Short Astronomy Related Activities

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Alkaseltzer rockets
Instructions on how to make a rocket using an effervescent tablet and ideas of how to discuss the activity with reference to Newton’s Third Law.

CD Spectrometer
Students can make a simple spectrometer using a CD and a cereal box. There is an explanation in terms of the distinct spectral produced by each element.

How big is the Moon?
Students can construct some simple apparatus to enable them to calculate the diameter of the Moon. Part of this activity may need to be set as homework as it requires students to make an observation of the Moon in the sky.

How big is the Sun?
Students make a pinhole camera to safely view the Sun and will use simple proportions to calculate the diameter of the Sun.

The Physics of Impact Craters
Students create impact craters in flour and cocoa powder, determine the kinetic energy of the object and find a relationship between the crater size and the velocity or kinetic energy.

How fast does the Sun rotate?
Use real images of the Sun to find out how fast it is rotating. The graph gives a template for students to work from.

What are impact craters?
Students use images of the Moon provided to identify features produced by cratering. They can then use modelling clay or plasticine to create their own craters.

Solar system spacing
Students use a toilet roll to help them mark out a scale representation of the distances between planets in the solar system. A suggested scale is provided.

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