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Comments and Teaching Tips given for The Animated Virtual Planetarium Comment on this resource

Aug 17, 2007
I think it needs accurate information about planets and less things to distract you from the text.

Aug 17, 2007
Pick a topic and watch and read about things you have never learned before. It will be fun!

Aug 17, 2007
Incorporate the site into a Powerpoint presentation. Use the various pictures of the solar system.

Aug 17, 2007
This is a good resource for good to average students. It makes for a nice review of concepts taught in class. It could be used to introduce many ideas as a projected source - then have students explore on their own.

Aug 17, 2007
I designed the site to demonstrate solar system motions and interactions. 1) The historical solar systems give a good demonstration of Occam's Razor. Which system is the simplest to use and understand? 2) The effect of gravity is demonstrated in the relative velocities of the planets and of Jupiter's moons, the tidal relationship between Mercury and the Sun, and in the changing velocity of comets as they approach and recede from the Sun. 3) Spatial relationships (how the planets look from Earth, and from above the solar system) help students picture themselves within the Solar System.

Mar 7, 2007 by Alan McRae, Burlington High School
I used the solar system simulator for three "turnkey" labs on studying the motion of objects along the ecliptic, retrograde motion and aspects of planets. I would be glad to share these labs with anyone who would like them. The simulator is terrific because you can actually see where the Sun or any planet currently is in the sky and then model what it will be doing as time passes. This can lead to a discussion of why the planets go backwards for example and you can get into the historical development of the concepts of our universe based on the geocentric and then heliocentric explanations for this behavior of the planets. I also have students calculate the periods in between retrograde motions. The further the planet, the closer the period is to a year since the planet won't have moved very much since our last passing of it!