Have you ever thought about the number of moons in our Solar System? Which moon is the largest? Are there any active volcanoes on any of them? Which gas is Titan’s atmosphere mostly comprised of? Your students can find out the answers to these questions, and much more spectacular information, when you make use of the following Scientix resources on the moons of our solar system.
The Moon’s Shame – recommended students’ age: younger than 9
This short tale is based on a Cubeo-Indian legend from the Amazon about the eclipses of the Moon and Sun. It is an extract from the “Tales of the Stars” book.
Deadly Moons – recommended students’ age: younger than 12
From Earth’s moon to Europa, our Solar System is filled with an interesting set of natural satellites. Through art and science, children learn about the moons of our Solar System with the Deadly Moons activity.
Paper Plates Activity: Moons – recommended students’ age: younger than 13
In this activity, children use paper plates to learn about the phases of the Moon.
Galileo and the moons of Jupiter: Exploring the night sky of 1610 – recommended students’ age: 16-19; available in Italian as well
Students use their knowledge of mathematics, physics and ICT to characterise the motion of Jupiter’s moons. They collect data from a software program, process it and then plot graphs, particularly of sine and arcsine functions, to calculate the moons’ orbital periods.
Astronomy with SalsaJ – recommended for all ages
The hands-on exercises here are designed to allow students to use real astronomical data to find a new planet, explore volcanoes on the moons of Jupiter, classify stars, or weigh a galaxy!
Even if there will be more questions than answers, exploring the moons of our Solar System can prove to be a fascinating endeavor. In 2022 the European Space Agency is planning to launch the Jupiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE), which will study 3 moons of the giant planet: Ganymede, Europa and Callisto, and their potential for hosting life. NASA too is hoping to launch its own mission to Europa in 2022, called the Europa Clipper. It will fly down to within 25 km of its surface, and may even include a lander. So the future of space exploration is alive and well, with a bunch of exciting encounters to look forward to, research, and learn about!
Authors: Tina Michetti, Fotini Siligardou and Daniela Bunea