Aries Math Challenge

So you are a ram! From the top of the mountain you can see great distances. Some objects look small from far away. At night, the stars and planets look very small. What are their actual sizes?

A model represents the real thing. If a model is good, it is built to SCALE. That means that the sizes and distances show real relationships to each other. But they are shown much smaller. When we build a model, we say that we draw a SCALED model of those objects.

Road maps are scale models of an area. Look for a chart on a map that shows what the scale is. For example, on one map, a distance of 100 miles can be drawn on a scale of one inch. On tha map, half a mile would be drawn as half an inch.

That means that 75 miles on that map would be drawn as , and 25 miles would be drawn as .

In this activity, you are going to create a scaled model of the solar system, compute the acutal size of each planet and its distance from the sun.(This activity was modified and adapted from http://www.union.edu/PUBLIC/KIDS/fsnScaleModel.htm)

A. Create a scale model of the solar system (IF YOU HAVE KIDS AT HOME, SHOW THEM HOW TO CREATE A MODEL USING OTHER OBJECTS, LIKE MARBLES OR CANDY.)

1. Using a meter stick, measure a strip of adding machine paper 2 meters long. Cut the strip at that point.
2. Roll out your paper strip, and tape it to a table with masking tape.
3. Draw a large arc or part of a circle shaped like ")" at the left end of your paper strip to represent the sun.
4. Look at the SCALE distances from the SUN in the table below to find out how far from the sun to place each planet. Put a small mark on your strip for each planet.
5. Print the SCALED picture of the planets. Click on the arrow ->
6. Carefully cut out each planet including its name. Paste each planet in its proper place using a glue stick.

B. EXTRA CHALLENGE!!! Using the instructions and information below, fill in the missing information.

The circles that you cut out (above ) have a line through them. That line represents the diameter of a circle.In the scale used for the diameter of each planet diameter for the planet, 1 millimeter (mm) stands for 2,000 kilometers (km).

When you know the scale, you can find the REAL diameter for each planet. To calculate the planet's real size, measure the dashed line (representing the SCALED diameter for each planet) and then multiply the number of millimeters by 2,000.

For example, since the circle representing Venus has a SCALED diameter of 6 mm (the length of the line in the circle), the REAL diameter of Venus is 6 x 2,000, or 12,000 km.

Calculate the REAL diameters of each planet, and write the answers in the last column of the chart below.

CHART
DISTANCES FROM THE SUN: REAL AND SCALED

 Planet Real Distance from the Sun Scaled Distance from the Sun Scaled Measurement of the Diameter Real Diameter of the Planet Mercury 60,000,000 km 2 cm Venus 110,000,000 km 4 cm Earth 150,000,000 km 5 cm Mars 230,000,000 km 8 cm Jupiter 780,000,000 km 26 cm Saturn 1,430,000,000 km 48 cm Uranus 2,880,000,000 km 96 cm Neptune 4,590,000,000 km 153 cm Pluto 5,900,000,000 km 197 cm

C. Show what you've learned by answering the questions in the boxes provided. When you finish, print this page and place it in your folder.

1. Which is the largest planet?

2. Which is the smallest planet?

3. Which planet is fourth farthest from the sun?

4. Which planet is farthest from the sun?

5. Which planet is closest to the sun?

6. Which two neighboring planets are closest to each other?

7. Which two neighboring planets are farthest from each other?

8. Which planet is closest to Earth?

9. Which planet is farthest from Earth?