is at mid-day, the warmer the day will be. As the Sun’s height decreases, the weather becomes colder (moving us toward the winter). The length of the day relates to the weather because the shorter the day becomes, the colder the day will be. The shortest day of the year occurs in the middle of the winter, around December 22nd, when it is very cold outside.
The first pattern I observed was the phase of the Moon. When I began to observe the Moon, it was already half way through its cycle of phases. I observed a Full Moon on September 9 at 9:00 PM. I observed the Moon in the Waning Gibbous phase the next day at 8:53 PM. On September 20 at 9:00 PM, I observed the Moon in the Third Quarter phase. Each successive time I observed the Moon, the phase changed. After seeing the New Moon, Waxing Crescent, First Quarter, and Waxing Gibbous phases, the Moon phase became full again. This process occurred over the course of 27 days according to my observations. The moon phases are supposed to change over the course of 27 ½ days, so my observations were pretty accurate.
The second pattern I observed was the direction of the Moon. According to my observations, the Moon was located East in the sky from September 16 to September 23. The Moon was located South-East in the sky from September 28 to October 6. Finally, the Moon was located East in the sky from my next observation on October 9 to October 21. Basically, the Moon was in the same two areas of the sky for the duration of my observing period of a little over a month. I am not sure what can be drawn from these observations.
The third pattern I observed was the angular height of the Moon. On September 16 at 9:00 PM, I observed that the Moon had an angular height of about 60 degrees. The following day, September 17 at 8:53 PM, the Moon seemed to have a slightly smaller angular height of about 55 degrees. The Moon’s angular height appeared to decrease from 55 degrees to around 30 degrees, occurring on September 28 at 8:58 PM. From that day on, the Moon’s angular height appeared to increase again, maxing out at a height of around 75 degrees on October 9 at 9:00 PM. From that day, the angular height of the Moon appeared to decrease again. My last observation was on October 21 at 8:52 PM. The angular height of the Moon appeared to be 45 degrees on that day. From my observations, I learned that the angular height of the Moon changes from day to day. The angular height of the Moon actually changes with the phase of the Moon. The angular height should be greatest when there is a New Moon and least when there is a Full Moon. Most of my observations were around 9:00 PM during the course of the 27 days, so I observed that the Moon was highest in the sky when there was a Waxing Gibbous. Had I observed the Moon phases at their respective highest angular heights, I would have observed that the New Moon had the highest angular height.