Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales
painting by Katie Bergenholtz

Understanding How Radar Works in Determining Topography

The title sounds a lot more serious and heavy than this activity really is. We had been talking about how it is hard for us to know what the surface of Venus looks like because the atmosphere is so thick. The surface,too is most like lava so our probes have melted into it when they landed, giving us few pictures. I found this project here. First I put a mystery object in a tall box and covered the box with a paper towel. I then drew a grid on the paper towel and made a matching grid on a piece of paper.

I also took a wooden skewer and colored each inch of it a different color with markers.
As the boys poked the skewer in each of the grid blocks of the paper towel, they noted what color was showing at the top when they hit bottom and colored the block on the grid paper the same color.


In this way they could determine the topography of our mystery object. Radar works the same way; bouncing back to us similar information which can then be translated into a topography map. Sam is going to translate this color schematic into a typical topography map next week. I will show you how it looks then.

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