Friday, September 25, 2009

Science of the Stars

We're studying Astronomy in science this year. I'm as intrigued as the boys, and so far our study has provided lots of interesting facts and fun experiments. Unfortunately, our unit on the sun fell during the two week time period when the sun did not shine. Not one little bit. We had rainy day after rainy day. Ordinarily, this would not be much of a big deal, but our science project involved melting chocolate in the sun, and the Hershey bars in the refrigerator served only to torture the boys, day after rainy day. One night I commented to the Buzzard that the sun only needed to come out for an hour for me to satisfy my commitment to scientific research and he looked at me and said, "Oh. You mean those chocolates were for school??"

Guilty boy.

So, I drove to the Walmarts (in the rain) to buy more chocolates, and after what felt like an eternity of waiting, the moment finally arrived. The sun made a grand entrance. We celebrated by using magnifying glasses to concentrate the sun's rays and "burn" circles in our chocolate. It turned to chocolate soup in a nano second.

This week we moved on to a study of Mercury. Did you know that one day on the planet Mercury is equal to 69 days on earth? That is approximately how long it takes me to wash, dry, fold, and put away one load of laundry here at the Manor. If I lived on Mercury, I could get it done all in one day. :) We made a batch of salt dough and formed models of Mercury. First, the boys measured and mixed their own dough. (That means I know have "Mercury dust" all over my kitchen counters and floors.) Then, they went on a scavenger hunt for round objects ("asteroids") to press into the surface.

Did you know the planet Mercury is one example used by Creationists to prove the earth is not millions or billions of years old? (The only thing in this solar system that is a million years old is my laundry pile.) Since Mercury has little atmosphere to deflect the space rocks, it's surface is marred with craters from asteroid hits. However, there are many flat surfaces that remain smooth, and statistically, if the planet were millions of years old, the entire surface would be consumed with craters and scars.

So, now you've had your lesson in Astronomy and Creationism for today. And all for free. You're welcome. Hang on, Venus. Me, the boys, and all our laundry are headed your way next.

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