Finding the Distance to the Sun
 Grade Level Grades K-4 Grades 5-8 Grades 9-12 Solar System Body Our Solar System Sun Mercury Venus Earth Earth's Moon Mars Asteroids Meteors & Meteorites Jupiter Europa Saturn Uranus Neptune Dwarf Planets Pluto Ceres Comets Kuiper Belt & Oort Cloud Beyond Our Solar System Mission 2001 Mars Odyssey Akatsuki Apollo 11 Apollo 12 Apollo 14 Apollo 15 Apollo 17 Apollo Program ARTEMIS Astrophysics Missions Cassini Dawn Earth Science Missions Galileo Genesis Heliophysics Missions Hubble Space Telescope InSight James Webb Space Telescope Juno LADEE Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mariner 04 Mariner 06 Mariner 07 Mariner 09 Mars Global Surveyor Mars Pathfinder/Sojourner Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity MAVEN MESSENGER New Horizons SOHO Venus Express Viking 01 Viking 02 Voyager 1 Voyager 2 WISE (NEOWISE) Topic Ancient Astronomers / Modern Tools Asteroids: Leftovers From Planetary Building Astrobiology: Got Life? Comets: Small Bodies-Big Impacts Discovering New Worlds Evolving Worlds: Planets, Like People, Grow and Change Over Time Far Ranging Robots Formation of the Solar System Gravity: It's What Keeps Us Together Ice in the Solar System Impacts: Craters and Collisions Investigating Our Planetary Family Tree Magnetospheres: Planetary Shields Moons and Rings Our Evolving Understanding of Our Solar System Scale of Our Solar System Space Math The Sun, Transits and Eclipses Volcanism in the Solar System Water in the Solar System Windy Worlds: Gas Giants, Atmospheres and Weather
 Finding the Distance to the Sun Download This Lesson Short Description: The students will apply the concepts of vertical angles and ratios to calculate lengths and angles. Can they determine the distance to the sun? Grade Level: 5-8, 9-12 Body: Sun, Venus, Earth Mission: Heliophysics Missions (Sun) Science Education Standards: Benchmarks By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that: Stars are like the sun, some being smaller and some larger, but so far away that they look like points of light. 4A/E5 The rotation of the Earth on its axis every 24 hours produces the night-and-day cycle. To people on Earth, this turning of the planet makes it seem as though the sun, moon, planets, and stars are orbiting the Earth once a day. 4B/E2bc By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that: The sun is many thousands of times closer to the Earth than any other star. Light from the sun takes a few minutes to reach the Earth, but light from the next nearest star takes a few years to arrive. The trip to that star would take the fastest rocket thousands of years. 4A/M2abc By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that: Because the Earth turns daily on an axis that is tilted relative to the plane of the Earth's yearly orbit around the sun, sunlight falls more intensely on different parts of the Earth during the year. The difference in intensity of sunlight and the resulting warming of the Earth's surface produces the seasonal variations in temperature. 4B/H3** (BSL) National Science Education Standards Science and Technology -- Content Standard D Grades 5-8 EARTH IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM: The Earth is the third planet from the sun in a system that includes the moon, the sun, eight other planets and their moons, and smaller objects, such as asteroids and comets. The sun, an average star, is the central and largest body in the solar system. Most objects in the solar system are in regular and predictable motion. Those motions explain such phenomena as the day, the year, phases of the moon, and eclipses. The sun is the major source of energy for phenomena on the Earth's surface, such as growth of plants, winds, ocean currents, and the water cycle. Seasons result from variations in the amount of the sun's energy hitting the surface, due to the tilt of the Earth's rotation on its axis and the length of the day. Grades 9-12 ENERGY IN THE EARTH SYSTEM Heating of Earth's surface and atmosphere by the sun drives convection within the atmosphere and oceans, producing winds and ocean currents. Source: NASA's IMAGE Science Center