Year 5: Earth and Space | STEM
Sunlight reaching Earth can heat the land, ocean, and Teaching about the Sun's energy is supported by five key concepts: a. . The Solar Influence: Climate Change video from the National Academies can help reinforce the evidence that. How much bigger than Earth is the Sun? Classroom Ideas. Description. The sizes and numerical facts about the Sun and Earth are illustrated through colourful. This list consists of lesson plans, activities and video clips to support the teaching of describe the Sun, Earth and Moon as approximately spherical bodies. • use the idea of the Earth's rotation to explain day and night and the.
To study the movements of heavens back then, you would look up into the sky. You would see the Sun and stars revolve around the very spot where you were standing, the Earth — just as Ptolemy did some 1, years ago. This geocentric view, backed by the very powerful religions at the time, endured for more than 1, years until it was toppled by Copernicus and confirmed by Galileo.
Through their observational evidence, and by using the newly invented telescope, they produced data and logic supporting a Sun-centered, heliocentric model of the Solar System. Through these revolutionary findings, geocentrism began to crumble. In the later s, Newton developed his three basic laws of motion and the theory of universal gravity by combining physics, mathematics, and astronomy. These ideas laid the foundation for our current understanding of the Earth and the cosmos, and helped astronomer Edwin Hubble construct the modern-day Big Bang theory.
Stargazers Ptolemy about 85— Claudius Ptolemy's theory extended the cosmological theories of Aristotle. Earth was at a center of a series of concentric spheres containing the Moon, the planets, the Sun, and a final sphere of fixed stars. Copernicus — A Catholic, Polish astronomer, Nicolaus Copernicus, synthesized observational data to formulate a Sun-centered cosmology, launching modern astronomy and setting off a scientific revolution. Galileo — Galileo Galilei, an Italian Renaissance man, used a telescope of his own invention to collect evidence that supported the Sun-centered model of the Solar System.
Sir Isaac Newton — By combining physics, mathematics, and astronomy, Newton developed the three basic laws of motion and the theory of universal gravity. Henrietta Leavitt — By measuring the amount of time between the fluctuating brightness levels of variable stars, Leavitt discovered that it would be possible to estimate their distance away from the Earth, and possible to map the Universe. Edwin Hubble — Hubble drew upon existing ideas and evidence to demonstrate that the Universe was much larger than previously thought and proved that it is expanding — laying the foundations for the Big Bang theory.
Big History Project: Our Solar System & Earth
In one second it races around the Earth seven times. Then in a blink of an eye, light reaches the Moon. Going out to the stars, Astronomers know that by studying Cepheid variables, the fluctuation in brightness of certain stars, we can calculate the star's distance from Earth. The longer the period of fluctuation, the brighter the star.
So even though a star might appear extremely dim, if it had a long period it must actually be extremely large. The star appeared dim only because it was extremely far away.
By calculating how bright it appeared from Earth and comparing this to its intrinsic brightness, Astronomers could estimate how much of the star's light had been lost while reaching Earth, and how far away the star actually was.
Touching the edge of the Universe In the scale of the Universe, light would take eight minutes to reach the Sun. And four years to reach Proxima Centauri, the next nearest star. But could light ever cross the entire Universe? Or might it still have a long way to go?
Nobody knows for sure. The Biosphere Out With the Bad, in With the Good Different elements joining, colliding, breaking apart, and joining again is a very ferocious stage in the life of any planet. Even after the Earth formed, when the atmosphere began to stabilize, it was under siege.
Early microbes, in their struggle for life, clashed with and consumed hydrogen gas.
Hundreds of millions of years passed. These microbes evolved into prokaryotes and adapted further, finding energy in sunlight. Then, in a process called photosynthesis, they flooded the atmosphere with oxygen.
- NASA Sun-Earth Video Wins International Science Challenge
- Day and night
- Year 5: Earth and Space
And I don't want to say only, but it's gotten this far. If we look at it on this scale, it's gotten about that far right there. It's aboutastronomical units. And to give a sense-- so there's two ways to think about it.
