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This set of web pages is about making models of the Earth and our Moon to get a better understanding of their sizes and distances from each other.

Models Are Useful

Everyone uses models of things. Kids play with model people, houses, cars, airplanes, you name it, most toys are models of something.

Adults use models, too. People who design buildings look at small models of what they are building to help them know how to construct it and how it will look when it's finished. Dentists make models of teeth that need fixing. Aeronautical engineers make models of airplanes to test them in wind tunnels.

Models let you look at the whole thing all at once.

Models Show you "The Big Picture"

Suppose you wanted to know how about two of our planet's best-known islands, Greenland and Iceland. You could fly to Greenland, get out of the plane and look around. Then you could fly to Iceland and do the same thing. You might have a nice (and probably chilly) vacation, but you really wouldn't get a feel for the sizes and shapes of these two islands.

You could look up Greenland and Iceland in an encyclopedia to find out how many square miles or square kilometers they each have. The numbers might be interesting, but they're hard to picture. Greenland covers an area of 2,192,500 square kilometers. That's an impressive number, but it doesn't give you a feeling for the size of Greenland. That big number doesn't tell you what shape Greenland is, either.

Go to the next page.

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