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Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe

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Presentation on theme: "Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe"— Presentation transcript:

1 Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe

2 Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe

3 How was the Solar System formed?
Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe The Solar System is about 4.6 billion years old. It was formed from a nebula – an enormous cloud of dust and gas created when a dying star exploded. When shockwaves from other dying stars hit the nebula, it collapsed and formed a globule. Over millions of years, the temperature rose and the globule became more compressed, causing it to start spinning. Photo credit: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) A section of a pillar structure within the Eagle Nebula. The force of the spinning shaped the globule into a central core surrounded by a disk of gas and dust. Eventually, the core became the Sun and the material in the disk formed the planets and asteroids of the Solar System.

4 What makes up the Solar System?
Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe The Solar System is made up of various celestial objects: the Sun the planets moons asteroids comets. Which of these objects are light sources? Photo credit: Alun Davies The Sun is a star and a light source. It is a massive ball of hot glowing gas, which gives out huge amounts of heat and light energy.

5 Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe
What is the Sun? Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe The Sun is the star at the centre of the Solar System, about 93 million miles from Earth. The Sun mostly consists of hydrogen and helium. Its mass accounts for more than 99% of the total mass of the Solar System. Scientists used to think that chemical reactions powered the Sun, but this could not explain how it had managed to stay ‘burning’ for millions of years. Photo credit: © 2006 Jupiterimages Corporation It is now known that nuclear fusion is the process that releases the Sun’s energy.

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What are comets? Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe The planets travel around the Sun in near-circular orbits. Comets are celestial objects that also travel around the Sun, but in very elliptical orbits. The head of a comet is a lump of ice and dust, a few kilometres in diameter. For most of its orbit, a comet is a long way from the Sun. The tail of the comet only appears when the its orbit passes nearest the Sun. The tail consists of gas and dust that are released from the comet by the heat of the Sun.

7 The Solar System – true or false?
Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe Teacher notes This true-or-false activity could be used as a plenary or revision exercise on the Solar System, or at the start of the lesson to gauge students’ existing knowledge of the subject matter. Coloured traffic light cards (red = false, yellow = don’t know, green = true) could be used to make this a whole-class exercise.

8 Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe

9 Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe
What powers a star? Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe A star is ‘powered’ by nuclear fusion reactions taking place in its core. Nuclear fusion involves light atomic nuclei joining together (fusing) to form heavier ones. This process releases huge amounts of energy. Each second, the Sun produces 400,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 watts of energy! It would take 20billion nuclear power plants a whole year to produce the same amount of energy on Earth. Photo credit: © 2006 Jupiterimages Corporation In the Sun and most stars, hydrogen atoms fuse together to form helium. This provides the energy for life on Earth.

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Using nuclear fusion Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe Teacher notes This two-stage sequence explains the steps in nuclear fusion.

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How are elements made? Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe Nuclear fusion in stars produces new atoms. In the early stages of a star’s life, light elements such as helium are mainly formed. When all the hydrogen has been used up, other elements are fused together to make the heavier elements of the periodic table. Photo credit: NASA Headquarters - Greatest Images of NASA (NASA-HQ-GRIN) The Ring Nebula as imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope. The nebula is around one light year in diameter and is 2,000 light years from Earth. The blue areas of the nebula show the presence of superheated helium gas clouds, and the red and green areas show ionized oxygen and nitrogen. However, not all elements are made in the early stages of a star’s life. Some of the heavier elements are only made when a star explodes at the end of its life.

12 How do stars begin and end?
Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe Teacher notes This animation introduces how stars are formed, and how small, massive and really massive stars die.

13 Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe
What is a white dwarf? Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe A white dwarf is formed at the end of the life cycle of a star that is about the same size as the Sun. This photograph was taken with the Hubble Space Telescope and shows ancient white dwarf stars in the Milky Way galaxy. Photo credit: NASA and H. Richer (University of British Columbia) The white dwarf stars are shown ringed in blue.

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What is a supernova? Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe Teacher notes This seven-stage animation explains what a supernova is and the stages in its formation.

15 How are black holes formed?
Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe The end of the life cycle of really massive stars is different to that of massive stars. After a really massive red giant collapses in a supernova explosion, it leaves an object so dense that nothing, not even light, can escape its gravitational pull. This is called a black hole. Some scientists believe that there are black holes at the centre of galaxies. Photo credit: NASA Headquarters - Greatest Images of NASA (NASA-HQ-GRIN) The spiral galaxy NGC 4414 as imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope. The core of the galaxy contains mainly older yellow and red stars. The outer spiral arms contain young, blue stars. The outward spiralling arms of the galaxy are very rich in interstellar dust. If light cannot escape from a black hole, then how can a black hole be observed?

16 How can a black hole be ‘seen’?
Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe Teacher notes This three-stage animation explains how we know black holes exist, and where, even though they cannot be seen.

17 Lifecycle of small stars
Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe Teacher notes This ordering activity could be used as a plenary or revision exercise on the lifecycle of small stars, and the difference between small stars and large stars in the following activity. Mini-whiteboards could be used to make this a whole-class exercise.

18 Lifecycle of large stars
Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe Teacher notes This ordering activity could be used as a plenary or revision exercise on the lifecycle of large stars, and the difference between large stars and small stars in the previous activity. Mini-whiteboards could be used to make this a whole-class exercise.