One says, like, wow, that's really far. Because we know that even on this scale, you can't even see Earth's orbit. So this looks like it's a pretty, pretty far distance. And just to give you a sense of how far astronomical units are, if 2, years ago, Jesus got on a plane-- I actually cut and pasted a copy of Jesus, just for visualization purposes-- but if he'd got on a jet liner at 1, kilometers per hour and went straight in that direction, in the direction that Voyager, Voyager would only just now be catching up to Jesus.
So this is a huge, huge, huge, huge distance. But at the same time, even though it's a huge distance, especially relative to everything else we've talked about, relative to just even the outer reaches of the solar system, we're still talking in terms of a small scale. So that's how far Voyager is. And just to give a sense, on this scale-- so this whole box over here can be contained in this box.
And when you look at this box, Voyager's only gotten about that far after traveling at this unbelievable velocity for over 30 years, for about 33 years. And just to give you an idea of these other things, Sedna, right here, is a reasonably large-sized outer solar system object. It's one of the furthest objects that we know of in the solar system. And it has this very eccentric orbit.
So it gets-- I don't want to say relatively close, but not unreasonably far away. And then it gets really far away from the sun. But even Sedna's orbit-- so if I were to look at this, so this whole box over here can be contained right over here.
So in this diagram right here, you wouldn't even be able to see. It would be like a speck how far Voyager has traveled in 33 years at 38, miles per hour. You would not even be able to notice. You wouldn't even notice that distance.
And even though you can't even notice that distance, we still have the sun's influence. The gravitational pull is still attracting things to it.
And this right here, we speculate that there is the Oort cloud. And this is where the comets originate from. And this is just a bunch of frozen gases and ice particles and things like that. But we're starting to get to the outer reaches of the solar system. And this distance right here is about 50, astronomical units.
And just to give a scale-- because you hear a lot about light years and all of that-- light years are about 63, astronomical units. So if you go a light year out from the sun, you'll end up in the Oort cloud, the hypothesized Oort cloud. And just to give a sense, another scale, the Oort cloud is actually-- most of the planets' orbits are roughly in the same plane.
But this right here is the orbit of the planets. And once again, these lines are drawn too thick. They're just drawn the thinnest possible so that you can see them, but they're still drawn too thick.
The Sun is the Primary Source of Energy for Earth's Climate System.
And this gets us all the way to the Kuiper belt. But all of this over here, so all the way out to the Kuiper belt, all the way out to all of the major planets-- this is Pluto's orbit right over here. This whole diagram is only sitting in right over there. You can barely see it. This whole diagram is just that dot in this. And then you can see the Oort cloud all around it. And it's more of a spherical cloud.
And we think it exists. Obviously, it's hard to observe things at that distance.
How big is the Sun in relation to Earth?
So hopefully, that gives you a beginning sense of the scale of the solar system. And what's really going to blow your mind-- if this hasn't blown your mind already-- is that this whole thing's going to start looking like a speck. When you even just look at the local area around our galaxy, much less the galaxy, much less the universe as a whole. Anyway, I don't want to get-- well, anyway. The data clearly shows that the sun's irradiance is not correlated with Earth's temperature.
Excellent explanations for this can be found at Skeptical Science: Moving in Opposite Directions and with a graphic from Bloomberg: What's Really Warming the World?
This engaging graph is made with NASA data and model output. Bringing these ideas into your classroom Solar radiation is the fundamental energy driving our climate system, and nearly all climatic and biologic processes on Earth are dependent on solar input. Energy from the sun is essential for many processes on Earth including warming of the surface, evaporation, photosynthesis and atmospheric circulation.
Thus, examining how the sun fuels different processes on Earth can be a part of many types of science courses. Many of the science concepts relating to this principle can be addressed by encouraging seasonal observations, participating in citizen science programs with students such as GLOBEand periodically revisiting the basics of how the amount and intensity of solar energy affects Earth's climate.
The ways that the Sun's energy drives the climate system can be taught from a very basic level on upward through the most sophisticated scientific approaches. Integrating Solutions - The science concepts that relate to solar radiation can be expanded to include solar energy engineering and technology, including solar ovens, passive solar design, solar thermal energy and solar electricity. This can help raise awareness for alternatives to the use of fossil fuel and create a forum for discussions about solutions to climate change that our society can adopt.
This is called albedo, or reflectivity. This item is in the public domain and maybe reused freely without restriction.