### Make a scale drawing of Earth and show Earth's atmosphere and the heights of various satellite orbits.

- Ask students to estimate how high above the Earth the Space Shuttle, the Mir Russian Space Station, and satellites that beam cable television to us must orbit. Record their estimates and compare them later to the figures.
- Have students draw the curve of the Earth at one corner of a piece of paper and decide on a scale for their picture (i.e., 1 cm = 100 miles).
- Use a ruler and scale to show these relative distances:

Troposphere | ground to 6 miles |

Stratosphere | 6 miles-50 miles |

Ionosphere | 50-300 miles |

Exosphere | 300-600 miles |

Space Shuttle | 150 miles |

Other manned spacecraft | 90-300 miles |

Earth-observing satellites | 500 miles |

Navigational satellites | 6,200-13,000 miles |

Geostationary satellites | 22,000 miles |

Moon | 238,857 miles |

- Instead of drawing on paper, this activity can be done as a three-dimensional model. Use string to suspend a paper model of Earth and its satellites. Hang them from the ceiling at relative distances apart (i.e., 1 inch=10 miles). Earth's diameter is 8,000 miles.
- For younger students draw a picture of Earth and add the following:

Height of the atmosphere | 50 miles |

Space Shuttle | 150 miles |

Low earth orbits | 350 miles |

Geostationary satellites (GOES) | 22,000 miles |

### Materials

- Long roll of poster paper
- crayons
- marker
- rulers or tape measure
- compass for drawing circles. For larger circles, you will need to tie a string to a pencil and secure the other end to a piece of chalk as a pivot point.