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Questions about stars Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe 1. What two elements make up most of the Sun? hydrogen and helium 2. What is a nebula? A huge cloud of gas and dust from which a star is born. 3. What process has allowed the Sun to emit light and heat energy over thousands of million of years? nuclear fusion 4. Which is the most dense, a white dwarf or a neutron star? neutron star 5. What is the fate of a star similar to the Sun? the Sun  red giant  white dwarf

20 Terms about the lifecycle of stars
Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe Teacher notes This matching activity could be used as a plenary or revision exercise on the lifecycle of stars. Students could be asked to complete the questions in their books and the activity could be concluded by the completion on the IWB.

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22 Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe
How big is the Universe? Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe When thinking about the Universe, it can be difficult to understand the size and scale that is involved. One way to think about this is to imagine the known Universe scaled down to the size of planet Earth. Our galaxy would be equivalent to the size of just one micron – that’s roughly the same size as a small piece of dust! To find the Sun, you would have to shrink down to stand on the piece of dust. It would then be like finding one particular grain of sand in a seven-metre-wide circular pool filled with sand! And this is just the known Universe…

23 Journey through the Universe
Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe Teacher notes This zoom activity could be used to introduce students step-by-step to the elements of the Universe, and help in understanding the relative sizes of the elements. It could also be used to review prior knowledge.

24 Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe
Size in the Universe Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe Teacher notes This ordering activity could be used as a plenary or revision exercise on sizes of elements of the Universe. Mini-whiteboards could be used to make this a whole-class exercise.

25 Terms about the Universe
Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe Teacher notes This matching activity could be used as a plenary or revision exercise on the Universe. Students could be asked to complete the questions in their books and the activity could be concluded by the completion on the IWB.

26 Identify the celestial objects
Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe Teacher notes This activity could be used as a plenary or revision exercise on celestial objects.

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28 Is the Universe expanding?
Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe Teacher notes This seven-stage sequence describes the life of Edwin Hubble and how he formed his theory of the expanding Universe.

29 Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe
What is red shift? Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe Scientists examining the light emitted by stars observe dark lines in the spectrum. These dark lines are caused by different elements, such helium, in the stars being studied. Edwin Hubble observed that the pattern of dark lines in light from distant galaxies is shifted towards the red end of the spectrum. This red shift suggests that distant galaxies are moving away from Earth and supports the idea of an expanding Universe. Red shift occurs because of the Doppler effect, which can be observed in sound waves and electromagnetic waves.

30 What is the Doppler effect?
Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe Teacher notes This four-stage animation explains the Doppler effect using sound.

31 How does the Doppler effect work in space?
Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe The Doppler effect means that sound moving away from an observer appears to be lower in frequency. The same thing happens with light from distant galaxies, which appears to be shifted towards the low frequency, red end of the spectrum. This means the distant galaxies must be moving away from the Earth. Photo credit: © 2006 Jupiterimages Corporation It has also been observed that the further away a galaxy is, the greater the amount of red shift. This means that very distant galaxies must be moving faster than near, all of which is evidence for the Big Bang theory.

32 What is the Big Bang theory?
Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe The observation of red shift is a key piece of evidence for the Big Bang theory about the origin of the Universe. This states that the Universe ‘began’ with a colossal explosion 13,700 million years ago and has been expanding ever since. The other key piece of evidence for the Big Bang theory is cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB). CMB is radiation remaining from the Big Bang explosion and fills the whole of the Universe. Photo credit: NASA/WMAP Science Team ‘The Microwave Sky’. This all-sky picture of the infant universe was generated from three years worth of Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe data. The image reveals 13.7 billion year old temperature fluctuations (shown as colour differences) that correspond to the seeds that grew to become the galaxies. This image shows a temperature range of ± 200 microKelvin. This radiation has cooled as the Universe has expanded and is now slightly less than 3 degrees above absolute zero.

33 The Universe from beginning to end
Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe Teacher notes This six-stage sequence introduces the different theories about the beginning and end of the Universe.

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35 Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe
Glossary (1/2) Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe black hole – An object whose gravitational pull is so strong that nothing can escape, not even light. It is formed after a really massive star collapses in a supernova. comet – A lump of rock and ice, which has a very elliptical orbit around the Sun. Doppler effect – The shift in frequency of a sound wave or an electromagnetic wave due to the relative movement of the source or observer. galaxy – A vast collection of millions of stars. nebula – A massive cloud of gas and dust in which a star is formed. neutron star – The very dense core that remains after a massive red giant collapses in a supernova.

36 Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe
Glossary (2/2) Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe nuclear fusion – The process in which lighter atomic nuclei join together to make heavier atomic nuclei and a massive amount of energy is released. red giant – The huge red star formed when a star expands and shines less brightly as it starts to die. red shift – A shift in the wavelength of light towards the red end of the spectrum. It occurs when the light source is moving away from the observer and is evidence for an expanding Universe. supernova – The huge explosion that occurs when a massive red giant is at the end of its life. white dwarf – The core that remains after the outer layers of a small red giant drift away.

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Anagrams Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe

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Multiple-choice quiz Boardworks GCSE Science: Physics The Universe Teacher notes This multiple-choice quiz could be used as a plenary activity to assess students’ understanding of the Universe. The questions can be skipped through without answering by clicking “next”. Students could be asked to complete the questions in their books and the activity could be concluded by the completion on the IWB.


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