User Tools

Site Tools


outreach:tours

Tour Guide Cheat Sheet

Stuff Kids are Taught

See the Australian Curriculum pages for details

Grade 3/4 (9 and 10 year-olds)

  • recognising the sun as a source of light
  • constructing sundials and investigating how they work
  • describing timescales for the rotation of the Earth
  • modelling the relative sizes and movement of the sun, Earth and moon

Solar System

If the Sun (1.4 million km diameter) were shrunk to the diameter of the 26m dish, (scaling is 53 million to 1) Earth would be the size of a basketball and the Moon about the size of a tennis ball. On this scale, Earth would be 2.6 km away (roughly Cambridge) and the Moon would be 6.5m from the Earth. You can fit all the planets into the space between the Earth and the Moon.

Body Diam (km) Scaled Diam (cm) The size of…
Sun 1,392,000 2600 26m dish
Mercury 4,879 9.2
Venus 12,100 22.8 Basketball
Earth 12,740 24.0 Basketball
Moon 3,474 6.6 Tennis or cricket ball
Mars 6,779 12.8
Jupiter 139,800 264
Saturn 116,500 220
Uranus 50,720 96
Neptune 49,250 93
Pluto 2,372 4.5 Golf ball

Distances

Earth to Moon

The Moon is 384,000 km from the Earth, which is 7.2m on this scale (about 5 grade 4 kids with their arms stretched out)

From the Sun
Body Dist from Sun (millions of km) Scaled Distance (km) From Mt Pleasant to…
Mercury 58 1.1 Frogmore Creek
Venus 108 2.0 Half way back to Cambridge on Richmond road
Earth 150 2.8 Mini-golf, Cambridge
Mars 228 4.3 Cambridge Park (Anaconda, Harvey Norman etc)
Asteroid belt 950 7.8 Richmond
Jupiter 779 14.7 Hobart CBD
Saturn 1,433 27.0 Bagdad
Uranus 2,877 54 Oatlands
Neptune 4,503 85 Ross
Pluto 5,874 110 Conara

Here's a spreadsheet that calculates the above scales.

Other topics

Active Galactic Nuclei (by Stas)

There are millions of galaxies in the Universe. All the big ones - including our own Milky Way - have huge black holes at their centres. These are between a million and a billion times heavier than the Sun, which itself weighs 2 million million million million million kilograms! Black holes are supposed to be black, but actually regions immediately surrounding them are the brightest things in the Universe. Black holes suck matter up (physicists call this “accretion”), and the friction during this accretion process makes regions just outside the black hole event horizon glow white hot. We call these regions Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN).

During the accretion, AGN also eject jets of plasma (which consists of electrons moving at close to the speed of light, spiralling around magnetic field lines). These jets are the most powerful outbursts in the Universe, and we can see them with radio telescopes. Because they are so bright, we can observe AGN to huge cosmic distances and use them to study how the Universe has evolved. AGN also allow us to probe extreme physics - for example, whether the laws of physics as we know them still work in regions of really strong gravity or magnetic fields. Often this work is done using the technique of very long baseline interferometry, where signals from telescopes separated by thousands of kilometres are combined to create a much larger virtual telescope; this huge virtual telescope can then peer into the very inner regions of AGN, where the strongest gravity and magnetic fields are found.

AGN eject jets of plasma (which consists of electrons moving at close to the speed of light, spiralling around magnetic field lines). These jets are the most powerful outbursts in the Universe, and we can see them with radio telescopes. Because they are so bright, we can observe AGN to huge cosmic distances and use them to study how the Universe has evolved. Because AGN are so extreme, they allow us to probe extreme physics - for example, whether the laws of physics as we know them still work in regions of really strong gravity or magnetic fields. Often this work is done using the technique of very long baseline interferometry, where signals from telescopes separated by thousands of kilometres are combined to create a much larger virtual telescope; this huge virtual telescope can then peer into the very inner regions of AGN, where the strongest gravity and magnetic fields are found.

/home/www/auscope/opswiki/data/pages/outreach/tours.txt · Last modified: 2017/11/17 00:04 by Jim Lovell