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VIC

Subject:

Science

Year level:

Level 5, Level 6

Scorpius featuring Mars and Saturn in the night sky

Inquiry-based learning questions

This activity is a part of the Indigenous Astronomy and the Solar System resource.

Scorpius featuring Mars and Saturn. Photographer: Peter Lieverdink. Source: Flicker. License: CC BY-SA 2.0.

These inquiry-based questions are provided for flexible classroom use, allowing teachers to tailor discussion and reflections specific to their classroom needs

Inquiry questions

  • What are the planets of the Solar System in order of distance from the Sun?

  • What are some of the ideas Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have about the planets and what they mean?

  • What are some of the scientific questions answered by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditions of the motions of planets?

Related activities within this resources:

Scorpius featuring Mars and Saturn in the night sky

What is Stellarium?

Discover Stellarium, a digital planetarium that offers a vivid depiction of the night sky worldwide, showcasing the celestial dance of the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars in real-time.

Scorpius featuring Mars and Saturn in the night sky

Activity 1 - Planet nomenclature

In this activity, students will research and share Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander names for visible planets, explore their ordering by distance and size, and analyse how these names reflect knowledge about the planets, offering insights into cultural perspectives on celestial bodies.

Suggested timing:

30 minutes

Required resources:

Laptop/tablet, Internet access

Scorpius featuring Mars and Saturn in the night sky

Activity 2 - Observing retrograde motion using Stellarium

In this activity, students will use the Stellarium digital planetarium to visually explore retrograde motion of planets, observing their positions relative to stars and constellations, and take notes on their movements.

Suggested timing:

30 minutes

Required resources:

Stellarium app, Laptop/tablet

Scorpius featuring Mars and Saturn in the night sky

Activity 3 - Observing the planets (Homework task)

In this homework activity, students will hone their observational skills by identifying planets in the evening sky without relying on apps or aids.

Required resources:

Star wheel for the southern hemisphere

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