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Study Guide: Distances in Space Q. What’s the main idea? A. Space is a really, really, really big, big, big BIG place! Space is so big that we have had to make up new units of measurement to measure its vast distances! What is a lightyear? What kind of distances is it used to measure? Describe and give an example. Be able to perform simple lightyear word problems. e.g. If a star is 20 lightyears away from Earth, how long would it take a spaceship traveling at the speed of light to get there? How about the same star, but this time the spaceship is traveling at ¼ the speed of light? Now try it with a spaceship traveling at twice the speed of light. What is an astronomical unit? What kind of distances is it used to measure? Describe and give an example. How can you convert from kilometers to astronomical units? (You should know how to set up the problem, but you do not need to memorize the value of one astronomical unit. If there are any problems which utilize this or other specific values, they will be given.) Be able to do simple problems using astronomical units. e.g. If an asteroid is lined up with Earth and it is 6 AU from Earth, how many AUs it from the sun? Be able to answer questions about the scale models we made. What is a scale model? Why couldn’t we make a model that used the same scale for both distance from the sun and diameter? E.g. of problems: If my scale is 1AU = 5 cm, how far away from the sun will Earth be? If Pluto is approximately 40 AU from the sun, how far will it be on my model? Another big question: you answer this one Why haven’t people been able to travel beyond our own solar system, or even beyond our own moon? Note about word problems: Don’t Panic! There will be only 1 or 2 simple problems of each type included on the quiz. To Infinity and Beyond!!! 