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# Big Bang Station Lab

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*** please note stations are not in order ***

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### Big Bang Station Lab

1. 1. Station #1: An Expanding Universe: Background: In fact, the universe is getting even bigger than it already is! Astronomers believe that the universe is expanding - that distant galaxies in the universe are getting farther apart all the time. It's not that stars and galaxies are getting bigger; rather, the space between all objects is expanding with time. You can make a model of the universe to show how this expansion works. Scientists often use models to help them understand what is happening on a larger scale. Directions: 1) Take a balloon and a marker; these will be the tools to make the universe. 2) Mark the balloon in a manner similar to the image below by making 4 dots. Don't put all the dots in a straight line; spread them out a little. Each of these dots represents a galaxy. 3) Now blow your balloon half way so that the dots are easier to label and measure. DO NOT TIE the balloon. Make a mental note about what happens as you blow up the balloon. Label one dot “MW” for the Milky Way and label the others 1, 2 & 3. 4) Use the ruler on your ESRT to measure the distances in centimeters between the center of the Milky Way and the center of the Galaxies labeled 1, 2 & 3. Record this in the data table on your Lab Report Sheet, round to the nearest tenth of a centimeter. 5) Now connect the MW dot with the furthest galaxy with a wave that has a short wavelength. Make a mental note about the size of this wavelength. This balloon simulates our early universe, so this wave represents light energy emitted by this galaxy as seen from earth in the Milky Way Galaxy. 6) Inflate the balloon completely without letting it pop. Then tie the end. Measure again the distance between the Milky Way and the other three galaxies, using the center of each dot. Record this in the data table on your Lab Report Sheet. 7) Answer the Conclusion Questions on your Lab Report Sheet. 3 MW 2 1 Example:
2. 2. Station #1: An Expanding Universe Conclusion After Thought: Your balloon model behaves similarly to the real universe. But like any model, it has its limitations. For one thing, the surface of the balloon (where you drew the dots) is two-dimensional, while the universe is three-dimensional. A three-dimensional model of the universe might be raisin bread dough rising in an oven. As the dough rises, each of the raisins gets farther away from all the other raisins. (See figure below) But the raisin bread dough model has its limitations too - you couldn't have measured the distances between the chips as easily as you could have with the balloon model. Conclusion Questions a. What happened to the distance between the Milky Way and the other Galaxies? Did it increase or decrease? b. What happened to the wavelength of your light wave as the balloon grows? Did it get longer or shorter? c. Graph the relationship between wavelength and distance, make distance the independent variable. d. What type of relationship is this? e. What has a longer wavelength: red light or blue light. f. Use this information to explain why light from distant galaxies display a red-shift in their spectrum.
3. 3. Station #2 A Vast Universe: Background: It is very humbling to contemplate the size of our Universe because it is unbelievably BIG and therefore it can make you feel VERY small. However it’s also impressive that our civilization has acquired such great knowledge, and it reminds us that we as people are a part of a larger system. Directions: 1) Read the Conclusion Questions before you watch the short video. 2) Watch the video: Imax Cosmic Voyage- The Power of Ten 3) Answer the questions on your Lab Record Sheet. Conclusion Questions: a. What is an aerial view? b. What is a light year? c. What is the shape of our galaxy? d. How many stars are in our galaxy?
4. 4. Station 5: Components of our Universe Background: There are many different celestial objects in our universe. It is important to understand the relative size of theses objects when compared to each other. Directions: Use the cards to arrange the components of our Universe in decreasing size order by placing them on the appropriate spot on the flow chart below. Record your answers on your lab record sheet.
5. 5. Galaxies Stars Planets Solar System Universe
6. 6. Station 5: Components of our Universe Conclusion Conclusion Questions: Use the Data table to answer the following questions: a. According to this table, the average temperature of the universe since stage 3 has 1) decreased, only 2) increased, only 3) remained the same 4) increased, then decreased b. How soon did protons and neutrons form after the beginning of the universe? 1) 10–43 second 2) 10–32 second 3) 10–6 second 4) 13.7 billion years c. What is the most appropriate title for this table? 1) The Big Bang Theory 2) The Theory of Plate Tectonics 3) The Law of Superposition 4) The Laws of Planetary Motion d. Between which two stages did our solar system form? 1) 1 and 3 2) 3 and 5 3) 6 and 7 4) 7 and 8