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

Comments:

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

Credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss, wikimedia.org

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.

Comments:

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.

Comments:

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.

Comments:

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.

Comments:

Simple activity making a flip book to visualize spaghettification. However, the activity does not explain how spaghettification occurs.

Instruction:

Credit: UNAWE Flickr

You can download the pdf of the entire booklet here, the e-book here and the zip-file with all needed files to make a translation here.