Module 4: Surfaces of the Solid Worlds

Planettrek: Mapping Planetary Surfaces


Complete the Planet Trek: Mapping Planetary Surfaces activity as described below:

  • Do all activities 1 - 4. Individually, you will turn in the answers to part 3. While we want you to do activities 1 - 4, we are mostly concerned about the discussion that should be generated in your teams. We want you to discuss the relationship between the processes occurring and the planetary surface. The answers are linked (to all but activity 3), but try to work with them without looking at answers for the first week at least. For activity 3, the process of trying to classify these by geologic process is the primary purpose of doing the activity. Many answers can fit into more than one category. So go for a reasonable classification, rather than "right answers." Maybe note which ones are clear choices.
  • Activity 5 - In place of the mapping activity for this part of the unit, we would like you to choose either the Moon, Mars or Eros images and map projections. You will be using one of these sets to make comparisons in an image processing activity. Set the scale in both cases using the equatorial diameter (photo images) or equatorial circumference (mercator projection). We want you to take a few linear measurements on each projection between the same features. For example, you might measure the distance from Copernicus to Tycho on the Moon on both the actual photograph and on the mercator projection. Note that when you take your measurements, you should be aware that setting the scale and measuring with absolute precision is not possible. Being one pixel off will skew your results. Therefore, when using this tool you should record your answers only to two significant features. For example, if the distance between two features is 5,375 km, you would round to 5,400. For this activity, compare the results you obtain and consider the following questions:
  1. Are your results the same for both image and map?
  2. In which direction (east-west or north-south) are the measurements most accurate on each image?
  3. What causes thse differences?
  4. What are the advantages of using image processing as a teaching tool or how would you the use of image processing benefit your students' learning?
  5. What are the limitations?
  • Activity 6 - There is no requirement to complete this activity, however we want you to look at it and discuss it in your teams. This is the culminating activity which all the prior activities build prior knowledge for. Activities 1 - 5 are developed to provide the student with the necessary skills to complete this activity. If you are so inclined, you might consider testing the project. However, since the measuring process is tedious, you might want to only do one hemisphere of your potato world.

Individually, you will turn in:

  • The results of Activity 3
  • For the alternative to Activity 5 - the name of the world you worked with, the results of 2-4 measurements you took on both images, and a short qualitative summary (1-2 paragraphs) of the considerations you must keep in mind when using this software as a teaching tool (what the 5 questions above are asking you to consider).

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Montana State University

last updated 05/05/02