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Space: the Solar System. These are the adventures of the intrepid geocacher. The mission: to seek out and explore our terrestrial landscape for stations and plaques representing celestial bodies, gathering information leading to the elusive final cache and to boldly go where few have gone before.
Notes and Disclaimer:
*One of the stages and the final cache are hidden with permission on a school campus. School Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For the safety and concern of the students and faculty, please do not search for the stage or the final cache during these times.
*Given the scope and scale of this project there will be driving involved.
*Many of the information plaques were typed up by students and although every effort was made for accuracy there were still some mistakes that made it through to the final project.
The above coordinates will lead you to the first of fifteen stages/stations. Each station will lead you to the next and provide you with the information to answer the questions listed here on the cache page that will lead you to the final cache location. Yes students, there is a test but at least it is an open book test. You must locate and complete all stages in order to find and retrieve the final cache. This is not only a trek to find a geocache and another smiley but also it is hoped that you will learn something of our little portion of space that we call the solar system as well. To give you an idea of the scope and scale of both our solar system and this series of stages, for every 1 meter you travel terrestrially you would be traversing a distance of 1,000,000 kilometers through space.
This cache follows on the heals of a community project idea. This project idea came from an area science teacher who wanted to spread a little knowledge and hands on experience to the community as well as her students. Thus the Community Orrery Project was born.
"The Community Orrery Project"
"What Is It?"
"The Community Orrery is a 3-D scale model of our solar system spanning Baxter and Marion Counties. The Orrery shows the relative positions of heavenly bodies in our solar system, including 8 planets, 4 dwarf planets, the Asteroid Belt, the Sun, and the Heliosphere. Each heavenly body scale model is distanced to scale from the other bodies in our solar system and is situated on a station, which includes an information plaque."
"Why a Community Orrery?"
"The project is the brainchild of Pinkston Middle School Science teacher Lynn Kelsh who received a grant from the Mountain Home Education Foundation to fund the project. According to Kelsh, 'There are many misconceptions of the relative sizes and distances of the heavenly bodies in our solar system. Books and electronic sources fall short and sometimes reinforce misconceptions when displaying planetary and solar sizes and distances.' The Community Orrery is intended to dispel these misconceptions."
"Where are the Orrery Stations?"
"There are 14 stations in the Community Orrery. Stations for the Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Earth are located on the grounds of the Donald W. Reynolds Library serving Baxter County. By visiting the stations at the library you will discover how to find the remaining stations. (Hint: you could ask a boy scout about the "coords.")"
"Many thanks go out for..."
"The enormous community support that has made this project possible, including the 10 Orrery station host sites. Also, thanks to those assisting with the creation and installation of the Orrery, including Baxter County 911 Center, Mountain Home Schools and students, Owen Carpenter, Donald L. Herbert, Jesse Crowley, Travis Geery, Wade Geery, Andy Lassen, Steve Hargett and several area businesses."
The Test (Remember it is an open book test):
In order to receive an “A” on the test, you must go to each station, find the coordinates for the next station and answer the question associated with that station. Once you have found each of the stations and answered all the questions, you must assimilate the acquired information in order to discover the final coordinates and the means to access the final cache. And remember students, No Cheating! While you may be able to find the answers to the questions by doing internet searches, you will not be able to determine the final coordinates without visiting the stations. Now without further adieu here are the questions you will need to answer in order to determine the coordinates for the final cache and how to retrieve it.
Stage A – Sun
What are the primary compositional elements of the Sun?
8) Hydrogen and Oxygen
3) Sodium and Chlorine
1) Hydrogen and Helium
5) Argon and Radon
Stage B – Mercury
What shape is Mercury’s orbital path?
8) Elliptical – egg shaped
7) Spherical – ball shaped
3) Helical – coil shaped
1) Conical – spiral shaped
Stage C – Venus
Venus is similar in size to what other celestial body?
Stage D – Earth
In what month is Earth at its perihelion?
Stage E – Mars
How many moons does Mars have?
5) Three moons
8) Four moons
3) Two moons
2) No moons
Stage F – Ceres
What eight-letter word describes Ceres’ location in the solar system?
Stage G – Jupiter How many of Jupiter’s 63 satellites are considered “major”?
Stage H – Saturn
In Roman mythology what is Saturn’s connection to Jupiter?
Stage I – Uranus Who was the discoverer of Uranus?
Stage J – Neptune
Although Neptune is the eighth planet it is the fourth ____ planet.
Stage K – Pluto
For 20 years of its orbital path Pluto trades places with what celestial body?
Stage L – Sedna
While most celestial objects are given Greco-Roman names, Sedna is named from what other culture’s mythology?
Stage M – Eris
How many digits are in the perihelion and aphelion distances in miles?
Stage N – Heliosphere
What is the term for the area between the inner and outer solar system boundaries?
9) Bow Shock
5) Termination Shock
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Last Updated: on 9/8/2013 3:01:22 PM Pacific Daylight Time (10:01 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum