Wednesday, March 24, 2010

black holes

We've sort of had an unintentional study unit on black holes this week. The Map Man took the boys to a planetarium program (plus some related activities) on Saturday evening at The Children's Museum in West Hartford, and yesterday we met our friends Kyra and Fluffy at the Springfield Science Museum for their special exhibit on this most confusing of astronomical topics. We learned a lot. I honestly can say, however, that I still don't "get it". But it didn't keep me from enjoying the exhibit activities.

Above, J experiments with the magnetic/gravitational pull of a hidden black hole, trying to pinpoint where it is by the "stars" movement. (Black holes, being black, are understandably hard to locate, and you need to use star movement clues to find them.) Below is an example of the distortion that happens around black holes.

Above, Zoo Boy journeys on a space exploration of a black hole. The quote at the top of this post and the cartoon below pretty much summed up my experience! But the kids have a better grasp on the concept than I do -- I think their ability to think outside the box and the fact that they are not firmly entrenched in years of learning allows them to openly accept all the weird stuff that happens in the vicinity of black holes, whereas my brain rebels against it.

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