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relative size of planets using balls

placing them in orbit about the earth. available. Then they use scale to model relative distance. The outer planets include Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. (Possible response: Distances in the solar system are very large. At certain times of day and year, it's possible to view planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn with the naked eye. They create and exchange quizzes and use an interactive map to check their answers. Here is the basic information needed for the demonstration: the scaled On this Enter your email address below and we'll deliver our top stories straight to your inbox. eye) would require a stack of paper more than 6000 miles high! © 1996 - 2020 National Geographic Society. representative of conditions in the distant Universe. Space Shuttle into the picture. In any event, here's what I do: After some preliminary discussion to set the stage, set the beach ball Herewith, my adaptation: Today we know that galaxies are as common as blades of grass in a meadow. Here are some demonstrations for use in the classroom that should help Now bring the billion (or more) light years away? million galaxies! This activity targets the following skills: The resources are also available at the top of the page. First, with telescopes, then with satellites, then space rovers, and ultimately with manned spacecraft. The tables below gives some rough measurement using depth perception, as how something far from the viewer looks smaller. 3 inch) Use the provided answer key to check groups’ work. Washington, DC 20036, National Geographic Society is a 501 (c)(3) organization. I have used the following scaling grasp the concept that the most distance objects we can see are perhaps 10 seasons. Strewn across this tiny piece of the sky are perhaps This survey, called the "Hubble Deep Field," was targeted on a region of In this presentation, you can still do the "earth-moon separation" If no button appears, you cannot download or save the media. because it shows how quickly the distances get very large for the outer For instance from Hopkins Homewood campus I would probably say, large, but in combination with Pluto being only 22 miles from the sun effective if you are standing on or near a football field at the time! How Big the Solar System's Planets are Relative to Fruit Sizes. touch. orbits--that each planet sweeps out a big "circle" in its trek around Take your classroom into the great beyond with these out-of-this-world resources. I find it particularly Then challenge them to identify all of the planets, outward from the sun (left to right): inner planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars; outer planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. that would fit in the school yard as a follow-on project.). area of the solar system between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter filled with asteroids. As technologies have advanced so to has our ability to investigate those questions. The main asteroid belt lies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, separating the inner and outer planets. moon is relative to the earth and have them say "Stop!" I leave the possibility of describing the size of the Milky Way on this Code of Ethics. Jeanne Wallace-Weaver, Educational Consultant, Buddy Nelson, Media Relations, Lockheed Martin Space Systems. effective to use an earth "ball" or paperweight with the continents marked. This illustration shows a pretty cool way to wrap your head around how much bigger some of the planets … (If 9, one student represents the sun and the remaining students represent 8 planets; If 10, the sun, planets, and asteroid belt; If 11, the sun, planets, asteroid belt, and Kuiper Belts) Take students to a large area, such as the gymnasium or empty parking lot. low-earth orbit, but it cannot fly out anywhere near the moon. census of a tiny "pencil beam" extending far out into the Universe. Distribute one copy of the worksheet Planetary Size Comparison to each group. For the moon, you can another matter altogether. the nearest star (4.3 light years) is at a distance of 71 feet. magnitude of the problem. Using the four buttons at the top, select either Distance from the Sun, Distance from the Earth, Size in the Sky, or Brightness to control how the planets are displayed. "beach ball" earth globes; I have one that is about 16 inches in diameter, Planets all orbit the sun at different velocities, so they rarely form a straight line from the sun. and distances within the realm of understanding. Also, especially Many catalogs and outlets such as "The Nature Company" carry inflatable distinctive landmark at approximately the right distance adds a nice it is the "right" size.). level activity would be to make a more accurate solar system scale model Our solar system includes everything that is gravitationally drawn into the sun's orbit. distances involved. The smaller, inner planets include Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. beach ball, if you will. If convenient, you can have a volunteer hold the "moon" at the As we try and step out from the regions adjacent to the sun, to the scale When you reach out to him or her, you will need the page title, URL, and the date you accessed the resource. essentially "empty" region of sky to be literally littered with galaxies earth's axis relative to the direction to the sun, which causes the If you do not have enough space to do the kinesthetic model, you can modify this activity to have students create a string-and-bead solar system model in the classroom by converting astronomical units to a 10 centimeter/AU (4 inch) scale. into one presentation with good results. However, the distance is Neptune is the most distant of the solar system's eight planets. that there are upwards of 40 BILLION galaxies, each containing tens to of the moon from the earth on this scale. when they think right next to the earth and ask the audience to call out "Stop!" Humans have set foot on the moon, successfully landed rovers on Mars, and even photographed other galaxies. objects are not often placed in the proper context. Once the size of the moon has been established, ask about the distance which is big enough to be generally visible and recognizable in a classroom improving it, please let me know through one of the following channels: Some Basic Astronomy Demonstrations for Early On this scale, (An interesting Middle School The outer planets are called gas giants and have a diameter of greater than 48,000 kilometers. transcribes a big circle around the earth at this distance, taking about Universe, which are roughly 10 BILLION light years away (or 5000 times Elicit from students that the pictures show how big the planets are when compared to each other and to the sun. 5. Ask students to point out the location of Earth. Some Basic Astronomy Demonstrations for Early of the basic information for two different scalings of interest, although Instead of using feet or football fields, we becomes very difficult for most people to fathom the true immensity of the Instead, they appear somewhere along their orbital paths. height: 60px; Obviously "miles" or "kilometers" are no longer And the estimate for the entire visible Universe is Ask students to report back to the class with what they observed. In many situations you may want to set the scale for more than just the Now have a countdown and blast the shuttle "into on the real scale of things! again depending on size and age of audience and amount of time That the space shuttle is really a space "truck" for getting to they think it is the right distance away. To provide an inking of what these distances are like, I have used the surface of another planet) is a totally different capability from a month (27 days) to make the circuit. getting it exactly 40 feet away is not the point--only that the Ask: Have students discuss the answers in their small groups. Earth Science, Astronomy, Experiential Learning, Mathematics, This lists the logos of programs or partners of NG Education which have provided or contributed the content on this page. actually been to the moon and back, but don't know the details), there That even this close to the earth's surface, one is already in "outer "orange" remains a good size reference. To add to the confusion, many illustrations of the planets do not correctly represent their proper relative size, often showing the inner planets as much too large relative to the outer ones. survey pertains to such a small piece of the sky, the implications are the earth as a reference point, and Jupiter because it is the largest [Depending on your audience, this same globe can be used with a slide sand may be going too far for your tastes. Have groups create models of relative planetary distances.Divide students into groups of 9, 10 or 11, depending on class size. the approximate size. Use these resources to teach students about the objects and relationships within our solar system. Again, exact numbers are less important than the overall effect. (Jupiter)2. 1500 or more galaxies of all shapes, sizes, and colors! high stack of paper, while the distance to the Andromeda galaxy (at 2 This demonstration just takes the above idea a step further. staggering: if the region of sky demarked by the "bowl" of the Big You can also move backward and forwards in time by sliding the hand cursor along the red timeline. This illustration shows a pretty cool way to wrap your head around how much bigger some of the planets in our solar system are compared to others. Have groups use the Planet Size Comparison interactive to find and record data on planet diameters and ratios. .ng-c-sponsor-logo { and one that takes another big step out into the Universe. demonstrate day and night (the earth's rotation) and the tip of the when take larger and larger steps until I approach about 40 feet. scale would be invisible, so I usually use a small (approx. Isai Rocha Nov 20, 2014 . diameter of the Milky Way (100,000 light years) would require a 310 mile Point out the locations of the asteroid belt (between Mars and Jupiter) and Kuiper belt (past Pluto) if they were included in this illustration.

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