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Distance Measurements and Scientific Notation - Essay Example

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Start by discussing how vast the universe is. For instance, explain to students that light travels at an unbelievably fast speed of 300 million meters per second, and yet light takes years to travel to us from the stars and takes thousands or even millions of years to travel the depths of space between galaxies. …
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Distance Measurements and Scientific Notation
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Download file to see previous pages Help students grasp our place in the enormous universe by reviewing your school’s “galactic address”—beginning with its street address and ending with its place in the universe. Review the units of measurement that are used to represent distances in each part of the galactic address. Give students examples for each step, or have them use reference materials to provide their own examples. Help them appreciate unfamiliar units of measurement, such as light-years and astronomical units. By thinking about their location on a small scale first and then moving out to a much larger scale, students begin to learn a sense of how distance is measured at each scale. This understanding will motivate them to learn through the lesson further. 1. Tell students that one means of putting these unimaginable sizes and distances into perspective is to compare them to smaller scales that are easier to understand. In this activity, students will convert and sizes in space to smaller units. Distribute the Class Activity Sheet: Understanding Sizes and Distances in the Universe. Instruct students to work in pairs to answer the questions. Solution: Three pieces of information are needed in order to determine this scale distance to the moon: the diameter of the quarter, Earth’s diameter, and the actual distance from Earth to the moon. Measuring the quarter reveals that it has a diameter of 1 inch. Earth’s diameter is about 8,000 miles. The actual distance from Earth to the moon is an average of 240,000 miles, although this distance can vary with the moon’s orbit around Earth. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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