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Earth and Space Science

Where Does Space Begin?

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Andrew Fraknoi Andrew Fraknoi 730 Points

Dear Colleagues:

The current discussion between Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos about where space begins may lead to questions from students, colleagues and friends about this issue.   A few years ago I created an activity, called 'How High Up is Space,' for the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, on this topic, and it is available free at: 

Andrew Fraknoi

(Former Executive Director, Astronomical Society of the Pacific)

Daisy Ybarra Daisy Ybarra 110 Points

Mr. Fraknoi, 

I am very delighted that you shared this article with us !! it is great by all needs to read such a artcle it is very interesting and i find the resource very pleasent for my students. It got my mind racing of the question how high space is and it is a excellent question and answer as a ice breaker thank you very much appreciated. Nice Day. 

Valeria Jimenez Valeria Jimenez 465 Points

Hello Mr.Frakoni, I hope all is well. I want to thank you for sharing this piece of information to us. This is a great form that us as educators can use within our classroom instruction. I especially loved the section where it states the various height altitudes of certain things, such as how high an aircraft goes, mount everest, etc. It's an amazing way to help students further understand 'How high up is space?'

Dana Manradgh Dana Manradgh 1030 Points

Thank you so much for this free resource. A lot of students come into a science class with misconceptions, and using your resource can help teach a concept that can seem very far-reaching to our students. 

Javier Cisneros Javier Cisneros 423 Points

Hello there Mr Fraknoi, I was very amused and interested in your assignment as I was eager myself to print it out and complete it, by allowing the students to expand their mind with a question to really hook them into the lesson, I am sure you are very successful in the classroom. Thank you for the material!

Melissa Espinoza Melissa Espinoza 310 Points

When I read the question, I never really thought about it till now.  For me, space begain at the atmosphere.  Now that we have people going to 'space,' is it really space.  My students will really be engaged in this lesson. Thank You!

Christine Graham Christine Graham 695 Points

I have never seen a modeling activity like this before!  I really like the calculations-- it will help give the students a more concrete understanding of where space is.... Thank you for sharing :)

Catherine Tremper Lee Trampleasure 260 Points

Great activity! I also like to include the height of the ISS (about same as Hubble), GPS satellites--12,700 km, and 'satellite TV' satellites (geostationary)--35,800km. Only downside of including these is that the GPS satellites would be 16 m away, and the geosynchronous satallites would be 28 meters away--so you'd have to take the model out to the soccer/football field!  

Louis Legier Louis Legier 550 Points

This is a fantastic resource you have created. It really guides the students through different, potentially confusing, aspects of earth and outer space. 

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