Table of Astronomy

Astronomy(8B):Stellar Astronomy

Lecture Demonstrations

Planetary Astronomy

PIRA classification 8A

8A05. Historical Astronomy

PIRA #

Demonstration Name

Abstract

8A05.10

Calender Wheels

Native American celestial calendar wheels and how to construct them. See TPT 37(8), 476

8A05.15

Stonehenge

Many models of this famous megalith are available.

8A05.16

Megaliths

Some historical background on megalithic astronomy. See AJP 45(2), 125

8A05.20a

Constellations

Constellations used to interpret historical legends. See TPT, 31(6), 383

8A05.20b

Constellations

The Big Dipper used to tell time. See TPT, 29(2), 80

8A05.30a

Eratosthenes measurement of Earth's radius

Eratosthenes determination of the circumference of the Earth updated by doing the experiment from an aircraft. See TPT 25(8), 500

8A05.30b

Eratosthenes measurement of Earth's radius

Eratosthenes experiment redone using meter sticks instead of wells. See TPT 26(3), 154

8A05.30c

Measurement of Earth's radius

The calculation done using feet and miles. Also several other neat problems using Earth's radius as a starting point. See TPT 31(9), 519

8A05.30d

Measurement of Earth's diameter

A GPS is used to calculate the diameter of the Earth. See TPT 38(6), 360

8A05.30e

Eratosthenes measurement of Earth's radius

Trying to calculate the radius of the Earth by watching the Sun set twice, once from the bottom and then from the top of a tall building. See TPT 31(7), 440

8A05.30f

Eratosthenes - scale of Earth/Moon/Sun system

Using Eratosthenes calculation of the diameter of the Earth to calculate the size of the Moon. See TPT 38(3), 179

8A05.33

Eudoxus: homocentric spheres models

Two homocentric models of Eudoxus: one shows the motion of the Sun, the other shows retrograde motion. See AJP, 31(6),456

8A05.35

Ptolemaic and Copernican orbits

An analog computer (circuit given) displays orbits and epicycles on an oscilloscope. See AJP, 30(9),615

8A05.40a

Kepler and planetary orbits

A photographic solution to Kepler's laws. See AJP, 69(4), 481

8A05.40b

Kepler and planetary orbits

An unusual verification of Kepler's first law. See AJP, 69(10), 1036

8A05.40c

Kepler and planetary orbits

A graphical representation of Kepler's third law. See TPT 36(4), 212

8A05.40d

Kepler and planetary orbits

Kepler's third law calculations without a calculator. See TPT 42(9), 530

8A05.40e

Kepler and planetary orbits

Kepler's third law and the rise time of stars. See TPT 25(8), 493

8A05.40f

Kepler and planetary orbits

Applying Kepler's third law to elliptical orbits. See TPT 34(1), 42

8A05.40g

Kepler and planetary orbits

Measuring an asteroids orbit to test Kepler's first and second law. See TPT 36(1), 40

8A05.50

Sundial

A Plexiglas model of a sundial. See AJP 52(2),185

8A05.50

Sundial

Detailed descriptions, pictures, and how to time correct a sundial. See TPT 10(3), 117

8A05.50

Sundial, solar pocket watch

Picture of a portable sundial (solar pocket watch) dated 1573. See TPT 41(5), 268

8A05.50

Sundial

Constructing a portable sundial. See TPT 37(2), 113

8A05.50

Sundial, solar pocket watch

Additional observations on TPT 41(5), 268.

8A05.55

Horizontal sundial

An analytic solution for determining the markings on a sundial and a description of construction. See AJP 42(5),372

8A05.60

Cross-staff

Cut a meter stick into 57 1/3 cm and 42 2/3 cm. (At 57 1/3 cm one degree equals one cm.) Some refinements. See AJP 33(2),165

8A05.70

Sextant

Pictures of and directions for sextants.

8A05.70

Sextant

An easily constructed mini-sextant and directions for it's use. See TPT 38(4), 238

8A05.80

Artificial Horizon

A mercury filled dish that is used for an artificial horizon when taking measurements with a sextant during times when the real horizon is obscured.

8A05.85

Chronometer

An accurate ships time piece used in conjunction with the sextant to determine longitude and latitude.

