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Earth and Space SCE 3110

Activities for Earth
Activity 1
Investigating the Relationship between Wind and Wave Size
What yo! need"
Electric fan
Sand and Pebbles.
What to do"
1. Construct a beach with sand and pebbles at one end of the tray. Slowly fill the tray
with water to a depth of 3cm.
2. Position the fan at the opposite end of the tray to the sand. Aim the fan so that it will
hit the water at rouhly a !"# anle.
3. $sin the low speed of the fan% turn it on for 3 minutes. &ecord your obser'ations in
the table. Allow water to calm.
!. $sin the hih speed of the fan% turn it on for 3 minutes. &ecord your obser'ations
on the table. Allow water to calm.
". Write a prediction that describes what you thin( will happen when you turn the fan on
for " seconds at hih speed.
). Turn the fan on for " seconds at hih speed. &ecord your obser'ations ne*t to your
+. $sin your obser'ations what can you say about the lin( between wa'e si,e and
$i%e &bservations
Prediction of .ih speed for " seconds.
0bser'ation of .ih speed for " seconds.
Activity '
Investigating the Relationship between Wave Speed and Water (epth
What yo! need"
Two different lenths of wood.
What yo! need"
1. 1ill the stream tray to a depth of 1cm.
2. $se the loner piece of wood at one end to act as a reflector.
3. $sin the shorter piece of wood% ma(e a wa'e pulse by droppin or pushin the
wood into the water one end at a time.
!. Time how fast it ta(es the wa'e to tra'el the distance of the tray.
". &ecord your findins in the table.
). Complete aain with water depths of 2cm% 3cm% !cm and "cm.
+. &ecord your obser'ations and e*planations you miht ha'e.
$i%e &bservations
Activity 3
#or%ation of volcano
What yo! need"
2a(in Soda
4odellin Clay
What to do"
1. 5n roups students build a mini 'olcano usin modellin clay% ba(in soda and
2. Students reflect on the reaction that caused their 'olcano to erupt and how this is
similar to acti'e 'olcanoes.
6$se your creati'ity to ma(e this e*periment a successful one
Activities for Space
Activity 1.1
Finding North
The direction of true north 7towards the eoraphic north pole8 can be found by
watchin the chanin lenth of a shadow durin the middle of the day. When the
Sun passes the hihest ele'ation in the s(y it is said to transit the %eridian* that is%
the Sun crosses the line 9oinin the north celestial to south celestial poles 7fiure 2.28.
The hihest position of the Sun will i'e the shortest shadow which lies alon the
north:south line.
+o! will need"
; a piece of thic( paper or cardboard 7foolscap8
; a +" to 1<< mm nail with a flat head or another suitable pointed ob9ect
; a pair of compasses for drawin circles
; a protractor for measurin anles
; blue tac( or um
What to do"
1. Start your e*periment soon after 11.<< a.m. and continue until about 1.<<p.m. Times
may be different for different times of the year.
2. 1ind a flat place outside in the sun. A concrete path is ideal or
use a flat board. 4a(e sure the paper or cardboard does not
mo'e or blow in the wind. Put hea'y stones on it.
3. 4ar( a point near the centre of your paper. Stand the nail or
stic( upriht on the paper on this mar( 71iure 1.18.
!. 4ar( where the shadow of the nail ends.
". Ta(e away the nail and use your compass to =uic(ly draw a
circle with a radius less than the lenth of the shadow. >our
circle should not reach the end of the shadow.
). Put the nail bac( in e*actly the same position. 4a(e sure the nail shadow ends
where it did before.
+. ?ea'e the paper and nail in position for about 2 hours. 4ar( the position of the top of
the nail shadow e'ery 1" minutes. >ou should also mar( the point on the circle when
the tip of the shadow 9ust touches the circle you drew.
-. Watch carefully as the shadow lenthens aain after local noon time.
@. 4ar( the position when the top of the nailAs shadow aain touches the circle.
1<. &emo'e the nail. Boin the centre of your circle to the two points where the shadows
touched the circle. 2e careful not to mo'e the paper.
