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									    Scale Model of the Solar System                         Name:
    SOL G.14: The student will use proportional reasoning   Name:
    to solve practical problems.


    INTRODUCTION

          Our concept of the solar system has changed greatly throughout history. From
    the early Greek’s geocentric models to Kepler’s Platonic Model, to a child’s toy,
    accuracy has been a challenge.




Kepler’s Platonic Model             Geocentric Model               Junior Solar System Mobile Kit
                                                                  [ aka: a mathematical disaster ]
           Guinness World Records Limited has listed Richmond’s Grand Kugel, as world’s
    largest kugel by both diameter and weight. Located at the Science Museum of Virginia,
    the earth globe is a single piece of South African black granite polished into a sphere
    that is 29-tons and 2.653 m (8 feet 8 inches) in diameter.



    THE TASK

    Determine the exact diameters and possible locations of the sun and planets that would
    match the scale of the Grand Kugel. Find a graphic to represent each celestial body in
    your presentation. Use any digital presentation method to show your solution (Google
    Earth, PowerPoint, Prezzi, etc.)
THE PROCESS

   1. Use the given web resources to find the actual diameters and distances (to the
      sun) of the nine planets and sun.
   2. Use the following procedure to “scale-down” the measurements found in step 1.

                 Kugel ' s Diameter 
                Earth ' s Diameter 
                                                    Scale Factor  ____________________

             real measurement  scale factor  " scaled  down" measurement
   3. Fill in the charts below.

                                                                       Actual                  Scaled
            Actual Diameter             Scaled Diameter           Distance to Sun          Distance to Sun
Sun                                                                      0                        0
Mercury
Venus
Earth                                    8 feet 8 inches
Mar
Jupiter
Saturn
Uranus
Neptune
Pluto


   4. Determine the exact locations (city and state) where you would place the sun and
      other eight planets based on the size and location of The Grand Kugel. (fill in the
      chart below)


location             city               state
Sun
Mercury
Venus
Earth           Richmond                 VA
Mar
Jupiter
Saturn
Uranus
Neptune
Pluto

   5. Save pictures of the sun and nine planets onto your computer. Paste each
      picture into Google Earth at the locations you choose.
   6. Create a sight-seeing tour on Google Earth and save your file. Turn this file in as
      your final project.
RESOURCES

      Conversions: http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/dsdt/ucg/index.html
      Unit Conversions - Metric System:
       http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/58340.html
      Choosing appropriate units: http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/64222.html
      Views of the Solar System: http://www.solarviews.com/eng/homepage.htm
      The Nine Planets – A Multimedia Tour of the Solar System:
       http://www.nineplanets.org/
      Solar System Simulator: http://space.jpl.nasa.gov/
      Solar System Exploration: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/index.cfm
      Powers of Ten:
       http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/scienceopticsu/powersof10/



EVALUATION

Topic of Evaluation           # of    Points per       Total
                             items       item          Points
Actual Measurements            19          1            19
Scaled Measurements           18           1             18
Appropriate Units of          18          0.5             9
Scaled Measurements
Locations                     9            2             18
Correct location = 2 pts
Incorrect location = 1 pt.
Incomplete location = 0
pts.
Presentation File             1           26             26
(no partial credit)
Pictures included in the      10           1             10
presentation

Total Points                                             100


CONCLUSION

Size and distance is relative. Something seems big only when compared to something
smaller. Is the Earth big? Is Pluto far away? How far is it to the nearest star? Could we
possibly travel to that star? If so, how long would it take? These sound like the
questions of a child, yet they are that very topics NASA currently is struggling with.

I would pose one last question: If you wanted to hang an accurate mobile of the solar
system in your classroom, how large (diameter) would you make the sun?

								
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