8A05.90

Heliostat

Picture of a heliostat. See AJP 38(3),391

8A10. Solar System Mechanics

PIRA #

Demonstration Name

Abstract

8A10.05

Origin of the Solar System

Discussion on how the Solar System was formed. See TPT 5(8), 363

8A10.06

Planetary nebula

On the formation of planetary nebula. See TPT 29(5), 268

8A10.10a

Orrery model

A motor-driven model of the Sun, Moon, Earth system.

8A10.10b

Orrery model

A mechanical model of the inner planets.

8A10.15

Scale of the Solar System - Video

8A10.15

Inflatable Solar System

8A10.15

Solar System on a String

8A10.15

Scale model of the Solar System

The scale model of the Solar System as a hallway demo. See TPT 16(4), 223

8A10.15

Scale model of the Solar System

The 1:10 billion Colorado Scale-Model Solar System on the University of Colorado-Boulder campus. See TPT 29(6), 371

8A10.15

Scale model of the Solar System

Globes and balloons used to model the planets of the Solar System. See TPT 27(1), 38

8A10.16

Scale of the orbital radii of the planets

A hat pin, roll of tape, and some markers used to scale the orbital radii of the planets. See TPT 43(2), 120

8A10.20

Locating stars

A simple analytical method at the descriptive astronomy level for locating stars. See AJP 53(6),591

8A10.20

Locating stars

Using the stars of the Big Dipper to teach vectors. See TPT 44(3), 168

8A10.22

Tracking stars, Sun, and Moon

Construction of an electromechanical device that automatically and continually tracks celestial objects. See AJP 78 (11), 1128

8A10.25

Diurnal motion

Punch holes in a can bottom in the big dipper pattern and place over a point source of light. Rotate the can. See AJP 43(1),113

8A10.30

Planispheric planetarium

Description of a homemade planetarium.

8A10.30

Small planetarium

Description of a small homemade planetarium dome.

8A10.33

Day & night

8A10.35

Local zenith

See University of Minnesota Handbook - 8A10.20

8A10.40

Sidereal time

An explanation of how a sidereal day differs from a solar day and how to calculate the difference. See TPT 29(5), 265

8A10.42

Sidereal day

A simple method to measure the length of the sidereal day. See TPT 30(9), 558

8A10.44

Sidereal year

Use orbital mechanics and centripetal force to calculate the sidereal year. See TPT 32(2), 111

8A10.50

Precession of the equinox graph

A graph that shows the precession of the equinox from 1890 to 2000 and a discussion of its pedagogical value. See AJP 55(9),848

8A10.60

Apparent motion of the sun

The autumn and spring equinoxes do not have equal length days and nights. Index of refraction through the atmosphere makes the day about 9 minutes longer than the night. See TPT 35(3), 167

8A10.70

Distortion due to refraction by Earth atmosphere

On the flatness of the setting sun. See AJP 71(4), 379

8A10.70

Distortion due to refraction by Earth atmosphere

A demonstration using sugar water to show why the Sun appears elliptical instead of round when viewed through the atmosphere. See TPT 29(9), 566

8A10.70

Distortion due to refraction by Earth atmosphere

The appearance of the flattening of the solar disk and the appearance of the "anti-Sun" captured on film. See TPT 35(9), 553

8A10.70

Distortion due to refraction by Earth atmosphere

The apparent ellipticity of the setting Sun. See TPT 20(6), 404

8A10.75

Distortion due to refraction by Earth atmosphere

A complete explanation of distortions produced by the atmosphere. See TPT 39(2), 92

8A10.80

Geochron

The standard Geochron is used to show analemma, the part of the Earth lit by the Sun at any given time, etc. See [http://scitation.aip.org/tpt/

8A10.80

Subsolar point

An experiment plotting the subsolar point (the place on Earth where the Sun is directly overhead at solar noon). See TPT 29(5), 318

8A10.80

Analemma

Additional comments on TPT 34(1), 58

8A10.80

Analemma

A good explanation of how the analemma couples the seasonal declination changes of the Sun with the "Equation of Time". See TPT 34(6), 355

8A10.80

Analemma

Analemma used to show why sunrise can be at the same time for several weeks while the length of the day increases. See TPT 34(1), 58

