Name _________________How Much Would You Weigh On Distant Planets?
Student Answer Sheet
Activity I - Is there any gravity on the Moon?
Is there any gravity on the Moon? How could you find out? As a first step, watch one or more of the following movies of US astronauts working on the Moon. Most are in AVI format and are black & white as they were made between 1967 and 1971.
Activity II - How much do you weigh on distant planets?
Clearly, the above movies
show that the Moon does in fact have gravity--but less gravity than Earth
does. So which planet characteristics cause a planet to have more
or less gravity? Consider the following variables--presence of an
atmosphere, planet diameter, planet mass, planet temperature, and/or distance
from the Sun.
To investigate your hypothesis,
find out how much you weigh on other planets using the CERES
Solar System Weight Calculator. Then use the Solar
System Data Table or books from the school library to see which planets
have properties that might affect your weight on other planets. You
might find it helpful to make a comparison chart.
Activity III - What causes a planet to have gravity?
Consider each of the following
hypotheses about what causes you to weigh more or less on other planets.
Use the Weight
Calculator and the Solar
System Data Table to prove or disprove the proposed hypotheses.
Write a brief paragraph that explains what characteristics cause a planet to have more or less gravity.
Activity IV - How much would you weigh on the newly discovered planets?
In recent years, astronomers have found very large planets around stars far from our solar system. Most of these stars are very large and very massive. How much do you think you would weigh on these newly discovered planets? Try out your prediction using the CERES Extra-solar Planet Weight Calculator. Don't forget to check out the most recent list of planets discovered!