11. $se a protractor or your compass to di'ide the anle between the shadow lines into
two e=ual parts. Craw this line riht across your circle. $his line points tr!e north
and so!th
12. 4ar( this line on the concrete or round. Dow remo'e your paper. 5t is a ood idea to
paint the line or put some white paint on a post or ob9ect that is alon this line. 5t can
be used for other acti'ities later on.
1iure 1.1
Activity 1'
Locating And Recording The Position Of Objects
To locate and record the chanin positions of ob9ects in the s(y we need to be able to
measure anles in a simple way. >ou carry with you one of the best and easy to use
de'ices for this 5t is called your hand. The acti'ity that follows shows you how to
estimate anles with your hand span and (nuc(le span.
Azimuth and atitude
We need a way of measurin two thins to find the position of an ob9ect. The first is the
direction or azi%!th from true Dorth which you will find usin your hand span. The
second is the anle abo'e the round which you will find usin your (nuc(le span. This
is called the altit!de.
What to do"
1. To find the si,e of your hand span% stand up and stretch your arm out straiht.
Spread your finers wide apart. Close one eye and line the outer ede of your thumb
up with a distant tree or ob9ect. See what your little finer is lined up with. 4o'e your
thumb to this position.
2. Eeep doin this and (eep count of the number of times to o around a complete
circle 73)<#8. Ci'ide the number of hand spans into 3)<#. This will i'e you the
3. si,e of your hand span.
Example: Dumber of hand spans in a circle F 2<
Therefore one hand span F 3)<#G2<F 1-# per hand span
!. The width across your (nuc(les 7fist8 will be appro*imately half of your hand span.
". To ma(e it simple for you% most adults with a'erae hands ha'e a hand span of 2<#
and a (nuc(le span of 1<#.
+o! now have two !sef!l ways to %eas!re angles
1. $sin your hand span estimate the altitude of a tree or buildin in the rounds.
2. A student with a hand span of 1-# measures the position of the moon early one
e'enin. The measurements are fi'e hand spans from north and three (nuc(le spans
up from the hori,on. What is the a,imuth and altitude of the moonH
Activity '1
-sing Star Chart to .ocate Stars
A star chart is used to identify stars and constellations. Each niht the stars mo'e across
the s(y% risin in the east and settin in the west.
What yo! need"
A star chart for the E=uatorial reion set at -.<< pm
A torch liht 7co'er with transparent red paper8 or red flashliht
What to do"
1. Since 4alaysia is in the e=uatorial reion% a star chart for the E=uatorial reion is
2. The star chart shows the Dorth and South direction as well as dates% hours and
altitudes alon the sides of the chart.
3. 5f you are facin south% turn the star chart so that south is at the bottom of the chart.
5f you are facin north% turn the star chart so that north is at the bottom of the chart.

1iure 3I A Star Chart 7E=uatorial reion8
3. ?oo( for the date that you want to see the stars. The stars alon the Dorth to South
of the chart at that date are the stars that you will see alon the line that passes
your ,enith at -.<< pm.
!. An hour later% letAs say at @.<< pm% the stars would ha'e mo'ed towards the west.
So% the positions of the stars at your ,enith would ha'e chaned. The line of stars
that passes your ,enith would be the stars an JhourA nearer east on the star chart.
!. The star chart also shows the relati'e brihtness of the stars by their si,e on the
chart. Cim stars are shown as tiny dots. 2riht stars are shown by bi dots.
0bser'e the relati'e brihtness of stars.
". $se your star chart to identify
7a8 the constellations 0rion% Taurus% etc.
7b8 the stars Sirius% 2eteleuse% Procyon% Antares% etc.
1. At what time of the year is 0rion% the Southern Cross and Scorpio 'isible in the
4alaysian s(yH
East West
1 hour later
Activity !.!
"tar Patterns
4any stars ha'e been rouped toether into reconisable roups or patterns called
constellations. Some of these patterns were made up by the ancients and you need a lot
of imaination to see some of the mythical creatures. 4ost of the names of the
constellations are based on the ancient names howe'er many southern star roups
were only seen durin the e*plorations into the southern oceans. The Southern Cross
7Cru*8 was named by these early seafarers. .owe'er we should also reconise that the
southern constellations were also well (nown% by different names and different leends%
by southern ci'ilisations. 1or e*ample% the Polynesians such as the Tonans call the
Southern Cross Toloa 7wild duc(8.
