4 Dec Science 8 Building the Scale Model of the Solar System

Today build your scale model of the solar system.

(Don’t forget the moon–smile: https://www.space.com/38969-supermoon-trilogy-kicks-off-dec-3.html  )

  • Follow guidelines for safety. Pick up all pieces of your model when you are finished.
  • Work collaboratively, efficiently, and safely.
  • Measure carefully and thoughtfully. Use equipment properly.
  • Take photos and/or videos of any aspect you need. If you need narration, consider adding it later as the background noise outside may cause interference.

Here’s an idea for a travel through our solar system ebook (think of the pictures you would need from today’s activity)

Title: A trip through our solar system imagined in New Delhi

  • Pictures of map and locations
  • Picture of model objects
  • Pictures of the street scenes at the location of the objects
  • Interspersed with information about each object, etc.

For your reflection: What are some of the issues involved with using models to explain, predict, understand?

***Summative Astronomy Sci 8 17-18 Making a model of our solar system to scale by size and distance***

Groups prepare and construct the model. Individuals:

  1. Make a video (5 minute limit) (with commentary) OR ebook showing a scale model of solar system with both size and distance illustrated to the same scale.
  2. Produce in hard copy and digital (in students’ DSNs) a written / sketched storyboard.
  3. Present in hard copy and digital (in students’ DSNs) equivalence chart / calculations to objects and orbits in the model.
  4. Provide information about sizes, distances and scale.
  5. Present in hard copy and digital (in students’ DSNs) the directions and inclinations of orbits. (Include interesting facts about the orbits and planets in the commentary.)
8.SC.BTH.A.2 – 2. Developing and using models
8.SC.BTH.A.5 – 5. Using mathematics and computational thinking
8.SC.BTH.B.3 – 3. Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
8.SC.BTH.E.2 – ESS1.B: Earth and the Solar System

Some questions from previous assessments–things to consider including in your ebook or video:

  • At around 16 km / s, it took the New Horizons spacecraft to travel from earth to Pluto a little over 9 years. How long did it take you to travel from earth to Pluto in your model? How different was your speed from the New Horizon’s? At what speed would you have to walk in the model to mimic New Horizon’s actual speed? 
  • Identify the aspects of your model that correspond to “reality.” Where does your model “break” with reality?
  • Approximately how many times has your model “shrunk” from the actual size of the solar system?
  • What surprised you most about the scaling distance and size in the solar system by the same factor? Why?
  • The distance of planets from the sun is most clearly related to
  1. a) the time for one revolution
  2. b) the size of the planet
  3. c) the composition of the planets’ atmospheres
  4. d) the time for one rotation
  • Which of the following is/arenot evidence to support an elliptical orbit of the earth around the sun
  1. a) the number of days from the spring equinox to the fall equinox is greater than from the fall equinox to the spring equinox
  2. b) the sun’s apparent diameter is slightly smaller in the summer than in the winter
  3. c) the sun is never directly overhead outside of the tropics
  4. d) the practice of daylight savings time—the practice of moving clocks ahead in the spring and back in the fall 
  • Which of the following is not true.
  • All planets in our solar system:
  1. a)  orbit in nearly the same plane
  2. b) orbit in the same direction
  3. c) have moons 
  4. d) travel faster when they are closer to the sun
  • The direction of the orbits of planets in star-planet systems
  1. a) is the same throughout the universe
  2. b) is determined by the specific circumstances of the formation of each system
  3. c) is always the same as the direction of rotation
  4. d) cannot be determined
  •  Which of the following is/are not true
  1. a) With gravitational attraction the sun pulls on the planets but the planets do not pull on the sun
  2. b) Gravity is a force where every mass is attracted to every other mass
  3. c) Gravitational force gets weaker as the distance increases between masses
  4. d) Gravitational force depends on the size of the masses
  • What is the best explanation for why we can see Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn without a telescope but cannot see Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
  1. a) The respective distances from the earth
  2. b) The size of the planets
  3. c) The speed of revolution
  4. d) The amount of light produced by each planet
  • Use your project chart on the size and distances of the planets to answer the following questions. The sun’s actual diameter is ~1,392,000km. If in a scaled model, we make the sun’s diameter 200mm, what would be the scale diameter of one planet?
  • Venus 1.7
  • Earth 1.8
  • Mars .9
  • Saturn 16.7
  • Uranus 6.7
  • Neptune 6.5
  • Pluto  .3
  • Use your project chart on the size and distances of the planets to answer the following questions. If in a scaled model of our solar system, we set the distance scale as 1m = 10 million km, calculate the scaled distance between two of the following planets and the sun.
  • Mercury 58,000,000 5.8
  • Earth 150,000,000 15
  • Jupiter 779,000,000 77.9
  • Pluto 5,913,000,000 591.3

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