Script for Dinosaur Show


Script for Dinosaur Show

Script for Star Show 2.0

Introduction: Science Dome

*Role of a scientist.* Many parts of science from Chemistry to Geology with rocks and fossils and from Nuclear Physics to Astronomy, with stars and planets. Science Dome is used in schools, parties and youth clubs to help you find the area of science which you are interested in.

First science subjects were Geology and Astronomy with the latter being the oldest.

Structure of show and length

3d glasses issued

“Do you want to be a young astronomer today?”

Talk 5 minutes, Introduction on Stargazing

*History of Astronomy*

Astronomy the study of space is the oldest science. It is vital to ancient peoples who used the position of the Sun, Moon and stars to tell the time and date and to navigate.

Ptolemy: Amazing Facts

For almost 1,500 years astronomy was based on the Almagest complied by the Greek writer Ptolemy (c100-180) who lived in Egypt. Ptolemy collected and explained the work of all the great astronomers who had gone before him. The Almagest included the idea that the Earth was the centre of the Universe. This is sometimes known as the Ptolemaic system.

The Polish astronomer Nicholas Copernicus (1475-1543) was the first person in the modern world to remove the Earth from the centre of things and he put the Sun at the centre of the Universe with the Earth and other planets going around it.

Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei (1541-1642) used the newly invented telescope to discover the phrases of Venus, the moons of Jupiter, and the mountains on the moon. 1609 recorded observations.

Telescopes were continually improving revealing far fainter objects, such as the gap in the rings of Saturn called Cassini Division (1675). The English astronomer William Herschel (1738-1822) used a wooded telescope (simple two lens system eyepiece lens and objective lens) to discover the planet Uranus in 1781.

A Planetarium was a devise used to show how the planets moved around the sun. Now used as a term for an arena.

Space probes and Hubble Space Telescope (HST)

Introduction on Stargazing

How to start stargazing—all it takes to learn your way around the night sky is patience and practise. With time and practise you will be able to spot plenty of detail with the naked eye alone. Binoculars will let you see even more, but there is no need for a beginner to buy expensive telescopes. A planetarium like this can assist in teaching what to look for and also show in the daytime.


The best time to look at the stars is a clear, moonless night. Try to find a spot away from any light pollution from street lamps and houses which makes the sky bright and blots out many stars. A hillside in the country is ideal, but you can still observe the moon and many of the brighter stars.

It takes about half and hour before the eyes adjust to the dark, allowing you to see fainter stars. To look at star maps or makes notes cover a torch with red cellophane. Compass help you find north and what direction you are facing, so you can cross reference this against star maps

Make notes of what you see, even constellations as entries will help you find them again. No one can say what is or not a valuable sighting. For example shooting stars, scientists cannot get enough details on their brightness, speed and direction. Notes such as date, location, binoculars or not, weather conditions and subject observed today with a sketch.

Telling objects apart

To tell if the dot of light you see is a star, planet or space station, note how rapidly it moves. The stars move each night due to the earth spin but do not change position relative to each other. A shooting star looks like a random streak of light: a slow moving light may be a space station or artificial satellite. A bight star that is not marked on a star map may be a planet. The position of the planets changes constantly (planets from the Greek word ‘wanderer’). Pictures taken apart in time will show this.

With the naked eye you can see thousands of stars in the night but with binoculars or a telescope you can spot fainter stars, investigate the craters of the moon or see planets as discs not starry points. Telephones magnify distant details that are invisible to the eyes alone. Before the age of space exploration astronomers made all their discoveries about the Universe by constructing more and more powerful telescopes. Reflectors use lenses and curved mirrors to collect light, refractors use lenses.

It is often easier to begin with scanning the sky with a good pair of binoculars as they are portable and generally higher quality image than telescopes of a similar price range. With binoculars you will see about 10 times more detail than with the naked eye. With a telescope even more but it can be confusing to see so much detail before you know your way around the sky.

With the naked eye you can see dark seas (plains) on the Moon.

With binoculars you will be able to see most of the large craters on the Moon; especially those found around the shadow boundary between light and dark called the Terminator. Mountain ranges can also be seen.

With a telescope you can see the finer details of the major craters as well as shadows crossing the mountain ranges. You could pick out variations of colour of the dark seas.

Moon—is the easiest object to study being 238,906 miles away. The dark areas are known as seas because this is what astronomers once believed them to be, although they are plains of dark lava .The brighter areas are mountains. The surface is highly cratered and has many mountain ranges.

