In Moons of the Solar System, designed for public audiences and for students in grades 3 and above, the audience observes how the Moon changes position and apparent shape during a two-week time period. They then model the Earth-Moon-Sun system with a light in the center of the planetarium representing the Sun, a hand held ball as the Moon, and the student’s own head as the Earth. This is the best way to gain understanding why the Moon goes through phases, as well as understanding lunar and solar eclipses. Then the audience observes the moons of Jupiter, watching the moons change positions from night to night and drawing conclusions about the relationship between orbital period and orbital radius. The last part of the program is a tour of the Solar System to see the moons of each planet through the eyes of spacecraft that have visited those planets. Images from NASA missions including Viking, Voyager, Galileo, and Cassini are featured.
The parts of the Moons of the Solar System show are:
Associated classroom activities are:
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