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This is a practical demonstration that illustrates how the universe expands.

To submit a complete activity:

Download the file attached and complete the activity:

  • Collect the data following the experimental procedure.
  • Answer the questions
  • Attached a picture of your balloon that shows your name and the galaxies on the balloon



The expansion of the universe activity
This is a practical demonstration that illustrates how the universe expands.
To submit a complete activity:
1234-
Collect the data following the experimental procedure.
Answer the questions
Attached a picture of your balloon that shows your name and the galaxies on the balloon
Once you have added all the information, save this document as pdf, name it as:
Name_lastname_universeassignment.pdf and submit it in CANVAS.
Background information:
The universe is getting bigger and bigger. Astronomers believe that the universe is expanding – that all points in the
universe are getting farther apart all the time. It’s not that stars and galaxies are getting bigger; rather, the space
between all objects is expanding with time.
In the 1920s astronomer Edwin Hubble used the red shift of the spectra of stars and by carefully observing the light
from galaxies at different distances from Earth, he determined that the farther something was from Earth, the faster
it seemed to be moving away. This relationship has become known as Hubble’s Law, and it’s just one piece of a
bigger puzzle known as the Big Bang theory. Developed over many years and by many people, the theory states that
about 15 billion years ago the universe was compressed into an infinitely small space, known as the primordial atom.
It exploded in a sudden burst of energy and created a small, super dense, extremely hot universe that began to
expand in all directions. Over time things cooled, and tiny bits of matter clumped together to form stars and galaxies.
As a result of this explosion, all of these objects are still moving away from each other. In this experiment, you’ll
create a simple model to learn how the universe expands over time.
For additional information on the experiment watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1UC6HpxY28
Materials




Balloon
Marker
String
Ruler or tape measure
Procedure
1) Inflate your balloon until it is about 10 cm in diameter, but do not tie the end.
2) Using the marker, make six dots on the balloon in widely scattered locations. Label one dot “home” and the
others A-E.
3) Using your tape measure (or string & ruler), determine the circumference of the balloon. Record the value
for the circumference in the table as “Balloon Circumference # 1=.”
4) Without letting air out of the balloon, use the string and a ruler to measure the distance from “home” to
each dot. Record the distances in table # 1.” Repeat each measure 2 more times and calculate the average.
5) Inflate the balloon so that its diameter is about 10 cm bigger (≈ 20 cm total). Determine the circumference
of the balloon. Record the circumference in the table as “Balloon Circumference # 2=.”
6) Measure the distances to each of the dots and the balloon’s circumference. Record these measurements in
table # 2″. Repeat your measurements two more times and calculate the average value for each measure.
7) For the last time, inflate the balloon 10 cm bigger (≈ 30 cm total). Record the circumference in the table as
“Balloon Circumference # 3=.”
8) Measure the distances to each of the dots and the balloon’s circumference. Record these measurements
as in table #3. Repeat your measurements as before.
9) Write your name on the balloon and take a picture.
Circumference # 1= _______________
Table #1
Distance
Home to A (cm)
Distance
Home to B (cm)
Distance
Home to C (cm)
Distance
Home to D (cm)
Distance
Home to E (cm)
Distance
Home to C (cm)
Distance
Home to D (cm)
Distance
Home to E (cm)
Measure
Measure
Repeat 1
Measure
Repeat 2
Average
Circumference # 2= _______________
Table #2
Distance
Home to A (cm)
Distance
Home to B (cm)
Measure
Measure
Repeat 1
Measure
Repeat 2
Average
Circumference # 3= _______________
Table #3
Distance
Home to A (cm)
Distance
Home to B (cm)
Distance
Home to C (cm)
Distance
Home to D (cm)
Distance
Home to E (cm)
Measure
Measure
Repeat 1
Measure
Repeat 2
Average
Answer the following questions:
1. How did the distance from the “home” dot to each of the other galaxies change each time you inflated the balloon?
(reference your data and what the data indicates)
2. Which galaxies move the greatest distance , the near “home” or those farther? (reference your data and what the
data indicates)
3. If you deflate the balloon completely, simulating the beginning of the expansion of the Universe, what happen to
all the galaxies? What would this point in your model represent?
4. How is your model similar to reality and how is your model different?
Insert your picture here:

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