Register to reply

Astronomy Day is coming at my university; any suggestions for demos?

by SupernerdSven
Tags: astronomy, coming, demos, suggestions, university
Share this thread:
SupernerdSven
#1
Mar23-14, 11:05 AM
P: 12
Thank you for anything you can offer. We've got a plasma globe which we can tie in to talking about solar and interstellar plasma, and we have a few Galileoscopes, but we don't really have anything else astronomy-themed. I've been thinking, but haven't come up with many ideas.

One idea I did have is a model of Newtonian gravitational potential. Does anyone have a suggestion for how to make a model of an inverse-square potential? A curved surface would be difficult to manufacture...
Phys.Org News Partner Astronomy news on Phys.org
Spectacular supernova's mysteries revealed
Supernova seen in two lights
A chemical signature of first-generation very-massive stars
Jonathan Scott
#2
Mar23-14, 11:26 AM
PF Gold
P: 1,159
Quote Quote by SupernerdSven View Post
Thank you for anything you can offer. We've got a plasma globe which we can tie in to talking about solar and interstellar plasma, and we have a few Galileoscopes, but we don't really have anything else astronomy-themed. I've been thinking, but haven't come up with many ideas.

One idea I did have is a model of Newtonian gravitational potential. Does anyone have a suggestion for how to make a model of an inverse-square potential? A curved surface would be difficult to manufacture...
Sorry, not a helpful suggestion, but please be careful with your terminology; the magnitude of the gravitational field is inverse-square, but the potential is merely proportional to 1/r, not the square.
SupernerdSven
#3
Mar23-14, 05:11 PM
P: 12
Sorry, you're right - that's what I meant.

berkeman
#4
Mar23-14, 05:18 PM
Mentor
berkeman's Avatar
P: 40,961
Astronomy Day is coming at my university; any suggestions for demos?

A good demo would just be a PC-based program that helps folks locate constellations in the night sky. I think there are several available, and probably some for smartphones as well. That could really spark some interest in folks for Astronomy -- being able to use their smart phone as they stand outside and spot constellations by being given directions on where to look (based on their GPS coordinates that the smartphone app has access to).

You could also set up a scale model of the Solar System in your lab, with the Sun hanging down in the middle, and the outer planets near the outer walls of the room. All in correct scale, if that's possible in a room the size of your lab. If not, maybe set it up outside if the weather is good.
micromass
#5
Mar23-14, 05:20 PM
Mentor
micromass's Avatar
P: 18,246
Check this out: http://www.celestiamotherlode.net/ca...ducational.php
berkeman
#6
Mar23-14, 05:22 PM
Mentor
berkeman's Avatar
P: 40,961
Quote Quote by micromass View Post
Show Off!

micromass
#7
Mar23-14, 05:33 PM
Mentor
micromass's Avatar
P: 18,246
Quote Quote by berkeman View Post
Show Off!

Sowwy
SupernerdSven
#8
Mar23-14, 05:46 PM
P: 12
Thank you all! I found these as well:
http://isthis4real.com/orbit.xml
https://dan-ball.jp/en/javagame/planet/

I should have been more specific about the nature of the demos - they should be accessible to all ages and require less than a minute of instruction to begin and take no longer than a few minutes to complete.
Bobbywhy
#9
Mar24-14, 03:05 AM
PF Gold
P: 1,899
I should have been more specific about the nature of the demos - they should be accessible to all ages and require less than a minute of instruction to begin and take no longer than a few minutes to complete.
Sundials! Teach the relative positions and motions of the earth-sun by marking a shadow's progress over time.
julcab12
#10
Mar24-14, 07:59 AM
P: 153
Quote Quote by SupernerdSven View Post
Thank you all! I found these as well:
http://isthis4real.com/orbit.xml
https://dan-ball.jp/en/javagame/planet/

I should have been more specific about the nature of the demos - they should be accessible to all ages and require less than a minute of instruction to begin and take no longer than a few minutes to complete.
Quote Quote by micromass View Post
Cool! Quick check done. Ill run it later and thanks!.^^
SupernerdSven
#11
Mar24-14, 09:48 AM
P: 12
I should have been more specific about the nature of the demos - they should be accessible to all ages and require less than a minute of instruction to begin and take no longer than a few minutes to complete.
Quote Quote by Bobbywhy View Post
Sundials! Teach the relative positions and motions of the earth-sun by marking a shadow's progress over time.
That's a really good one! I seen suggestions like that but passed over them because I think we'll be indoors... but I'll double-check.
RocketSci5KN
#12
Mar25-14, 12:33 PM
P: 163
If you can find a rubber sheet, say 3' x 3' and stretch it evenly on a rigid frame, then put a weight in the middle to simulate a massive object (say the sun), you can show a model of space-time and explain how the models dimple makes smaller objects orbit the central object. This would be an approximation, as two objects would actually orbit their center of mass. You can also use this to show how 'gravity'='space time dimple' can deflect light.


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Duke University Astronomy 101 Online Course Astronomy & Astrophysics 1
I can't afford University yet, prep suggestions please Academic Guidance 7
Are there any international competitions in astronomy for university Astronomy & Astrophysics 0
Any suggestions for a University? Academic Guidance 17
Doing physics w/ astronomy in university Academic Guidance 11