+o! will need"
a piece of dark coloured cardboard
sticky tape
pin and nail
another small piece of cardboard
What to do"
1. Select one of the constellations.
2. &oll your cardboard into a tube% at least
-< mm across% and tape it.
3. 0btain another piece of cardboard lare
enouh to fit o'er the end of the tube.
$se the nail or pin to ma(e different si,ed
holes to represent different brihtness
stars. 7?are holes for briht starsK8
!. Tape your constellation card o'er the end
of the tube. 4a(e sure the side you
pric(ed faces the inside of the tube. 5t is
now ready for use.
". Stand somewhere dar( and loo( throuh the tube towards liht.
). Twist or rotate the tube and obser'e what happens to the star pattern.
+. 4o'e your tube from east to west o'er the top of your head without twistin the tube.
0bser'e what happens to the appearance of the constellation. Where is the top and
1. What is the effect of the rotation of the earth on the apparent mo'ement of the
2. The constellation 0rion rises with the three stars of the belt pointin east. Predict
what you would obser'e when it setsH S(etch the chanin orientation of 0rion with
reference to the cardinal points.
Activity !.#
"tar $ovement
During the night the stars appear to move from east to west. If you look south,
you will notice that some stars appear to move in circles. his happens slowly
during the night. 5n this acti'ity you will ma(e a model of some stars that may ha'e been
used by Polynesian and 4elanesian sailors to find their way across 'ast e*panses of
+o! will need"
!ne sheet of cardboard "#$%
'ircular star chart on page ()
'harcoal, black paint or texta pen
*aper fastener
What to do"
1. Place the circular star map 71iure 3.38 o'er the piece of cardboard.
2. 4ar( the famous na'iation stars by pushin throuh with your pencil.
3. 4ar( the outline of the circle and its centre.
!. Dow ta(e away the star map and mar( the stars% circle and centre on your
". Cut out the circle and push a small hole throuh the centre.
). Dow use the remainder of your cardboard to mar( and cut out the rectanular shape
71iure 3.!8 i'en at the bottom of 1iure 3.3.
+. Cut the slot alon the line A2. Co not cut to the edes.
-. Colour the portion below the hori,on blac(.
@. Push holes throuh the ma9or centre e.. Cairns
@. Put your circle in the slot so that the two holes 7hole throuh centre of circle and
ma9or centre point Cairns8 line up.
1<. Pin the two pieces of cardboard toether.
>ou now ha'e a model of the stars around the South Celestial Pole as seen from Cairns.
The pin or paper fastener is directly abo'e the EarthAs South Pole. 5f you turn your dis(
cloc(wise you will see what the stars do at niht. The appro*imate latitudes for the ma9or
centres in Eastern Australia are Cairns 71+# S8% &oc(hampton 723# S8% 2risbane
72+."#S8% Sydney 73!# S8% 4elbourne 73-# S8 and .obart 7!3# S8.
Activity '/
-sing Co%p!ter 0rogra%%es
There are many computer prorams li(e 7Earth:centred uni'erse% Starry niht%
Stellarium8 that simulate the s(y for different locations and time of the year. 1ind any one
of these proramme from the internet or buy one yourself. E*plore the proramme that
you ha'e. ?oo( for locations and manitude of stars and mo'ement of the sun and
Activity 31
Relative Size And (istance &f 0lanets #ro% $he S!n
The planets and sun in our solar system ha'e different si,es and are at different
distances from the sun. .ow bi and how far is each planet from the sunH
What yo! need"
colour pencils
What to do"
1. 1orm @ roups% each roup is to draw the relati'e si,e of a planet or the sun.
2. Search the internet for information on the si,e and position of each planet from the
3. Cecide on a suitable scale for all the roups.
!. Craw% colour and cut each planet and the sun.
". Paste the planets and sun on a wall with a suitable scale of the distances between
the planet and the sun.
