This week's group assignment is designed for us to learn how to sort out who does what in the assignments. We have to create a brief Power Point to explain to 6th grade students the proximity of Earth to other celestial bodies, then calculate the travel time in a space vehicle at a speed of 30,000 mph and present the time elapsed in a way the students will understand.
I took the research part, because I enjoy it, probably far more than a person should. Of course, I got the information (using average distance, because we're not getting into elliptical orbits and double the work, people) and came up with this:
Statistical information for Space Travel Group assignment
Each of these distances is an average between the closest possible location and furthest possible location, due to elliptical orbits of all the planets. (It's better than doing two for each!)
1. Moon- 238,854 miles from Earth It takes almost 8 hours to get there from Earth, so if you left here at 8 am, you'd be able to have dinner on the moon.
2. Mars- approximately 139,808,518 miles from Earth. At 30,000/mph, it'd take 4,660 hours or 194.5 days to get to the red planet. Or, if a student left Earth at 8 am the first day of school, August 22, 2011, they wouldn't get there until March 3 at bedtime.
3. Saturn- approximately 821,190,000 miles from Earth. At 30,000/mph, it'd take 27,373 hours, or 1140.5 days. If you left Earth the first day of 6th grade (August 22, 2010), you wouldn't arrive on Saturn until Sunday, October 5, 2014. You'd be a freshman in high school and have a pretty good excuse note for not doing three years worth of homework!
4. Pluto- approximately 2,659,800,000 from Earth. At 30,000/mph, it would take 88,660 hours to get to the downgraded former planet (poor Pluto). This is 3,694 days or 10 years and one month. Just think, if you left the first day of 6th grade this year (August 22, 2011), you'd be in your senior year of college when you got there!
5. Sun- approximately 93 million miles from Earth. AT 30,000/mph, it would take 3132 hours, or 130.5 days to arrive at a place that is hotter than Florida-all the time. If you left the first day of school, you'd arrive on December 30th of this year.
Is it any wonder that I finally cracked open the season one DVDs of Big Bang Theory, watch two episodes and laughed my head off for 44 minutes?