8A10.80

Analemma

How to plot and demonstrate the noncircularity of the Earth's orbit around the Sun. See TPT 38(9), 570

8A10.80

Analemma, clocks, apparent motion of the Sun

Explains why the length of the morning and afternoon do not increase in the same proportion as the length of the day gets longer. See TPT 23(2), 85

8A10.90

Apparent motion of the Sun

A formula for the number of days between the winter solstice and the latest sunrise. See AJP, 71(12), 1242

8A10.90

Apparent motion of the Sun

Using simple equipment to measure the length of the solar day. See TPT 34(6), 351

8A10.90

Apparent motion of the Sun

Using the apparent motion of the Sun to teach vectors and scalar products. See TPT 35(5), 310

8A20. Earth-Moon Mechanics

PIRA #

Demonstration Name

Abstract

8A20.05

Earth's Seasons

Showing the Earth's seasons with a 3-D model. See TPT 31(7), 419

8A20.07

Seasonal Tilt

8A20.08

Tilt of the Earth - Video

8A20.15

Phases of the moon - terminator line demo

View a ball illuminated by a distant light with a TV camera as the angle between the ball and light varies.

8A20.15

Phases of the moon

How the view of the crescent moon changes from the northern to southern hemisphere. See TPT 38(6), 371

8A20.15

Phases of the moon

An exercise in Moon watching and observation of phases of the Moon. See TPT 32(2), 126

8A20.15

Phases of the moon

Phases of the moon shown with a styrofoam ball, light source, and a CCD camera. See TPT 34(6), 360

8A20.15

Phases of the moon

A handy way to teach "Moon Phases". See TPT 31(3), 178

8A20.17

Phases models

Illuminated models for showing the phases of Venus and the Moon. See TPT 3(6),263

8A20.19

Phases of planets

Calculating the phases of the outer planets. See TPT 37(9), 528

8A20.20

Albedo

8A20.20

Brightness of the Moon

Two methods to determine the brightness of the Moon. See TPT 23(5), 293

8A20.22

Eccentricity of the Moon's orbit

A piece of cardboard with a hole slid up and down a yardstick is used to determine the eccentricity of the Moon's orbit. See AJP 78 (8), 834

8A20.25

Eclipse model

An eclipse model built from Hoola Hoops to show the eclipse seasons. See TPT 34(6), 376

8A20.30

Solar eclipse

Preparations and observation of the March 7, 1970 eclipse. See TPT 9(5), 276

8A20.30

Solar eclipse

The path of the February 26, 1998 solar eclipse. See TPT 35(9), 515

8A20.31

Solar eclipse

Using a solar eclipse to estimate the Earth-Moon distance. See TPT 34(4), 232

8A20.32

Solar eclipse, pinhole images

Using pinholes and natural phenomenon to view a solar eclipse. See TPT 32(6), 347

8A20.35

Lunar eclipse

Why the Moon appears red during a lunar eclipse. See TPT 44(3), 181

8A20.37

Umbra, penumbra

Why there are crisp, dark or fuzzy shadows during eclipses.

8A20.40

Transit - Mercury & Venus

8A20.45

Occultations

Occultation used to determine the diameter of a planet. See AJP 45(10), 914

8A20.45

Occultations

Lunar geography shown determined by grazing occultation. See TPT 21(4), 218

8A20.45

Occultations

Occultation used to determine the diameter of the Moon. See TPT 30(5), 290

8A20.50

Earth/Moon system

The Earth-Moon system orbits the Sun at its center of mass or barycenter. See TPT 44(1), 48

8A20.55

Earth/Moon system

Using Earth-Moon communication to calculate the speed of light. See TPT, 44(7), 414

8A20.60

Earth/Moon distance

Retroreflector arrays and laser pulses to measure the Earth/Moon distance. See TPT 33(2), 90

8A20.60

Earth/Moon distance

How to determine the distance to the Moon. See TPT 10(1), 40

8A20.64

Earth-Moon-Sun_Model

A 10" globe, a painted tennis ball, and a 100 W bulb are used to represent the Earth-Moon-Sun system

8A20.70

Pinhead Earth

See University of Minnesota Handbook - 8A10.40

8A20.70

Scale model of the Earth/Moon/Sun system

Using a basketball and a push pin to model the Sun-Earth system. See TPT 38(2), 115

8A20.70

Scale model of the Earth/Moon/Sun system

Pinholes used to enhance a 1:2 billion scale model of the Earth/Moon/Sun system. See TPT 11(8), 489

8A20.80

Moon & Tides

8A30. Views From Earth

PIRA #

Demonstration Name

Abstract

8A30.10

Horizon astronomy model

See University of Minnesota Handbook - 8A10.50

8A30.10

Cratering

8A30.10

Horizon calculations

A method for calculating the distance to the horizon.

