How to Size an Exoplanet? A Model Approach for Visualization
The realization and experiences with a physical exoplanet model in the education and outreach are described. During the tests with students in the classroom and adults at public demonstrations, the following conclusions were drawn: in the visualization it is effective to connect and install together the models of planets inside and outside the Solar System, where hot Jupiter’s easily fit into the orbit of Mercury. The size of planets and orbital distance could be more effectively visualized with this method, using the Solar System as a context. The exoplanet model helps to expand the imagination of the audience on how does a planetary system look like, what is getting important as diverse views of explanatory systems emerging in recent years. This inexpensive model is useful in the education and outreach above all to make the audience more familiar with the parameters of exoplanets (here sizes, distances and partly masses), and it gives new input also for those persons who regularly read papers and news on exoplanets.
Kereszturi, A. 2013, Journal of Astrobiology & Outreach, 1(1), p.1–6