Lerryn Learn Just How Big The Sun Really Is! 21 Sep 2013

In their science lesson this week, the children in Lerryn Class learned how big the Earth, Sun and Moon really are when compared to each other.

First of all tthey were asked in groups to choose an Earth, a Sun and a Moon from a selection of different sized spheres (beach balls, footballs, table tennis balls, marbles, peas, peppercorns…). They were encouraged to think carefully about how big each ball was compared to each other. Most children realised that the biggest balls would represent the Sun and the smallest balls would represent the moon but none of them realised just how big the Sun really was when compared to the Earth and the Moon.

The pictures below show the children’s ideas, with the Sun on the left, the Earth in the middle and the Moon on the right in each case. Check out the cosmic background that the children made in art this week:

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They were surprised to learn that if the exercise ball represented the Sun, the they would need a sphere as small as a chickpea to represent the Earth and a peppercorn to represent the Moon!

They learned that the diameter of the Earth is roughly 4 times the diameter of the Moon and that the Suns diameter is 1000 times larger than the Earths. They were amazed to find out that you could fit 1 million Earths inside the Sun! 

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This picture shows Bella holding an exercise representing the Sun, Rhos holding a chick pea to represent the Earth and Kaiden holding a peppercorn to represent the Moon.

What’s more, our Sun is actually a relatively small star in our universe. Astronomers reckon that one huge, famous star in our galaxy is the monster Eta Carinae, located approximately 7,500 light years away, and weighing in at 120 solar masses. It’s a million times as bright as the Sun and 125 times its diameter! Read more

We looked at this AMAZING website resource about the scale of the universe. Have a look – it will blow your mind!

The scale of the universe