This site from Molecular Expressions provides a visualization of the vast distance scale in the universe. An interactive Java zooms in on a sequence of images starting as a view of the entire Milky Way galaxy and going all the way to subatomic particles. The site also provides an explanation of the convenience of exponential notation and an activity called "Perspectives: Powers of Ten."
Author: gibson john
Posted: February 5, 2010 at 4:14PM
Source: The Nucleus collection
I am a 57 year old African American male who recently enrolled in an astronomy class. I feel lost. When I was in grade school some hundred light years ago, education was a deprived comodity for me. Now that it is made available, it is difficult for me to remember all the terms. Can anyyou give me some advise for doing well in this new subject. The interrest is there, it is the comprehension that is getting in my way.
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)
Phenomena that can be observed at one scale may not be observable at another scale. (6-8)
Using the concept of orders of magnitude allows one to understand how a model at one scale relates to a model at another scale. (9-12)
AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)
4. The Physical Setting
4A. The Universe
9-12: 4A/H3. Increasingly sophisticated technology is used to learn about the universe. Visual, radio, and X-ray telescopes collect information from across the entire spectrum of electromagnetic waves; computers handle data and complicated computations to interpret them; space probes send back data and materials from remote parts of the solar system; and accelerators give subatomic particles energies that simulate conditions in the stars and in the early history of the universe before stars formed.
9. The Mathematical World
9-12: 9A/H1. Comparison of numbers of very different size can be made approximately by expressing them as nearest powers of ten.
11. Common Themes
6-8: 11D/M3. Natural phenomena often involve sizes, durations, and speeds that are extremely small or extremely large. These phenomena may be difficult to appreciate because they involve magnitudes far outside human experience.
9-12: 11D/H1. Representing very large or very small numbers in terms of powers of ten makes it easier to perform calculations using those numbers.
12. Habits of Mind
12B. Computation and Estimation
6-8: 12B/M9. Express numbers like 100, 1,000, and 1,000,000 as powers of ten.
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