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Appearances Can Be Deceiving! DLESE Reviewed Collection
In this hands-on activity, students explore the relationship between angular width, actual size, and distance by using their finger, thumb and fist as a unit of angular measurement. They should learn to relate angular width to actual size using distance; quantify the relationship between angular width and distance; and understand why the Sun appears smaller from Pluto than from Earth.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Classroom activity
    • Lesson plan
  • Mathematics
  • Space science
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory ("JHU/APL") reserves all rights in the textual, graphical and other content appearing on this World Wide Web site ("Web Site"). Redistribution or commercial use is prohibited without express written permission.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-009-244
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 5-8:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Change, constancy, and measurement
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Earth in the solar system
      • G - History and nature of science:
        • Nature of science
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University/Nationl Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
New Horizons Pluto-Kuiper Belt Mission

Contact: Kerri Beisser
Applied Physics Laboratory
Johns Hopkins University