Tuesday was all about gravity! First, we defined gravity and discussed how the sun keeps all of our planets from hurling off into the universe and how the pull of the moon's gravity causes the tides. As we studied gravity, we came to comprehend Newton's Laws of Universal Gravitation. Two things affect the laws of gravity: distance and mass. The farther apart two objects are, the weaker the pull of gravity between them and the closer together they are, the stronger the pull of gravity. The sun's massiveness means that it has a greater pull of gravity and can therefore tether all the planets to it. Next, we learned that weight is the measure of the pull of gravity on an object and we had some fun calculating what we would weigh on other planets and even on the sun. To figure out how much we would weigh on the sun, we multiplied our weight (mass) times 28 (gravity) and most of us got around 2,000 pounds! Do you know what would happen to your body if your spacesuit ripped in the zero gravity of outer space? Ask your child!
Today, we learned about galaxies. The nearest galaxy within our galactic neighborhood of 30 galaxies (the Local Group), is Andromenda. The Milky Way is on a crash course collision with Andromeda in only about 4 billion years! Galaxies apparently collide and cannibalize other galaxies all the time! We watched a cool video about galactic collisions as well as a video about the diner at the center of our galaxy, Sagittarius A, a black hole. We actually put our cosmic address on the front covers of our lesson books. I am having so much fun learning new things as I prepare for our lessons!
During the last 45 minutes of class, we learned how we could find the 3 main topics for the body paragraphs of our essays. We wrote out some topic ideas and discussed how to plug information into each paragraph. We also quickly played around with some thesis ideas. I shared my intro paragraph and thesis on Centaurus. We said that the first body paragraph could be about the location of our constellation (or the history of its discovery). Within that paragraph we might include details on the best viewing time in the northern and /or southern hemispheres, the best season and month to view it and even the latitude and longitude coordinates to be able to see the best view of it. Please let your child know that they can also add the names of the constellations that surround it in the night sky. I just realized this as I was driving home;). The second paragraph could be about notable/famous stars within the constellation. Give interesting details! The third paragraph could be about the myth associated with it. I hope this helps the kids get off to a great start!