8A30.10

Estimating the distance to the horizon

An analysis for calculating the distance to the horizon as a function of the altitude of the observer. Also takes into account the variation of atmospheric refractive index with height. See AJP 50 (9), 795

8A30.10

Estimating the distance to the horizon

How to accurately estimate the distance to the horizon. See TPT 38(9), 528

8A30.13

Estimating the distance to the horizon

How to accurately estimate the distance to the horizon when at sea.

8A30.20

Cinhelium

See University of Minnesota Handbook - 8A10.51

8A30.30

Retrograde motion model

Two balls, connected with a rod fixed through one ball and sliding through the other, orbit on a common focus.

8A30.30

Retrograde motion model

Two balls driven by independent clock motors are connected with a rod fixed through one ball and sliding through the other. See AJP 54(11),1021

8A30.32

Retrograde motion

Three methods to plot retrograde motion, one is simpler than the others. See AJP 43(7), 639

8A30.32

Retrograde motion

Using retrograde motion to understand and determine orbital parameters of a planet using only geometry and trigonometry. See 73(11), 1023

8A30.32

Retrograde motion of Mars

How to plot the retrograde motion of Mars on paper. See TPT 37(6), 342

8A30.32

Retrograde motion

A method of plotting retrograde motion on a large scale to be done outdoors with twine and students. See TPT 30(5), 302

8A30.32

Retrograde motion

Plotting retrograde motion in a manner that gives a better diagram. See TPT 21(4), 252

8A30.34

Retrograde motion

Retrograde motion and epicycles are shown using polar graph paper and a fender washer. See TPT 35(9), 554

8A30.40

Epicycles

An Orrery carries a small flashlight on a rod between Earth and Jupiter to project epicycloidal motion.

8A30.40

Epicycles

An elliptical Lucite dish has two arms attached to one foci. Place some ball bearings between the two arms and rotate the rear arm at constant angular velocity.

830.40

Epicycles

A diagram of how to make a fairly simple crank device to trace out elliptical through cusped figures with a penlight.

8A30.50

Synodic period

Using calculations to show that the conjuction and opposition of a planet are not "perfect" due to non-circular orbits. See TPT 19(2), 116

8A30.50

Synodic period

Use relative angular velocity to calculate the synodic period. See TPT 23(3), 154

8A30.60

Tidal locking

Why the same side of the Moon always faces the Earth. See TPT 41 (6), 363

8A30.60

Tidal locking

A demonstration on how the Moon and other moons become tidally locked. See TPT 35(6), 379

8A30.70

Parallax

Have students measure the distance to objects in the classroom by parallax using a camera to better understand stellar parallax. See AJP 45(5), 490

8A30.70

Parallax

Another simple photographic experiment to help students understand parallax. See AJP 45(12), 1221

8A30.70

Parallax

Measuring the distance to an outer planet by parallax with a camera. See TPT 35(1), 34

A30.72

Parallax

A laboratory model to calculate stellar distances by parallax and relative magnitude. See AJP 45(11), 1124

8A30.80

Autoresonance

3:2 and 2:1 resonances of the planets and asteroids. See AJP, 69(10), 1096

8A30.90

Roche Limit

A calculation of the Roche limit of a Jovian planet and a simulated experiment to test the calculation. See TPT, 44(6), 381

8A35. Views From Earth 2

PIRA #

Demonstration Name

Abstract

8A35.10

Celestial sphere

A simple model celestial sphere is made from a round bottom flask. Pictures.

