Far Out Facts About Space and The Planet Hunter


Mike Brown is a real guy

He’s a professor of astronomy at Cal Tech, and he’s still searching for planets!
Check out his website at:
http://www.gps.caltech.edu/~mbrown/index.html


The real size of things

Jupiter and Pluto are such wildly different sizes that it’s hard for books, posters, and lunchboxes to show their real relative sizes. So in general, they don’t. They fudge things to make Jupiter look smaller than it really is and Pluto much larger than it is. You’ll be amazed to see how tiny Pluto really is compared to other planets. Remember it’s only half as big as our moon!
Check out the relative sizes of the planets.

Click below for an amazing outdoor activity called "The Earth is a Peppercorn" that not only drives home the real relative sizes of planets but also the huge distances between planets:
http://www.noao.edu/education/peppercorn/pcmain.html

NASA’s Kid’s pages

Games, activities, and space exploration updates:
http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forkids/home/index.html


Hubble Space Telescope

What scientists have seen from this orbiting telescope has changed our view of the universe. Check it out!
http://hubblesite.org/

Star gazing

What to look for in the sky tonight:
http://hubblesite.org/explore_astronomy/tonights_sky/

Check out a history of planet discoveries and planet-designation changes at:
http://www.pbs.org/seeinginthedark/astronomy-topics/planets-and-pluto.html

COOL SOLAR SYSTEM ACTIVITIES

Make a Crater
Mike Brown was inspired as young boy to make model moon craters by throwing rocks into mud in his backyard. Your students can have the same experience with a little less of a mess with this activity.
Teacher page at: http://lunar.arc.nasa.gov/education/activities/active15a.htm
Student page at: http://lunar.arc.nasa.gov/education/activities/active15.htm

The Real Size of Planets
Jupiter and Pluto are such wildly different sizes that it’s hard for books, posters, and lunchboxes to show their real relative sizes. So in general, they don’t. They fudge things to make Jupiter look smaller than it really is and Pluto much larger than it is. This website has an amazing outdoor activity called "The Earth is a Peppercorn" that drives home the real relative sizes of planets AND the huge distances between planets:
http://www.noao.edu/education/peppercorn/pcmain.html


The Real Space Between Planets
An easy hallway activity using a roll of toilet paper will help your students understand the relative distances between planets:
http://www.astrosociety.org/edu/family/materials/toiletpaper.pdf


All About Orbits
Activities to help kids understand that planet orbit at different speeds:
http://btc.montana.edu/CERES/html/58Orbits/58orbits.html


Copyright 2013 Elizabeth Rusch
 

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