Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Science Lesson #4: Planets

Something we find out about Marisol in this episode is that her dream is to become a famous rock n' roll drummer. Although in the real world of Cleveland she is only a pre-teen, she's the drummer in a band with her friends called Prussian Blue. The planets episode begins with Marisol bumming out about her band being rejected from her school's Battle of the Bands. She makes her way aboard the HMS Unknown where the subject of rejection...COLOSSAL rejection...is brought up with the Crew. The conversation turns to the recent rejection of Pluto as a planetary body and continues on to explore topics about our solar system.

Points of the lesson include:
- Planets held together by the gravitational force of the Sun
- types of planets: rocky vs. gaseous
- how many Earths would fill the volume of Jupiter
- temperature differences on the planets
- how the abundance of liquid water found on our planet is unique to the solar system
- Moons! How moons stick with their respective planets
- Rings of Saturn
- Quick mention of telescopes. How to build a rudimentary telescope?
- How far away we are from other planets and the Sun
     - How long it would take to travel to each planet
- Asteroid belts
- Kuiper belt which Pluto belongs to

Those are the ideas for the Planets episode. Marisol is comforted by the Crew who point out to her that being rejected from a Battle of the Bands isn't nearly as bad as a planet being rejected from a Solar System. She agrees. In the end, we come to find out that Prussian Blue is actually a really horribly unlistenable band who make noisy, disorganized punk music not fit for human consumption. The Crew are all very polite upon this discovery.

(image: www.solarsystem.nasa.gov)

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