8A35.10

Celestial sphere

See University of Minnesota Handbook - 8A10.80

8A35.15

Celestial sphere

Modifying the Replogle Model 15620 celestial sphere. See TPT 18(6), 465

8A35.16

Celestial sphere

Making your own celestial sphere by locating stars. See TPT 25(7), 438

8A35.18

Celestial sphere

Introducing students to the celestial sphere should always be done with a companion Earth-Sun model. See AJP 73(11), 1030

8A35.18

Celestial sphere

Difficulties teaching concepts with a celestial sphere may be simplified by construction of a mechanical Armillary. See TPT 10(2), 96

8A35.30

Satellite orbits

Plotting the orbits of the planets from existing data and charts. See TPT, 45(6), 369

8A35.30

Satellite orbits

Orbital periods of Mercury, Venus, and the Earth simulated using a whirligig setup. See TPT 31(2), 122

8A35.30

Satellite orbits

Calculating how long it takes for a planet to fall into the Sun if its orbital motion is arrested and relating that to the orbital period of the planet. See TPT 36(2), 122

8A35.32

Satellite orbits

The orbital motion of the Moon explained by projectile motion. See TPT 19(3), 181

A35.35

Satellite orbits

Calculation showing that an orbiting satellite is in freefall. See TPT 23(1), 29

8A35.35

Satellite orbit model

Making a satellite/Earth system model from glass tubing, a model rocket, nylon thread, a support stand, wooden sphere, and hooked masses. See TPT 46(4), 237

8A35.40

Satellite orbits

The effect of atmospheric drag and temperature on satellite orbits. See TPT 43(7), 452

8A35.50

Slingshot effect

A simple explanation of the "slingshot effect" or "gravity assist". See TPT 23(8), 466

8A40. Planetary Properties: Globes, Hemispheres, & Maps

PIRA #

Demonstration Name

Abstract

8A40.10

Globes

Globes of Earth, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, etc. See University of Minnesota Handbook - 8A20.10

8A40.20

Globes and hemispheres

The angles of any triangle on a sphere or hemisphere always add up to more than 180 degrees. See TPT 32(8), 506

8A40.20

The minimum path length joining two points on a sphere's surface is a segment of a "great circle".

Globes and hemispheres. See TPT 26(5), 280

8A50. Planetary Properties 2: The Planets

PIRA #

Demonstration Name

Abstract

8A50.10

Mercury

8A50.12

Mercury's Orbit

Plotting Mercury's orbit from data in The Astronomical Almanac. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 29(6), 346

8A50.15

Perihelion of Mercury

The precession of the perihelion of Mercury's orbit calculated using the LaPlace-Runge-Lenz vector.. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 73(8), 730

8A50.15

Perihelion of Mercury

A Lagrangian yielding the same equations of motion that Einstein derived for the precession of the perihelion of Mercury. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 70(5), 498

8A50.20

Venus

8A50.30

Earth

8A50.30

Earth's Rotation

Does the Earth rotate? Seven "proofs" for the rotation of the Earth. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 25(2), 86

8A50.30

Earth's Rotation

Several other experiments carried out that proved the Earth rotates. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 25(7), 418

8A50.30

Earth's Rotation

One more "proof" the Earth rotates. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 30(4), 196

8A50.30

Earth's Rotation

Additional experiments on how we sense the Earth rotates. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 30(2), 111

8A50.30

Earth's Rotation

Leeuwenhoek's "Proof" of the Earth's rotation. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 33(3), 144

8A50.30

Earth's Rotation

Emperical evidence the Earth rotates by marking the length of a shadow of a rod in two minute intervals starting 20 minutes before midday and ending 20 minutes after midday. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 33(2), 116

8A50.34

Geological Timeline - Earth

8A50.35

The Moon

A calculation of how high you can jump on the Moon. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 11(1), 43

8A50.35

The Moon

What information it takes to calculate the size of the Moon. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 38(3), 179

8A50.36

The Moon's orbit

How to observe the Moon's path with a cross-staff and plot its path. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 29(3), 160

8A50.38

Moonquakes

Detection and analysis of moonquakes by the seismometers left on the Moon by the Apollo astronauts. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 38(9), 522

8A50.39

The Moon's offset center-of-mass

Comments on the center-of -mass offset of the Moon. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 46(7),762

