Our Expanding Universe                                             Name ______________________________

 

          The purpose of this activity is to explore the relationship between galaxies as the universe expands. We will use a balloon as the model of the expanding universe, with stickers as our galaxies. We will measure the distance between the galaxies as the universe expands.

 

Instructions:

1.     Cut out the small galaxies on the sticky labels. Number them 1 through 5.

2. Slowly blow up the balloon. Stop as soon as the balloon appears round. Hold the end of the balloon to keep the air from escaping

3. Have your partner place the galaxies at various places on the balloon. The balloon now represents the universe and its galaxies.

4.     Using a piece of string, measure and record the distances between the galaxies.

5.     Blow up the balloon until it is half filled. Hold the end of the balloon to keep the air from escaping. As you do observe what happens to the galaxies.

6.     Measure and record the distances between the galaxies.

7.     Blow up the balloon until it is completely inflated.

8.     Measure and record the distances between the galaxies.

 

 

Questions:

1.     Do the galaxies get bigger as the universe expands? ________________________________

2.     What relationship can you find between the speed of the galaxies moving apart and their initial distance from one another? _______________________________________________

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3.     How does this model help explain the lack of blue shift?  ____________________________

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Distance before inflating

 

 

 

 

1

1

 

 

 

2

 

2

 

 

3

 

 

3

 

4

 

 

 

4

5

 

 

 

 

 

Distance when half full

 

 

 

 

1

1

 

 

 

2

 

2

 

 

3

 

 

3

 

4

 

 

 

4

5

 

 

 

 

 

Distance when full

 

 

 

 

1

1

 

 

 

2

 

2

 

 

3

 

 

3

 

4

 

 

 

4

5