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Others Like “Measuring the Moon”

Project Idea
thumbnail Can you imagine designing and building a space telescope the size of a tennis court? Believe it or not, that is someone's job! Engineers are hard at work on the James Webb Space Telescope, or JWST. This telescope has the potential to enable astronomers to see light from when the Universe was first formed. No one knows what amazing discoveries this might lead to. However, to make the telescope work properly, engineers have to overcome a lot of challenges. In this science project, you can… Read more
Phys_p082
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- Less Details
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Most of the materials are available in hardware or craft stores.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision is required. Use caution when using the box cutter, heat lamp, and laser pointer.
Project Idea
Some claim the Moon appears larger when near the horizon. Make a series of observations of the Moon, measuring the Moon's angular diameter each time. You should also note the Moon's altitude above the horizon, and the Moon's phase. You should do background research on the lunar orbit to determine the necessary time period. Do you find predictable variations in the Moon's diameter? Can you relate this to the Moon's changing distance from Earth? From your data, try to determine when apogee and… Read more
Astro_p030
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Project Idea
Let's suppose you can take advantage of the Internet and get a 'pen pal' located a 1000 miles away in another city. On the same night, and at EXACTLY the same time 'Universal Time', make a CAREFUL observation of where the Moon is located with respect to the background stars. You should be able to discern a slight (about 1/2 the Moon's diameter) shift in position due to parallax. Then, with a little geometry, you could estimate the distance of the Moon during the full lunar cycle (Odenwald,… Read more
Astro_p028
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Project Idea
A strobe light can illuminate an entire room in just tens of microseconds. Inexpensive strobe lights can flash up to 10 or 20 times per second. This project shows you how to use stroboscopic photography to analyze motion. Read more
Photo_p003
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites This project requires camera with adjustable shutter speeds and lens apertures, a tripod and cable release.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No hazards
Project Idea
Do you wake up at the crack of dawn, or do you need an alarm clock to wake you up each morning? It may surprise you that the two are not always in synch. Nowdays, we use Standard Time to set our watches instead of Solar Time. Which method of timekeeping is the most accurate? Get ready to synchronize your watches! Read more
Astro_p015
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety None
Project Idea
thumbnail So, you've got your popcorn and are settled into your seat at the movie. The lights dim—it's show time! But wait a second. Did you ever wonder how those lights dim so smoothly? It just wouldn't be the same if the lights suddenly snapped off, would it? In this electronics science fair project, you'll investigate dimmer switches, and even build a simple model of one. Try this project and light up your room, and your mind! Read more
Elec_p056
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety You will need an adult's assistance to use the pocket knife. Adult supervision is required.
Project Idea
thumbnail Scientists have known for hundreds of years that sunspot activity waxes and wanes over a cycle that lasts approximately 11 years. In the 1970's, scientists discovered that the sun periodically blasts electrified gases into space, in huge outbursts called 'coronal mass ejections,' or CMEs. This project asks the question: do CMEs follow the solar sunspot cycle? Read more
Astro_p021
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
You're coming into the house after a game of flashlight tag with your friends, but the front porch light isn't even on for you to see the door knob! What gives? Maybe your parents know that turning a light on means moths will gather there, and they don't want you letting them inside when you open the door. You've probably noticed how moths are attracted to lights at night. They will even fly dangerously close to flames in their journey toward light. In this animal behavior science fair project,… Read more
Zoo_p059
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You will need access to an area with moths. See the Experimental Procedure for details.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail The sun sometimes releases huge bursts of electrified gases into space. These bursts are called coronal mass ejections (or CMEs). When CMEs are directed towards Earth they can generate auroras, the spectacular atmospheric displays also known as "northern lights" (photo by Chris VenHaus, 2001). In this project you'll use images from the SOHO satellite to measure how fast CMEs move. Read more
Astro_p020
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail How far would you have to travel so that the light of the full sun would provide "daylight" no brighter than twilight on Earth? This project describes a method to verify the inverse square law: how light, sound, electrical signals, and gravity each decrease with distance from their source. When you have finished your experiment, you can use your results to calculate an answer. Read more
Elec_p028
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Minor injury possible—use caution when handling single-edged razor blades.
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