On Saturday, January 2nd, 2021, Earth will be as close as it gets to the Sun during its orbit. Shouldn't that make this the warmest time of the year?
In this activity students become familiar with the terms perihelion and aphelion as they calculate 1 AU and the perihelion distance in miles and kilometers. Students decide how much closer we will be to the Saturday on January 2nd, 2021 then on Earth's aphelion, Monday, July 5th, 2021, and figure out how long it will take to get to the Sun, leaving now in a school bus, a car, an airplane, a space craft, or in an “n” miles per hour vehicle.
For members we have an editable Word docx and solutions/teacher tips.
CCSS: 6.RP.3, 6.NS.1, 7.RP, 7.NS.2, HSN.Q, HSA.CED.1
If you would like to consider this event more as an artistic endeavor related to ellipses, check this activity out: String design, ellipses, and orbital mechanics