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Eclipse Science: Modeling Eclipses in the Solar System
written by Rebecca Vieyra
This AAPT lesson blends physics and Earth/Space science as students build and use a physical model to explore the geometry of eclipse events. The model allows learners to model how the Earth and Moon are on different ecliptic planes (the reason why we don't have solar and lunar eclipses every month). They use the model to mimic the perfect Earth/Moon alignment that takes place during a "total solar eclipse" and sketch how the eclipse would look from the reference frame of viewers on Earth at points near the umbra (center) and outside the umbra.

This work is a modification on the resource developed by AAPT and Temple University, a project funded by the NASA Heliophysics Education Consortium (HEC) to support learning about space science in college-level physics and astronomy courses.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Astronomy
- Fundamentals
= Eclipses
= Lunar Phases
- Solar System
Education Practices
- Active Learning
= Modeling
Other Sciences
- Mathematics
- Middle School
- High School
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Instructor Guide/Manual
= Lesson/Lesson Plan
- Assessment Material
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Educators
- application/pdf
- application/ms-word
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Mirror:
http://www.compadre.org/books/Ecl…
Access Rights:
Limited free access
AAPT membership required to access some AAPT K12 Lesson Plans.
Restriction:
© 2017 American Association of Physics Teachers
Keywords:
ecliptic plane, lunar eclipse, moon phases, solar eclipse
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created March 29, 2017 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
June 5, 2017 by Eric Ashby
Last Update
when Cataloged:
February 10, 2017
Other Collections:

Next Generation Science Standards

Earth's Place in the Universe (MS-ESS1)

Students who demonstrate understanding can: (6-8)
  • Develop and use a model of the Earth-sun-moon system to describe the cyclic patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the sun and moon, and seasons. (MS-ESS1-1)
  • Analyze and interpret data to determine scale properties of objects in the solar system. (MS-ESS1-3)

Disciplinary Core Ideas (K-12)

Earth and the Solar System (ESS1.B)
  • The solar system consists of the sun and a collection of objects, including planets, their moons, and asteroids that are held in orbit around the sun by its gravitational pull on them. (6-8)
  • This model of the solar system can explain eclipses of the sun and the moon. Earth's spin axis is fixed in direction over the short-term but tilted relative to its orbit around the sun. The seasons are a result of that tilt and are caused by the differential intensity of sunlight on different areas of Earth across the year. (6-8)

Crosscutting Concepts (K-12)

Patterns (K-12)
  • Patterns can be used to identify cause and effect relationships. (6-8)
Cause and Effect (K-12)
  • Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural systems. (6-8)
Scale, Proportion, and Quantity (3-12)
  • Time, space, and energy phenomena can be observed at various scales using models to study systems that are too large or too small. (6-8)
  • Proportional relationships (e.g. speed as the ratio of distance traveled to time taken) among different types of quantities provide information about the magnitude of properties and processes. (6-8)
Systems and System Models (K-12)
  • Models can be used to represent systems and their interactions. (6-8)
Scientific Knowledge Assumes an Order and Consistency in Natural Systems (1-12)
  • Science assumes that objects and events in natural systems occur in consistent patterns that are understandable through measurement and observation. (6-8)

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices (K-12)

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions (K-12)
  • Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to include constructing explanations and designing solutions supported by multiple sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories. (6-8)
    • Apply scientific ideas or principles to design an object, tool, process or system. (6-8)
    • Construct an explanation that includes qualitative or quantitative relationships between variables that predict phenomena. (6-8)
Developing and Using Models (K-12)
  • Modeling in 6–8 builds on K–5 and progresses to developing, using and revising models to describe, test, and predict more abstract phenomena and design systems. (6-8)
    • Develop a model to predict and/or describe phenomena. (6-8)
Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking (5-12)
  • Mathematical and computational thinking at the 6–8 level builds on K–5 and progresses to identifying patterns in large data sets and using mathematical concepts to support explanations and arguments. (6-8)
    • Use mathematical representations to support scientific conclusions and design solutions. (6-8)

NGSS Nature of Science Standards (K-12)

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions (K-12)
  • Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to include constructing explanations and designing solutions supported by multiple sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories. (6-8)
Developing and Using Models (K-12)
  • Modeling in 6–8 builds on K–5 and progresses to developing, using and revising models to describe, test, and predict more abstract phenomena and design systems. (6-8)
Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking (5-12)
  • Mathematical and computational thinking at the 6–8 level builds on K–5 and progresses to identifying patterns in large data sets and using mathematical concepts to support explanations and arguments. (6-8)
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
R. Vieyra, , 2017, WWW Document, (http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14321&DocID=4684).
AJP/PRST-PER
R. Vieyra, Eclipse Science: Modeling Eclipses in the Solar System, , 2017, <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14321&DocID=4684>.
APA Format
Vieyra, R. (2017). Eclipse Science: Modeling Eclipses in the Solar System. Retrieved August 24, 2017, from http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14321&DocID=4684
Chicago Format
Vieyra, Rebecca. "Eclipse Science: Modeling Eclipses in the Solar System." 2017. http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14321&DocID=4684 (accessed 24 August 2017).
MLA Format
Vieyra, Rebecca. Eclipse Science: Modeling Eclipses in the Solar System. 2017. 24 Aug. 2017 <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14321&DocID=4684>.
BibTeX Export Format
@techreport{ Author = "Rebecca Vieyra", Title = {Eclipse Science: Modeling Eclipses in the Solar System}, Month = {February}, Year = {2017} }
Refer Export Format

%A Rebecca Vieyra
%T Eclipse Science: Modeling Eclipses in the Solar System
%D February 10, 2017
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14321&DocID=4684
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Report
%A Vieyra, Rebecca
%D February 10, 2017
%T Eclipse Science: Modeling Eclipses in the Solar System
%8 February 10, 2017
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14321&DocID=4684


Disclaimer: ComPADRE offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure. Please refer to the style manuals in the Citation Source Information area for clarifications.

Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

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