Sun, Earth, Moon Diagrams (pg505)

Grade Levels
6th - 9th
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6 pages
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  1. his is a bundle of all of the lessons, labs, PowerPoints, and worksheets for Unit 5: Astronomy. The bundle also includes the Unit 5 Test and its answer key. For a walkthrough of the unit, including pictures and videos, please click here.
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  2. This bundle includes an entire year's worth of material. It includes lessons, labs, projects, tests and more. The seven units include are as follows:Unit 1 - Forces and MotionUnit 2 - ChemistryUnit 3 - GeneticsUnit 4 - EvolutionUnit 5- AstronomyUnit 6 - Earth's SystemsUnit 7 - Environmental ScienceT
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Today we had a competition where students had to build a scale model of the solar system on their desk. Or not the whole solar system — that would have taken forever! — but rather a model of the Sun-Earth-Moon system. Students were given a yellow sun roughly the size of a softball and they had to cut out circles of paper that showed the correct size of the Earth and moon, relatively speaking. Then they had to place them at the correct distance away from the sun and sketch out the motion of each object as well.

Afterwards, we corrected our work. And the true answer defied expectation. Given our scale (the sun = 13 cm), the Earth would have roughly the same diameter as your pencil lead (0.12 cm) and the moon would be roughly the size of a grain of sand (0.03 cm). Not only that, at that same scale, the Earth and sun would have to be placed 46 feet apart! And what lies between is the vast, empty expanse that we call “space.” (To see a video of Mr. A's explanation, please click here.)

Total Pages
6 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
45 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Develop and use a model to describe the role of gravity in the motions within galaxies and the solar system. Emphasis for the model is on gravity as the force that holds together the solar system and Milky Way galaxy and controls orbital motions within them. Examples of models can be physical (such as the analogy of distance along a football field or computer visualizations of elliptical orbits) or conceptual (such as mathematical proportions relative to the size of familiar objects such as students’ school or state). Assessment does not include Kepler’s Laws of orbital motion or the apparent retrograde motion of the planets as viewed from Earth.
Analyze and interpret data to determine scale properties of objects in the solar system. Emphasis is on the analysis of data from Earth-based instruments, space-based telescopes, and spacecraft to determine similarities and differences among solar system objects. Examples of scale properties include the sizes of an object’s layers (such as crust and atmosphere), surface features (such as volcanoes), and orbital radius. Examples of data include statistical information, drawings and photographs, and models. Assessment does not include recalling facts about properties of the planets and other solar system bodies.
Develop and use a model of the Earth-sun-moon system to describe the cyclic patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the sun and moon, and seasons. Examples of models can be physical, graphical, or conceptual.


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