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Earth and Sky Divided

3 Feb 2014, 07:01 UTC
Earth and Sky Divided
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Question: Sir, may I ask a question? Is it true we live outside the Earth and not in it? — Tanzanian student, age 13, after seeing the night sky through a telescope for the first time.
Answer: This question was asked of Kai Staats, a colleague who recently journeyed to Tanzania. While he was there, Kai assisted at an astronomical observing session outside the city of Arusha for a group of school children.The event was sponsored by Chuck and Susan Ruehle, and Mponda Maloso, founders of Telescopes to Tanzania. Click on the thumbnail below to see those students viewing the Sun during the daytime session. You can read the full account on Kai’s blog at: http://www.kaistaats.com/blog/2013/05/void-of-education-part-1/

Kai answered the student’s question as you would expect from an adult who has studied astronomy: We are on the Earth, not in it, but first let me explain what I mean when I use the word “Earth.” He went on to explain the modern heliocentric cosmos: how the Moon orbits the Earth, and how the planets (including Earth) orbit the Sun. He told them that the stars are like our Sun, some smaller, some larger, but so far away we can only see ...

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