How Far Away is the Moon? (The Scale of the Universe)

Is the moon relatively close? Relatively far away? Examine some images of Earth and the moon together ... and answers will vary. The narrator examines the problem of scale in an eye-opening video. He uses a basketball and a tennis ball as scaled-down versions of the two bodies, then scales down the distance between them so viewers can observe it.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Assign the resource for homework and have pupils analyze the content and describe their observations
  • Work the video into a solar system or other space unit
Classroom Considerations
  • To provide a frame of reference, show several representations of the earth and moon before watching the video
Pros
  • Video puts scale, and a lack of scale in diagrams and images, in perspective for viewers
  • The narrator explains scalar concepts in simple terms
Cons
  • None