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Published on March 20, 2008

Author: Urania

Source: authorstream.com

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Slide1:  The Traveling Exhibit Science Background Part A: INTRO & Our Place in Space prepared by Dr. Cherilynn Morrow for the Space Science Institute Boulder, CO The Questions Behind the Exhibit:  The Questions Behind the Exhibit Are we alone? Where do stars and planets come from? What would life elsewhere be like? The Big Ideas:  The Big Ideas We are developing extraordinary new tools, techniques, and insights for exploring the age-old question of whether there is life beyond Earth. Our search for habitable worlds and signs of life in our galaxy is guided by our study of how stars and planets form & our understanding of life on Earth. Welcome to the Exhibit :  Welcome to the Exhibit Our Place in Space (Powers of 10 display) straight back Search for Life to the left Star & Planet Formation to the right Planet Quest Dome straight back The science background is organized by EXHIBIT AREA: A. Our Place in Space :  A. Our Place in Space KEY QUESTIONS: What and where are we in the cosmos? Could there be other planets like Earth out there? Slide6:  2. Planets orbit stars 3. Stars and star systems orbit the centers of galaxies 4. Galaxies orbit each other in clusters. Moons orbit planets Slide7:  Before entering the exhibit, fill in the blanks using the following key words. galaxy orbit solar system moon star Universe Earth Jupiter planets Sun 100 billion The Sun is a _________ located at the center of our __________________. Our home, called __________, is one of 9 planets that orbit around the _________. Earth has one _________ that orbits around it each month, showing different phases. Some planets have many moons that ___________ around them. ________________ is the largest planet in the Solar System and has 64 moons! Our sun is one of about _______________ stars contained in the spiral _____________ we call the Milky Way. Astronomers are now discovering Jupiter-sized ____________ that orbit around some of those distant stars. Outer space is even bigger yet because the Milky Way is only one of an estimated 100 billion (100,000,000,000) galaxies in the ______________! Exploring the Structure of the Universe Can You Fill in the Blanks? Click for Answers star solar system Earth Sun moon orbit Jupiter 100 billion galaxy planets Universe Astronomy Games: Fill-in-the-Blank Copyright 2000 Cherilynn Morrow – Used with permission artscienceducation@yahoo.com Earth is one of 9 PLANETS* in our SOLAR SYSTEM. The planets orbit a central STAR we call the SUN.:  Earth is one of 9 PLANETS* in our SOLAR SYSTEM. The planets orbit a central STAR we call the SUN. Can you name the other planets? Hit <RETURN> for answers Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Rocky terrestrial planets of the inner solar system. Gas & ice giant planets of the outer solar system. Influenced by the gravity of Jupiter & Neptune, icy comets from the outer solar system likely delivered important ingredients for life to the young Earth environment (e.g. water and carbon compounds). Our Place in the Solar System *The exact number depends on whether we call objects like Pluto “planets”. Slide9:  Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system. Jupiter is a gaseous world without a solid surface. Jupiter has twice the mass of all the other planets combined. Jupiter is 10 times the diameter of Earth. A thousand Earths would fit inside Jupiter. Slide10:  In the past decade, we have begun to detect the presence of Jupiter-sized worlds in orbit around other stars in our Milky Way galaxy. Artist’s concept of 3 “extra-solar planets” Slide11:  Earth is in our solar system’s “habitable zone” where liquid water can exist on the surface. Venus “Too Hot” Earth “Just Right!” Mars “Too Cold” The Goldilocks Effect Slide12:  A hundred Earths would fit across the diameter of the Sun. A million Earths would fit inside the volume of the Sun. Earth-sun distance not to scale Slide13:  The Sun is the ONLY star in the SOLAR SYSTEM. Earth is the ONLY planet in our solar system where we know for sure that life has evolved. Slide14:  The Sun is the only star in the SOLAR SYSTEM, but it is one of over 100 billion stars in the GALAXY we call the Milky Way. Our solar system is located about 2/3 of the way out from the galaxy’s center. Astronomers think that most of the stars in the Milky Way galaxy could also have planets orbiting around them. These are called “extra-solar planets”. Artist’s Concept of our Milky Way Galaxy Our Place in the Galaxy 2. “Milky Way” = the band of light and dust that stretches across a dark night sky.* This is just a portion of one of the spiral arms that we can see from Earth.:  2. “Milky Way” = the band of light and dust that stretches across a dark night sky.* This is just a portion of one of the spiral arms that we can see from Earth. The term “Milky Way” is used in two ways. For purposes of this presentation, we mean the whole galaxy. 1. “Milky Way” = our entire galaxy of 100 billion stars.