Saturday, April 5, 2014

Out of This World

We got to go to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University last night to check out their new telescope and Astronomy building. First we went on a tour of a scale model of our solar system. We started off at the sun which was about the size of a soccer ball. Then we walked about 50 yards to the scale model of mercury. It was the size of a pin head. It was a long walk all the way to Uranus, let me tell you.

Then we got to go on the rooftop and look through some telescopes at the moon, Jupiter, and Mars. My favorite part of the night was seeing Jupiter. It was really beautiful. We could see 4 of its glistening moons lined up in orbit. 

Then we got to see the BIG telescope. ERAU has the largest university based research telescope. It was very impressive. 

After looking at the new telescope, we went into the red room. They showed us some images from space on a giant screen. They used a free website called Stellarium. I am downloading it tonight. I can't wait to use it next year when we study the constellations. 

Twizzler was bored with looking at the universe so we went downstairs and played space bingo. It was just a little group of homeschoolers and an astrological engineering student. The questions were really hard. It was not meant for little kids but I was impressed with how much they actually knew. Skittles has not studied outer space since first grade and Twizzler has not studied space at all. Poor Skittles knew the answers to most of the questions but he did not have the answers on his bingo card. If it had been just a trivia game, he would have won. 

Before we went home, we went to the Wright brothers statue. We are going to be studying them in the next couple of weeks. Skittles is so excited. He has been dying to read the book ever since we received our box full of curriculum last summer.

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