Black hole classroom activities — Quick reference guide (Chapters 3 & 4)

In this post, we provide you chapters 3 and 4 of the Quick reference guide for Black hole classroom activities. Chapters 1 and 2, which are about black hole formation, gravity and spacetime, are available here and here.

Chapter 3 — Models of black hole

1. A SCALE MODEL OF A BLACK HOLE IN THE CYGNUS X-1 BINARY SYSTEM

Age: 11+

Learning objectives:

To appreciate the relative size of the normal stars and black holes

This activity visualizes the size of a black hole’s event horizon with comparisons to some common objects.

Instruction:

https://astrosociety.org/edu/publications/tnl/24/blackhole4.html

2. A MENTAL SCALE MODEL OF A BLACK HOLE’S SIZE AND LOCATION IN THE MILKY WAY GALAXY

Age: 11+

Learning objectives:

The model relates the size and scale of astronomical objects to objects on Earth (e.g. an Oreo, a football stadium) to create a context for understanding the size, scale, and location of black holes in the Milky Way galaxy.

Make sure the audience differentiates between galaxy, solar system and the Universe before constructing the scale model.

Instruction:

3. PAPER MODEL OF A BLACK HOLE BENDING LIGHT

Age: 12+

Learning objectives:

To make a paper model of black hole and demonstrate how light is bent by a black hole.

A powerful illustration to how straight lines (like light) are bent in the vicinity of a black hole.

Instruction:

http://www.geoffreylandis.com/blackhole_models/paper_blackholes.html

Chapter 4 — Spaghettification

1. SPAGHETTIFICATION — FATE OF EVERYTHING FALLING INTO A BLACK HOLE

Age: 6+

Learning objectives:

To understand the effect of the extreme gravity from a black hole such that an object can be stretched out i.e. spaghettification, when it falls into a black hole.

Good way to illustrate the effect of gravity in causing the stretching (spaghettification) of an object.

Instruction:

2. SPAGHETTIFIED ASTRONAUT

Age: 6+

Learning objectives:

To visualize how an object is stretched out during spaghettification when fallen into a black hole.