Activity /1
1ow Can A S%all 2oon Cover A 3ig S!n4
The si,e of the sun is !<< times the si,e of the moon. .ow can a small moon co'er a bi
sun durin an eclipse of the sunH
2oon S!n
(ia%eter 3%!+) 1%3@2%<<<

What yo! need"
blac( suar paper
ten:cent coin
What to do"
Craw a circle " times the si,e of a ten:cent coin on a blac( suar paper.
Cut out the circle and paste in on a wall at eye le'el.
.old the ten:cent coin a fi*ed distance in front of your eye and stand in front of the circle
on the wall.
4o'e away from the wall until the coin 9ust co'ers the circle on the wall.
4easure and record the distance of the coin from the wall and the eye from the coin in a
&epeat with circles 1< times% 1" times and 2< times the si,e of the coin.
Analyse your data and draw a conclusion.
What do you thin( is the relati'e distance of the moon from the earth and the sun from
the earthH
.ow far do you thin( the moon is from the sun for the moon to co'er the sunH
Activity /'
.ines of 5odes and Eclipse Season
The moon oes throuh the full moon and the new moon phases once e'ery month.
Why is it that we do not e*perience eclipse of the sun e'ery monthH An eclipse can only
occur durin a period called an eclipse season durin which the sun is close to a node in
the moonAs orbit. What is an eclipse season and what is a nodeH
What yo! need"
one pin pon ball
one olf ball
one torchliht
What to do"
1. Craw an ellipse on the cardboard.
2. Place the olf ball that acts as the earth in the middle of the ellipse that represents
the orbit of the moon and the pin pon ball at the furthest end of the ellipse as in
1iure 1 below.
3. Place the torchliht in the middle of a bier ellipse that represents the orbit of the
!. Place the cardboard at positions A% 2% C and C at an anle of " from the hori,ontal
for new and full moon.
". Write done your obser'ation of the shadows of the moon and earth.
). 2ased on your obser'ation% e*plain nodes and eclipse season.
Activity 61
Earth7s 2agnetosphere
The interaction of the solar wind and earthAs manetic field produces a reion called the
manetosphere. The manetosphere pre'ents most of the particles from the sun% carried
in solar wind from hittin the earth. Sometimes some particles from the solar wind enter
the manetosphere and create the auroral o'al lihts.
The manetosphere has many reions. 5n this acti'ity% you will identify the different
reions of the manetosphere.
What yo! need"
Paper cut:out of the earthAs manetosphere
Colour pencils
1iure 1
What to do"
1. Print Attachment i'en.
2. Colour the different reions of the manetosphere. Colors may distinuish the
Plasma Sheet 7includin area mar(ed LPlasma Con'ectionHL8% Plasma 4antle and
?ow ?atitude 2oundary ?ayer 7use same color8% Tail ?obes and 5nner &adiation 2elt.
The reion outside the manetosphere 7in the solar wind8 may be left white or i'en
a liht color. >ou may lin( to the color imae abo'e and use it as a uide.
3. Cut out the area mar(ed LCut 0utL but lea'e tab intact.
!. 1old alon the crosslines across the pae to produce a three:sided corner with the
printed picture on the inside.
". $se tape to attach the tab to the bac( side of the panel carryin the words LTail
?obesL and LPlasma Sheet%L to hold the paper in its folded position. 5f no tape is
a'ailable% carefully cut a slot in the mar(ed place to the riht of the words LPlasma
SheetL and insert the end of the tab.
1. What are the reions of the manetosphereH
2. Why is the manetic field around the earth important to usH
$eachers7 notes
The solar wind compresses the manetic field lines facin it on the day side of the Earth
and confines those lines into a rounded ca'ity. 5n the opposite direction% on the niht
side% the same solar wind stretches field lines into a lon LmanetotailL and the ca'ity
then becomes a lon cylinder. That i'es the shape of the manetosphere.
A manetosphere has many reions% such as the bow shoc(% manetosheath%
manetotail% plasmasheet% lobes% plasmasphere and radiation belts. These reions are
composed of chared particles and manetic flu*. These particles are responsible for
many wonderful natural phenomena such as the aurora and natural radio emissions
such as lion roars and whistler wa'es. The particles mo'e and circulate about the
manetosphere and e'en enerate storms. The manetosphere chanes constantly%
e'en flippin its orientation e'ery few thousand years.