8A50.40

Mars

8A50.41

Mars Missions, Orbital Timing

The problems, physics principles, and timing involved in a mission from Earth to Mars. See The Physics Teacher - TPT, 43(5), 293

8A50.42

Aerobraking at Mars

The physics of aerobraking at Mars. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 36(3), 154

8A50.45

Mars' moons

8A50.50

Jupiter

8A50.52

Jupiter

Looking at the Solar System from Jupiter's reference frame. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 35(3), 178

8A50.55

Jupiter's moons / Galilean Satellites

8A50.55

Io

The volcanos on Io. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 19(6), 402

8A50.55

Europa's Ocean

An exercise exploring the effect of freefall acceleration on buoyancy and waves. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 25(8), 508

8A50.55

Galileo's discovery of Jupiter's moons

A look at the challenges Galileo faced during his observation of the Jovian moons. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 30(2), 103

8A50.60

Saturn

8A50.65

Saturn's Moons

8A50.65

Mimas

Statistics about Mimas and the view of Saturn from Mimas. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 26(4), 207

8A50.70

Uranus

8A50.75

Uranus' Moons

8A50.80

Neptune

8A50.85

Neptune's Moons

8A60. Planetary Properties 3: Planetoids, Minor Objects

PIRA #

Demonstration Name

Abstract

8A60.10

Pluto/Charon

The history and process that resulted in Pluto's demotion from a planet to a minor object. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 45(1), 14

8A60.20

Asteroids

8A60.25

Asteroids

Describes the trajectory of an asteroid as it approaches a planet of much greater mass. Values are given for Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 74(8), 717

8A60.25

Asteroids

Estimates of catastrophic asteroid and comet impacts on the Earth. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 74(9), 789

8A60.25

Asteroids

How asteroid or comet impacts is not the cause of and would not significantly change the eccentricity of Earth's orbit. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 71(7), 687

8A60.25

Asteroids

The physics of asteroid/Earth collisions. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 40(8), 487

8A60.30

Meteorites

Mass spectroscopy of meteorites. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 5(1), 5

8A60.35

Meteors

"Observing" a meteors ionized trail by using radio. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 37(2), 123

8A60.40

Outer Solar System Objects

8A60.50

The Kuiper Belt

8A60.60

Extra-Solar Planets

The precision it takes to detect extra-solar planets. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 39(7), 400

8A60.60

Extra-Solar Planets

Teaching about data and detection of extra-solar planets by asking how our solar system would look if viewed by an observer from far away using the same detection methods. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 42(4), 208

8A60.60

Extra-Solar Planets

Teaching about and helping with the search for extra-solar planets. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 39(2), 120

8A60.70

Matter from Outside Our Solar System

Using cosmic rays to study matter in the galaxy outside our solar system. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 20(4), 222

8A70. Planetary Properties 4: Planetary Characteristics

PIRA #

Demonstration Name

Abstract

8A70.05

Geological Samples

Assortments of rocks, minerals, or gemstones.

8A70.10

Planetary Magnetism

8A70.10

Earth's Magnetic Field

An elementary model of Earth's magnetic field capturing some features of the geodynamo. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 45(3), 168

8A70.20

Refraction/Twinkling

Refer to 6A40.47 to demonstrate how observing planets and stars through the atmosphere makes them appear to twinkle.

8A70.20

Thickness of Earth's Atmosphere

A method of estimating the thickness of the atmosphere by light scattering. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 71(10), 979

8A70.20

Effective Depth of Earth's Atmosphere

Using "The Old Farmers Almanac" to calculate the effective depth of the atmosphere. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 35(2), 90

8A70.20

Earth's Atmosphere

The interaction of radiation from the Sun and the Earth's atmosphere determines the Earth's climate. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 26(5), 266

8A70.22

Sounding Balloon Experiment

Atmospheric measurements using sounding balloons. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 43(9), 578

8A70.30

Sprites

Exotic lightening that takes place above thunderstorms. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 74(9), 804

8A70.40

Greenhouse Effect

See 4B50.60 for demonstrations of the greenhouse effect.

8A70.45

Cloud Formation

See 4B70.20 for cloud in a bottle demonstrations.

8A70.48

IR Telescope Model

Construction of a simple IR telescope.

