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.”
February 12 – A Sun, Earth, Moon Model (pg505).docx
February 12 – Paper Cut-Outs.docx
February 12 – Sun, Earth, Moon Answer Key.pptx