Jupiter and moons project

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Jupiter and moons project

Postby BlackGarnet » Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:52 am

My son, who is in second grade, would like to make a model of Jupiter and it's moons. He's interested in how the planet's gravity keeps the moons nearby and orbiting. Until searching for a way to make this model I did not realize we need a question and hypothsy. How can we make this into a science fair project for his age group? We have approximately one month to complete this. Thank you so much for your help!
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Re: Jupiter and moons project

Postby Amber_MIT » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:11 am

This type of project will be very difficult to make into an experiment.

Why don't you walk through some of our project ideas with your son? We have some in astronomy for students in K-5. I would look at projects in difficulty 1 to 4 (4 being the most challenging for his age group). You can change the difficulty by clicking on the purple buttons at the top of the page.

Here is our astronomy area: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... p?ia=Astro

If your son doesn't like any of those projects, we can help you design another project.

I'm going to move your topic to the physical science area so our Experts can better help you. Good luck!
Stuck? Check out our project guides!
Project Guide: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_guide_index.shtml
Advanced Project Guide: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/competitions_index.shtml

Amber Hess
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Re: Jupiter and moons project

Postby VinceMotorola » Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:57 am


I wanted to share with you some open source software that is excellent at looking at objects that are around Jupiter. It is called Celestia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celestia), after loading the software, you can use the solar system browser to see all the object around Jupiter (Pushing 5 and the letter G flys you to Jupiter). It's truly amazing.

Good luck choosing a project.


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Re: Jupiter and moons project

Postby barretttomlinson » Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:55 am


Your son has an interesting idea!

My instincts suggest trying to observe the orbital periods of the moons versus how far out they are from Jupiter. Here is a description of such an experiment:

ftp://io.cc.gettysburg.edu/pub/clea_pro ... pit_sm.pdf

http://www.astro.wisc.edu/~sstanimi/113 ... _Moons.pdf

http://www.niu.edu/physics/observatory/ ... iter.shtml

http://lpc1.clpccd.cc.ca.us/lpc/astrono ... lilean.pdf

Here is a website offering free software for modeling Jupiter moons observations (Project CLEA mentioned in the links above):

http://public.gettysburg.edu/~marschal/ ... Ahome.html

Here is some background information on the moons.


http://www.deepfly.org/TheNeighborhood/ ... Moons.html

Some adult help will probably be required to successfully install and operate the CLEA software and interpret the experimental write-ups, but this looks like a wonderful way to do an “experimental project” on the cheap. If you have access to a telescope, you could also try to take direct observations, either photographically or by eye, and have an even more impressive project.

Here are some tips on photography that might be helpful:

http://www.sciencebuddies.org/mentoring ... ciFair.pdf

This could be a really exciting project. I wish you every success with it. Have fun!!!!

Best regards,

Barrett L Tomlinson
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