Estimating the Moon-to-Earth Radius Ratio with a Smartphone, a Telescope, and an Eclipse

Hugo Caerols, Felipe A. Asenjo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

From ancient times, the different features of planets and moons have created a huge interest. Aristarchus was one of the first to study the relative relations among Earth, Moon, and Sun. This interest has remained until today, and therefore it is always relevant to make this knowledge more appealing to the younger generations. Nowadays, smartphone technology has become an important tool to teach physics, and this gives us a huge opportunity to bring science closer to students in a simpler manner. In this work, we show how simple photographs of a partial lunar eclipse are sufficiently good to estimate the ratio between the Moon and Earth radii. After taking the photographs, the procedure for the calculation is straightforward and it can be reproduced easily in a one-hour class.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-501
Number of pages5
JournalPhysics Teacher
Volume58
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes

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