Look out for

  • The long shadow across craters and mountain ranges which change nightly.
  • Large seas such as the Sea of Crises which can be seen with the naked eye.
  • The bright rays extending from the ray crater Tycho which extends for hundreds of miles but can only be seen when the moon is or at full.
  • The Alps are the most spectacular mountains on the moon, look for them close to the dark crater Plato
  • The Apennines are the highest mountains on the Moon with Caucasus Mountains extending north from Copernicus centre highland.
  • Mare Tranquillitatis Sea of Tranquillity is part of two large adjust ant seas together with Mare Serenitatis Sea of Serenity. Apollo 11 landing on the Sea of Tranquillity. Mare Imbruim Sea of Rains is the largest above Copernicus.

The seas are known as Maria from Latin word mare for sea. The far side of the moon cannot be seen as one side always faces the Earth. Astronauts saw the far side as mostly cratered with only one dark sea called Tsiolkovsky.

The Moon’s phases

Each night the Moon seems to change shape known as phrases caused by when the Moon circles the Earth we see different amount of its sunlit surface. 29.5 days for cycle of phrases—a lunar month. Isaac Newton explained the link for tides water being pulled easier than land causing a water bulge which does not follow the spin of the earth causing two high tides per day.

Look out for

  • You will notice that the moon sets and rises 52 minutes earlier each night.
  • The best view of the moon is from the thin crescent to just before the full
  • Waxing moon is a crescent moon which is getting bigger and brighter to First Quarter when the moon is quarter way around it’s orbit we see half the sunlit side.
  • Gibbous moon is a moon three quarters full
  • Last quarter to a Waning Moon growing smaller to the unlit side faces Earth we cannot see it at all.
  • Lunar eclipses occur when the Sun and Full moon and Earth are completely aligned. The reddish colour is caused by the Earth atmosphere where despite the Earths shadow blocking completely the atmosphere bend the red rays of light.

There is no water on the moon and it has no atmosphere, weather or erosion by wind rain or tides. The surface is covered by fine grained sand. Rocks have been studied by scientists due to Apollo missions. Main types are basalt (hot core proved by Apollo 15). Without One sixth gravity, small size and low mass so escape velocity is 2.37 km per sec

Weight is force of gravity pulling mass 1kg 10N gravitational force.

66kg Earth 660N Moon 110N

The Earth- Moon system has sometimes been described as a double planet since the mass ratio between the two bodies is distinctly less unequal than other planets and their satellites. For example large satellites do exist such as Titan (Saturn) but this orbits a giant planet several hundred times more massive.

There are thousands of crater on the Moon-- 500,000 of them are 1500m 4,900ft across many are rimmed by mountain ranges which form walls around the craters metres high.

The Solar System:

The planets are not alike; although they are of two main types the inner rocky planets and the gas giants.

The inner rocky planets with their rigid surface are very different to the gas giants. At first the gaseous planets were little bigger than the rocky worlds however this gave them a stronger gravitational pull and so they attracted extra gas from the Sun and grew much bigger than the rocky planets.

As well as planets there are much smaller objects including over 60 satellites (moons), countless comets, and hundreds and thousands of asteroids in belts between Mars and Jupiter and beyond Pluto.

Apart from Mercury and Venus all the planets have moons with Saturn the most (18+) with one giant moon and many smaller ones (all with varied orbits some on equatorial plain and ring system (Mimus), some 15degrees Iapatus some distant moon Phoebe at 150degrees) and can be seen with a telescope. The easiest to see are the four largest of Jupiter Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisito known as the Galileans orbit on primary equatorial planet plain.

Solar System Facts

  • The Sun is so much more massive than the rest of the solar system put together that the pull of its gravity holds the planets in place.
  • The giant gas worlds are mostly formed of rapidly spinning hydrogen with ammonia and methane
  • The time a planet takes to travel around the Sun is its year. These vary depending on the distance from the Sun. Neptune takes 164.8 Earth years
  • Each planet spins on it’s own axis while it orbits the Sun

The easiest planets to spot are Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. They look like bright stars but when you view them through binoculars or a telescope you will see that they are tiny discs of light rather than twinkly pinpoints, like stars. However you would need quite a large telescope to see much surface detail.

Common observations of the planets

Venus is visible just before sunrise or just after sunset when it looks like the brightest star in the sky. Like the Moon, Venus goes through phases, changing from full to crescent shape and apparent shape depending on its distance from the Earth. The surface of Venus is permanently hidden by a dense layer of cloud.

