Before You Read
On April 1, 1976, the British astronomer, Patrick Moore, made a special announcement on BBC Radio.
‘At 9:47 AM there’s going to be a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event,’ he said. ‘The planet Pluto will pass behind Jupiter. And at that point there will be a reduction in the Earth's own gravity.
‘If you jump into the air at this exact moment,’ Moore told his listeners, ‘you will experience a strange floating sensation.’
A few minutes after 9:47 AM the BBC began receiving phone calls from listeners. Hundreds claimed to have felt the floating sensation.
One woman reported a remarkable loss of gravity amongst her group of twelve friends . ‘We rose from our chairs,' she told a BBC telephone operator. 'Then we floated around the room.’
1. A local TV news station interviews 'gravity jumpers' . Role play the scene in groups:
1. Five things I didn't know about: gravity
Work in groups to find five new facts about hot air balloons. At least one must not be from the Internet - try books, encyclopedias, dictionaries etc.
1. You are Patrick Moore. Write a short script for you April Fool's broadcast about 'gravity loss'.
2. You think that you experienced gravity loss. Write your diary entry.
In this short fun cartoon they sing about a musical instrument Patrick plays. Which instrument is it?