Activities for “What We Learn from Hubble”

•Make a time line of the journey of a photon from a quasar.

•Here is an interesting activity to show how light is affected by the mass of a star or planet it travels by.

To demonstrate general relativity, get a large sheet, a marble, tennis ball, softball and basketball. Have about 8 friends hold the sheet around the edge so that it is flat and taut. Have another friend roll the marble across the middle of the sheet and observe the motion. It should travel in a straight path.

Now place the tennis ball in the middle of the sheet and repeat the experiment. The marble should curve slightly. Repeat with the softball and basketball. As the mass of the ball in the center goes up, the "fabric of space" is warped more, so the marble begins to curve more and more toward the center. If the curve is great enough, it will even "orbit" the central ball. If you were to use a bowling ball, chances are the marble would fall right in. As mass increases, so does the curvature of space resulting in more gravity. That's why ultra massive objects like black holes pull everything towards them.