The Lion King (1994)


Concept featured in film: Stellar structure and evolution

Location of clip:


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Summary of clip: Simba, Timon, and Pumbaa are laying back on the Savannah one night looking up a the stars. Pumbaa asks,"Ever wonder what those sparkling dots are up there?"; Timon replies, "I don't wonder, I know. They're fireflies; fireflies that got stuck up on that bluish-black thing." Pumbaa proclaims that stars are giant balls of burning gas. Timon then says, "Pumbaa, with you, everything is gas." Simba exclaims that the stars were once great kings, placed in the sky to look down over them.

Connection of flickclip to the concept: This clip can be used to engage students about the composition of stars, their structure, and their evolution. This clip challenges studetns to think about what really is "star stuff."

Suggestions to teachers:
1. Suggested questions for students when viewing the clip:

a. What are stars made of?

b. How do astronomers know what they are made of? How has this model changed over time?

c. Do all stars consist of the same materials?

d. Is Pumbaa right? How can massive stars just be made of gas?

e. If the stars are so massive, how far away must they be to appear so small?

f. Why are the stars different colors?

g. What is the life cycle of stars?