Star Trails

Description:  A star trail is a long exposure photograph that shows the movement of stars in the night sky. The stars appear to move in the sky but it is actually the rotation of the Earth that causes the perceived movement. This phenomenon could be used to build a better conceptual model of the Earth place in the solar system, galaxy, or Universe.

Web Resource:  Star trails - Wikipedia

star trails.jpg

3D Tour Of Constellations

Description:  Constellations are groups of stars that form imaginary shapes in the night sky. However the constellations only appear in that specific shape because we are viewing them from one location in the Universe. In this short video common constellations are toured in 3D showing varied shapes depending on the perspective of the viewer. Students can observe this phenomenon using the Interactive 3D Map of the Universe. The brightness of a star depends on the type, size, and distance from Earth.

Web Resource:  Interactive 3D Map of the Universe


Forced Perspective

Description:  Use the following video from Quirkology to start a unit on Earth's location in space. Freeze the video 7 seconds in and ask the students to rank the following objects from tallest to shortest: painting, man, ball, cup 1, cup 2, and chair.  Then watch the remainder of the video. This can be used to establish the relationship between apparent size and actual size of objects. For example, the moon appears larger than Mars in the sky because it is closer to the Earth.

Web Resource: Forced Perspective - Wikipedia