On Earth, we are very lucky to be able to view total solar eclipses. Thanks to the ratio between the size and distance of the Moon and the Sun, the two bodies appear to be roughly the same size in our sky. The following activities explore the relationship of the Earth to the Moon and the Sun so participants can learn how and why eclipses occur.
This activity is easy to do outdoors or indoors and requires few supplies. It asks participants to model orbits and observe how the Moon can block the Sun's light.
This activity encourages participants to confront their misconceptions about the size and distance of Earth's Moon. Using just balloons and string, participants create an Earth-Moon model and learn how the small Moon can cover the enormous Sun during a total solar eclipse.
This simple activity allows learners to explore apparent size and its relation to the eclipse.