Using the Web

Go to NASA’s “Apollo 15 Hammer-Feather Drop” Web page ( and watch the video from Apollo 15 of astronaut David Scott dropping the hammer and falcon feather on the Moon. (You might find a better version on YouTube.) What did this experiment show? What would happen if you tried this on Earth with a feather and a hammer? Would it work? What would you see? Suppose instead you dropped the hammer and a big nail. How would they fall? How fast do things fall on the Moon compared to on Earth?
Go to the Exploratorium’s “Your Weight on Other Worlds” page (, which will calculate your weight on other planets and moons in our Solar System. On which objects would your weight be higher than it is on Earth? What difficulties would human bodies have in a higher-gravity environment? For example, would it be easy to get up out of bed and walk? What are the possible short-term and long-term effects of lower gravity on the human body? Can you think of some types of life on Earth that might adapt well to a different gravity?
Go to the NASA Space Place Web page and play with Newton’s cannonball. Why is it the speed of the cannonball that determines whether it goes into orbit? How much speed is needed by an intercontinental ballistic missile heading to the other side of Earth?
Go to a website that will show you the times for high and low tides in your area—for example, Pick a location and bring up the tide table for today and the next 2 weeks. Why are there two high tides and two low tides every day? What is the difference in the height of the water between high and low tides?
Go to a website with the phases of the Moon and the times of moonrise and moonset for your location—for example, Does the time of the high tide lead or follow the position of the Moon?

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