8A70.50

Gaseous Planets

8A70.50

Gaseous Planet Atmospheres

Float bubbles on layers of Freon, CO2, or other heavy gases in the bottom of a fish tank. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 16(7), 490

8A70.55

Rotational Banding

Rheoscopic fluid in a round bottom flask placed on a turntable will show rotational banding when turned for a few seconds.

8A70.55

Planetary Atmospheres

A demonstration that can be used to explain rotational banding in planetary atmospheres. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 35(7), 391

8A70.55

Planetary Atmospheres

The composition of the atmospheres of the planets and the moon Titan. How would acoustic waves travel in these atmospheres. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 40(4), 239

8A70.60

Precipitation in the Solar System

Descriptions of the types of precipitation that fall on the other planets and moons in the Solar System. Some of these can be brought into the classroom. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 45(8), 502

8A70.65

Aurora

Historical and detailed explanation of Earth's aurora. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 17(4), 228

8A70.65

Aurora

A brief description of aurora and how to photograph them. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 44(2), 68

8A70.65

Auroral Measurements

How to obtain and plot auroral data in the classroom. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 33(1), 34

8A70.70

Lightening Whistlers

Ionospherice whistlers at radio frequencies.

8A70.70

Culvert Whistlers

See 3B25.67 for acoustical examples, demonstrations, and comparisons to ionospheric whistlers.

8A70.75

Planetary Density Model

Add abstract in Handbook.FM

8A70.78

Planetary Gravities

Use pennies and soda cans to show how a can of soda would feel on different planets. Mercury = 38 pennies, Venus = 101, Earth = 1 can of soda or 100 pennies, the Moon = 12, Mars = 38, Jupiter = 293, Saturn = 119, Uranus and Neptune = 133, Pluto = 0.

8A70.80

Red Hot Ball

Heat a small metal ball until it glows red hot. Watch it cool with a black and white camera or an IR camera. Observe that it still glows in the camera even though the eye can no longer see it. A match may be lit off the apparently non-glowing ball for effect.

8A70.80

Earth's Glow

The Earth glows from nuclear processes in the interior. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 35(4), 230

8A70.85

Earthquakes

Student participation in P-wave and S-wave demonstrations. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 16(7), 479

8A70.90

Cratering

Drop ball bearings into a pan of glass beads or flour. Illuminate with a lamp from the side of the pan to provide contrast. See University of Minnesota Handbook - 8A20.30

8A70.90

Cratering

Impact cratering studied in the laboratory using a marble for the meteorite, salt for the target, and a video camera to record the impact. Frame by frame analysis. See American Journal of Physics - AJP 68(8), 771

8A70.91

Cratering

High speed photography and analysis of milk drops falling into coffee that can be applied to cratering. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 27(2), 118

8A80. Planetary Properties 5: Comets and the Search for Life

PIRA #

Demonstration Name

Abstract

8A80.10

Make a Comet

Add abstract in Handbook.FM

8A80.10

Ed's Comet

Add abstract in Handbook.FM

8A80.20

Comet Orbit

See University of Minnesota Handbook - 8A10.65

8A80.20

Comet Orbits

The erroneous view that in Newton's Principia one can find a proof that inverse-square central forces implies a conic-section orbit. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 23(1), 6

8A80.30

Halley's Comet

About Halley's comet. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 22(8), 488

8A80.30

Halley's Comet

Preparing to observe Halley's comet in 1986. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 15(2), 110

8A80.30

Halley's Comet

Making a Halley's comet orbit model. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 23(8), 490

8A80.30

Halley's Comet

Making sense of the apparent path of Halley's comet. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 23(8), 485

8A80.40

Comet Hale-Bopp

A computer preview of comet Hale-Bopp. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 34(9), 558

8A80.40

Comet Hale-Bopp

Photographs and data review of comet Hale-Bopp. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 35(6), 348

8A80.80

Comets Emit X-Rays

Surprise, comets emit x-rays. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 35(4), 247

8A80.90

Creating Life in the Classroom

Spoof the creation of life in the classroom by putting the necessary ingredients in a tank, add UV light and lightening, and voila.

8A80.95

Life on Other Planets

Searching for life on other planets. What to look for. See The Physics Teacher - TPT 20(2), 90

Demonstrations

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