Jupiter reflects a lot of sunlight which makes it easy to spot from Earth. Looking at a telescope you will see the gassy giant looks squashed at the top and bottom and bulges at the equator. This is caused by centrifugal force, the result of the planets surprising rapid rotation. Jupiter spins around in slightly less than ten hours. Move slowly against the stars and takes about one year to move through each constellation.

Mars looks like a reddish disc and its colour is due to iron compounds that have rusted in the soil, with help of oxygen and iron proving water existed in the past.

The Sun

Stars are different colours depending on their temperature. Red stars are the coolest 3,500c blue stars hottest 50,000c Sun in mid range are yellow with 6,000c to 10800c

Of all the stars in the sky the nearest to us is the Sun, a glowing ball of gas so large that the Earth could fit inside it one million times. Surface temperatures reach 6,000c rising to 15 millionC at the centre. Despite these amazing facts the sun is an ordinary star. It only seems big and bright compared with others because it is so much closer. By studying the Sun astronomers have learnt a lot about the stars. Never forget the Sun’s light is dangerous.

About half the sun’s energy comes out as light and half as heat. Use a magnifying glass to see the powerful radiation that comes from the Sun.

Like all stars the Sun is a ball of gas, at its core violent nuclear reactions constantly takes place and these generate energy that spreads out as light, heat and other radiation (Gamma). The Sun fuses four million tonnes of hydrogen every second and has enough hydrogen to keep going for five billion years.

The outer most layer of the Sun the corona can be seen during a total eclipse. Prominences (Solar flares) can stretch for ten of thousands of km and some last for hours others for months.

Solar eclipses are the most dramatic sights in the sky and this is where the sun seems to vanish behind a shadow. Eclipses happen when the Moon comes between us and the Sun, briefly hiding it and casting a shadow on the Earth. The eclipse can only be seen by places covered by the shadow which is less than 250km wide.

Observe the Sun only by projection onto a card where it is possible to see sun spots---Darker cooler areas of the Suns surface.

There is a cycle of sunspot activity reaching a peak every 11 years and sometimes there are no sunspots, at all. Observations or photographs over time show that the spots are in a different place from day to day, using these as markers proves that the Sun takes 28 days to rotate.

Mapping the stars

From the Earth the stars seem to be studded across the inside of a vast apparent sphere of stars. Astronomers map the stars using a celestial sphere. On the Celestial sphere Longitude is called Declination expressed in degrees (Latitude is from the Polaris star using a quadrant).

Latitude is called Right Ascension expressed in hours and minutes. Our view of the stars changes as the Earth spins on its axis and also as it orbits the Sun. At any time of year we see different parts of the celestial sphere. An imaginary line, the equator divides the Earth into tow halves or hemispheres. People who live in the southern hemisphere see mostly different stars than people who live in the northern hemisphere.

Ancient astronomers found their way around the skies by dividing the stars into patterns or constellations. You cannot see them all at once only part of the sky can be seen at once—you can see twelve main (Zodiac) constellations. Pisces, Aquarius, Capricornus, Sagittarius, Scorpio, Libra, Virgo, Leo, Cancer, Gemini, Taurus, Aries

These form the background to the path of the Sun, Moon and planets which seem to follow through the sky. Star charts use months on side or terms such as

Celestial equator is an imaginary line through the sky directly over the Earth’s equator.

Ecliptic refers to the apparent yearly path of the Sun through the sky with respect to the stars.

Celestial Poles are points in the sky directly above the North (or South) pole

Learn to recognise the zodiac constellations as helpful pointers around the sky. The Orion nebula in Orion is close to Taurus and Gemini. .

Cygnus July to November high overhead.

Circumpolar stars restricted to hemisphere and can be seen all year round stars near the celestial equator can be seen at both hemispheres. Orion is high in the winter and can be used in signpost also goes to South.

Polaris the North Star only star to stay in the same place. For centuries sailors have used the stars to navigate. Early sailors used a devise called a quadrant to find their direction. In the northern hemisphere they measured the angle between the horizon and the Pole star because they knew the altitude (or height in degrees) from any place on Earth is the same as the latitude, the sailor could tell where they were.

The Southern Cross was used by Polynesian people to navigate the Pacific. Southern Hemisphere looks towards the centre of the Milky Way which contains most stars why sky is brighter and beautiful.