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Fractions & Decimals:

Gravity, Planets and Your Weight

 

Today's Snack: Any food that has a lot of water in it will weigh more than other foods. One of the heaviest and most nutritious water-bearing kind of foods is an orange. Since an orange also kind of, sort of looks like another planet in our solar system, peel and eat one for today's snack. Tastes great with a glass of another kind of fruit juice - maybe apple or white grape.

 

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Supplies:

Bathroom scale | scratch paper and pencil

 

Did you know that, because of gravity, things weigh a LOT more or a LOT less in outer space than they do here on Earth?

 

For example, on our moon, a person who weighs 110 pounds here on Earth weighs only about 18 pounds up there! The moon's gravitational pull is only about one-sixth as much as the Earth's.

 

You can either weigh yourself on a bathroom scale right now, or if you know your weight, just use that number. You can also use the weight of a favorite pet if you wish. To figure out how much YOU or a favorite pet would weigh on the moon, multiply that weight times one-sixth, which in decimals is .1667.

 

How about weight differences between Earth and the other planets in our solar system? Here's a chart that can help you find out. Take your weight, or the weight of a favorite pet, and multiply it times the gravity factor of each of these planets. They are in decimals, so that will give you some practice multiplying decimals as well.

 

Just to give you an example, let's say you weigh 88 pounds. To find out how much you would weigh on Jupiter, multiply 88 x 2.53. Answer: 223 pounds! Hey! You could be in the NBA at that weight!

 

Use scratch paper and fill it this chart to show how much you or a favorite pet would weigh because of the differences in gravity:

 

 

Planet Gravity Factor x Weight = Answer

 

Mercury .38 ________ ________

 

Venus .88 ________ ________

Mars .38 ________ ________

 

Jupiter 2.53 ________ ________

 

Saturn 1.19 ________ ________

 

Uranus .91 ________ ________

 

Neptune 1.13 ________ ________

 

Pluto .06 ________ ________

 

 

On which planet would you weigh the most? On which planet would you weigh the least? What's the difference between those two numbers?

 

On which planet do you like your weight number the best? Most people say Earth. Guess that's why they say: There's no place like home!

 

By Susan Darst Williams www.AfterSchoolTreats.com Math 2010

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