Monday, July 25, 2011

The Sun & Stars – From Our Perspective

Our next little space activity was intended to help my son better grasp a few of the Sun facts that I’d written in his Space Lapbook. In particular I thought he might be confused by the fact that the Sun is a star, and not even a big star at that. It’s really just an average size star! It certainly looks big when you look up into the sky. To help this make sense to my son we did a simple perspective activity using a flashlight.

Note flashlight in hand. That generally produces a big cheesy grin in our house.

There wasn’t really any way to take pictures of this one, but I’m sure a description will be adequate. It’s super simple.

Basically we found a darkish area in the house and I got as far away from my son as I could, turned on the flashlight, and pointed it at him. I explained to him that we were pretending the light was a star in the sky. I further explained that the Sun is also a star, just like all the other stars we see in the night sky. I then started walking toward my son and asked him if the star looked like it was getting bigger or smaller. Of course he said it was getting bigger. I stopped near him and explained that the Sun only looked big because it’s the closest star to us. After moving closer and farther away a few times to let him digest the concept, I then handed over the flashlight and let him very eagerly explain it to me.

See, super simple!
(but essential to understanding the Sun)

A few Sun facts you could present with this activity:
The Sun is the closest star to our planet.
The Sun is 93 million miles from Earth.
The Sun falls into the medium-large range of the stars in our galaxy.

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