Space Physics and Scale of the Universe

The scale of the solar system and universe presents challenges of visualisation for students (and teachers) with the distances involved having little or no reference point in everyday life. The light year is used as a more practical unit of distance but its name, implying a time measurement, and the size of a light year presents challenges of its  own.  Helping students appreciate the size and scale of the universe can be a challenge and it is often more beneficial to take an approach based on comparative rather than absolute size. 

This topic provides a good opportunity to trace the history and development of science and measurement devices with our developing understanding of the solar system and beyond. The connection between observations and evidence and theory can be clearly made here.

Whilst this list provides a source of information and ideas for experimental work, it is important to note that recommendations can date very quickly. Do NOT follow suggestions which conflict with current advice from CLEAPSS, SSERC or recent safety guides. eLibrary users are responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is consistent with current regulations related to Health and Safety and that they carry an appropriate risk assessment. Further information is provided in our Health and Safety guidance.