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Transcript
Name: _______________
Cosmic Survey:
What are Your Ideas about the Universe?
Introduction:
Many people (adults and students alike) are familiar with the names of
objects in space, but have an incomplete mental model of where those
objects are in space, their relative size and scale, and how they fit
into the cosmic scheme of things. Understanding the sizes and distances
of celestial objects can be tricky, since in our everyday experience,
the stars all seem the same distance away, and the moon can appear close
or far away depending on whether you observe it near the horizon or
higher in the sky. And of course most people’s knowledge of dim and
distant objects such as nebulae (“birth” of a star) and galaxies comes
mainly from images in book or online, where all the images are about the
same size with no indication of scale.
In this activity, you will work independently and then within a group to
answer survey questions about a variety of space objects in the cosmos
in terms of how big, how far, and how old each are. The space objects
to think about in this activity are Deep Field Galaxies, the Sun,
Saturn, Pleiades Stars, the Moon, the Milky Way Galaxy, and the Hubble
Space Telescope.
Data Collection:
I.
Ranking
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
#
Correct
II.
Ranking
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
#
HOW BIG?
Largest
Group the objects according to their size: Smallest to
My Ideas
Group’s Answer
Actual Answers
HOW FAR? Group the objects according to their distance from
Earth: Closest to Farthest
My Ideas
Group’s Answer
Actual Answers
Correct
III. HOW OLD?
Oldest
Ranking
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
#
Correct
Turn over 
Group the objects according to their age: Youngest to
My Ideas
Group’s Answer
Actual Answers
Analysis:
1.
How many correct answers did you have? __________
How many correct answers did your group have? __________
2. Which category (big/far/old) was the easiest to place in order? Why?
How did you know? (answer all 3 Q’s)
3. Which category (big/far/old) was the hardest to place in order?
Why? What problems/difficulties did you
and your group encounter while working on this category? (answer
all 3 Q’s)
4. Describe an interesting fact that you learned today or a fact/idea
that you did not think about in such a way
before.