* Our whole solar system orbits once around the galaxy’s center every 225 million years or so. * The image above is of another spiral galaxy that may be a lot like our own Milky Way. It would not be possible to make such an image of our own galaxy from within it. This galaxy is called NGC 4414. * The image above is a long exposure photograph, showing much more contrast than we would see with our naked eye. To the eye, the “Milky Way” looks like a faint, whitish band with a few dark patches. Slide16:  “What if we filled this whole room with crystals of salt?” That’s how many stars in the whole Milky Way galaxy! ~ 100 billion! “Milky Stars” Mirrored Room: part of the Alien Earths exhibit Slide17:  Of course, the Sun is really 10 billion times bigger than a grapefruit with a 14 cm diameter. Q1. About how big would planet Earth be on this scale? [Show size with your hands or an object. <RETURN> for answer.] Assume the Sun is the size of a large grapefruit: A1: About the size of a pencil tip Q2: On this scale, how far away would pencil-tip “Earth” be from the grapefruit “Sun”? A2: About 15 meters (50 ft) away. Pluto would be about ½ mile away. Q3: On this scale, how far away would the nearest star in the Milky Way galaxy be? A3: About 5000 km (3000 miles). The East-West distance across the US! Slide18:  So in this scale model, the space between the Sun and the NEAREST STAR in the Milky Way galaxy is like having one grapefruit on the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco, and another grapefruit on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. Images of spiral galaxies make it seem like stars are crammed closely together, but in reality there are vast distances between them. So Many Stars, So Little Time:  At the present time, our technologies enable us to search around the nearest stars in the Milky Way galaxy (the pink sphere) for extra-solar planets or signs of intelligent life. So Many Stars, So Little Time Slide20:  We are searching in a tiny portion of the Milky Way galaxy, and yet our galaxy is only one of more than 100 billion galaxies in the Universe! All but 4 specks in this “Hubble Deep Field” image are entire galaxies, each of them with 100 billion stars. Earth is one of 9 PLANETS that orbit a STAR we call the SUN [“3rd rock from the Sun”] The Sun is at the center of the SOLAR SYSTEM and is the ONLY star in the Solar System. Our SUN is one of over 100 billion STARS in the GALAXY we call the Milky Way We are detecting the presence of Jupiter-sized worlds in orbit around other stars in our Milky Way Galaxy. Our GALAXY is one of over 100 billion galaxies in the UNIVERSE! :  Earth is one of 9 PLANETS that orbit a STAR we call the SUN [“3rd rock from the Sun”] The Sun is at the center of the SOLAR SYSTEM and is the ONLY star in the Solar System. Our SUN is one of over 100 billion STARS in the GALAXY we call the Milky Way We are detecting the presence of Jupiter-sized worlds in orbit around other stars in our Milky Way Galaxy. Our GALAXY is one of over 100 billion galaxies in the UNIVERSE! A. Our Place in Space SUMMARY Slide22:  Test yourself on “Earth’s Place in Space” by taking a few minutes to play TWO ASTRONOMY GAMES OR Skip ahead to PART B: Star & Planet Formation Two Astronomy Games :  Two Astronomy Games ﴀ Two Astronomy Games Copyright 2004 Cherilynn Morrow – Used with permission artscienceducation@yahoo.com Slide24:  On a sheet of paper, make two columns like the ones below: Smallest Largest Closest Farthest ﴀ Two Astronomy Games Copyright 2004 Cherilynn Morrow – Used with permission artscienceducation@yahoo.com Slide25:  Game # 1: The next slide will show 9 images Order the objects in these images from the smallest object (number 1) to largest object (number 9). Use the first column in the table you created. Write the letter as well as the name of the object in the column. This way, you will have a list that you can consult later. Are you ready? ﴀ Two Astronomy Games Copyright 2004 Cherilynn Morrow – Used with permission artscienceducation@yahoo.com Slide26:  A. THE SUN B. EARTH C. SPACE SHUTTLE D. THE MOON E. THE SOLAR SYSTEM G. MARS H. A GALAXY I. JUPITER F. BEARS Press ENTER for a HINT Mars has no oceans and the same LAND area as Earth ﴀ Two Astronomy Games Copyright 2004 Cherilynn Morrow – Used with permission artscienceducation@yahoo.com The Solution:  The Solution ﴀ Two Astronomy Games Copyright 2004 Cherilynn Morrow – Used with permission artscienceducation@yahoo.com Slide28:  7A. THE SUN 5B. EARTH 2C. SPACE SHUTTLE 3D. THE MOON 8E. THE SOLAR SYSTEM 1F. BEARS 4G. MARS 6I. JUPITER 9H. A GALAXY ﴀ Two Astronomy Games Copyright 2004 Cherilynn Morrow – Used with permission artscienceducation@yahoo.com Slide29:  Game # 2: The next slide will show 9 images. Order the objects in these images from the object that is nearest to the surface of Earth (number 1) to the object that is farthest from the surface of Earth (number 9). Use the second column in the table you created. It would be best to write the letter as well as the name of the object in the column. This way, you will have a list that you can consult later. Are you ready? ﴀ Two Astronomy Games Copyright 2004 Cherilynn Morrow – Used with permission artscienceducation@yahoo.com Slide30:  A. THE SUN B. A GALAXY C. AURORAS D. THE MOON E. JET AIRPLANE F. HUBBLE TELESCOPE G. AN EAGLE H. STARS OF THE BIG DIPPER I. SATURN Auroras occur in Earth’s uppermost atmosphere Stars we see are within the Milky Way galaxy If we see a whole spiral, it can’t be our own galaxy. Saturn is 10 times farther from the Sun than Earth The Space Shuttle can visit Hubble, but not the Moon Press ENTER for HINTS ﴀ Two Astronomy Games Copyright 2004 Cherilynn Morrow – Used with permission artscienceducation@yahoo.com The Solution:  The Solution ﴀ Two Astronomy Games Copyright 2004 Cherilynn Morrow – Used with permission artscienceducation@yahoo.com Slide32:  G. AN EAGLE E. JET AIRPLANE C. AURORAS F. HUBBLE TELESCOPE D. THE MOON A. THE SUN I. SATURN H. STARS OF THE BIG DIPPER B. A GALAXY ﴀ Two Astronomy Games Copyright 2004 Cherilynn Morrow – Used with permission artscienceducation@yahoo.com Slide33:  These games are available on-line in multiple modalities: As you see it here in PowerPoint As a downloadable card game for the exhibit floor As an on-line interactive As a classroom activity Go to www.alienearths.org. Click on “Traveling Exhibition” then “Education Program” then “Activities” ﴀ Two Astronomy Games Copyright 2004 Cherilynn Morrow – Used with permission artscienceducation@yahoo.com

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