Summer SAVY 2016 (Session 5, Day 1) – A Walk Under the Stars: Astronomy and Astrophysics
Overall the first day of Astrophysics was really exciting! We began by talking about the size and scale of the Universe. We wrote down our “cosmic address”, starting with Earth and ending with the possibility of a multiverse! We compressed the history of our Universe into a single calendar year, finding the “dates” of such things as the formation of Earth and the beginning of life on Earth. We then took a look at a scale model of the Solar System which makes the moon the size of a pixel on a computer screen. I was truly impressed with how much my students knew about different objects within our solar system! We explored the laws that govern planetary orbits (Kepler’s) and the gravitational force behind it (Newton’s). Lastly, we made models of the effect mass has on the fabric of spacetime and discussed this alternate view (from Einstein) of how gravity works to produce planetary orbits!