Astronomy

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Our Solar System: A Model Overview (Teacher Learning Journey Webinar Resources)

Archive (.zip) (Grade Level: 4-8)

Uploaded: August 05, 2013

Explore our solar system with NASA STEM activities and missions. This "Teacher Learning Journey" webinar, powerpoint and online resource document, will guide educators to demonstrate classification and scale models to better understand and visualize our sun, planets, asteroids and other objects as a true system, as our solar system.

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Views: 2363
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Looking at the Sun pptx

Presentation in PowerPoint (Grade Level: 3-12)

Uploaded: June 18, 2012

This is the resource is the PowerPoint slide set used for the "Looking at the Sun" Webshop conducted on the NEON Website. It discusses NASA missions to study the sun and a few of the simple material models for simulating Earth- Moon distance, solar and lunar eclipses.

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Views: 1119
Rating:
(4 ratings)
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Habits of the Mind

Lesson Plan in PDF (Grade Level: 4-9)

Uploaded: March 25, 2012

Students make connections between events in their lives and the seasons of the year. One major connection relates the concept of the seasons to past observations.

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Views: 676
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Cycles in the Stars

Lesson Plan in PDF (Grade Level: 4-9)

Uploaded: March 25, 2012

Students explore stellar evolution and draw parallels to Navajo creation stories.

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Views: 625
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Comet on a Stick - Deep Impact

URL (Grade Level: 4-9)

Uploaded: March 23, 2012

The "Comet on a Stick" activity can be used with a wide age range. Students will see that modeling is continuous on a NASA mission as is evaluation of those models. Younger students will learn the basic characteristics of a comet. Older students will practice evaluation and improvement of the comet model shown. The importance of this activity is not the initial model or its exercise, but the fact that it will put students in the position of emulating a process that scientists and engineers follow on all missions.

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Views: 554
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Make a Comet Model

URL (Grade Level: 4-9)

Uploaded: March 23, 2012

Comets have sometimes been described as dirty snowballs, snowy dirtballs or something in between. But what does that really mean? It means that these they are believed to be a cold mixture of frozen water, dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide), and other sandy/rocky materials left over from the early formation of our solar system. In this activity, we are going to develop a comet model that you can eat. Once your team has made your comet, you'll trade a sample of it with another team. Once traded, you will use your different senses to demonstrate the filters on an instrument called a spectrometer that will collect data on the Deep Impact spacecraft. A spectrometer analyzes the structure and composition of comets by using nine different filters. You will use four of your senses individually to decide what is in the ice cream. Most of the ingredients can be found in your home.

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Views: 655
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How to Keep Gelatin from Melting

Lesson Plan in PDF (Grade Level: 4-12)

Uploaded: March 07, 2012

Students will design and build a platform that will be placed on top of a heat source. A 6 cm x 6 cm x 6 cm cube of gelatin will be placed on the platform, with a thermometer inserted in it. The goal is to keep the temperature inside the cube as cool as possible and prevent the gelatin from melting.

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Views: 862
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Mars Image Analysis

Lesson Plan in PDF (Grade Level: 6-12)

Uploaded: March 07, 2012

How do scientists understand and interpret the surface features of Mars from orbit and determine if a proposed landing site will meet the mission’s science goals? This activity leads students through the process of selecting a landing site on Mars.

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Views: 619
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Anaglyph 3D Views of the Solar System

Presentation in PowerPoint (Grade Level: K-10)

Uploaded: January 24, 2012

NASA and other agencies use "red and blue" glasses to see 3D adapted versions of images. This PowerPoint presentation uses images of our solar system from NASA's missions and those repurposed in anaglyph form by artists and technicians. Descriptions and image credit appear on each slide, if vacant the image is credited to NASA.

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Views: 1215
Rating:
(1 ratings)
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Lunar & Meteorite Geology Content

Presentation in PowerPoint (Grade Level: 6-12)

Uploaded: January 04, 2012

This Powerpoint is a compilation of presentations created by Stephanie Shipp of LPI, Noah Petro of GSFC and assorted NASA AESP Education specialists. It is used for the content background presentation portion of the Lunar and Meteroite Sample training program managed by NASA's ARES labs at the Johnson Space Center.

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Views: 693
Rating:
(1 ratings)
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Space School Musical

Media Player Video (Grade Level: 2-12)

Uploaded: January 04, 2012

Discovery Multimedia presents a multi media trip through the solar system in this ultra-cool edu-tainment “hip-hopera” that is out of this world! Move and groove along with the planets, moons, meteors, comets, asteroids and even some rockin’ scientists as they sing, dance and serve up the freshest facts in the galaxy. Hannah is trying to finish her science project - a model of the solar system. But there’s a problem: it’s due tomorrow, she’s not finished yet, and it’s past her bedtime. How will she get it done? With a little help from her friends – the most talented troupe in the Milky Way!

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Views: 769
Rating:
(1 ratings)
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Going Through Phases (Lunar Phase Sequencing)

Lesson Plan in PDF (Grade Level: 2-8)

Uploaded: December 15, 2011

This activity originates as an activity that used snack sized Oreo Cookies as the medium for children to carve out the frosting and assemble a Moon phase cycle model. Many schools have passed policies which prohibit teachers from introducing food items as tools in the curriculum, so this paper plate version was developed. Certainly, not as tasty, but inexpensive, reuseable and easy to create. After the teacher has introduced lab activities that suggest inquiry related to how light and shadows interact with three dimensional objects, this activity serves as a two dimensional assessment of the concepts. Teacher places students around the room holding the Full and New Moon phases and students holding all of the various degrees in-between find their place. Process skills for evaluation and comparison are applicable.

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Views: 974
Rating:
(3 ratings)
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Solar System in Your Pocket (PowerPoint Directions)

Presentation in PowerPoint (Grade Level: 2-12)

Uploaded: December 15, 2011

In working with teachers on solar system resources, the "Solar System in Your Pocket" activity is a wonderfully designed scale activity that requires few resources. It is as much a directions following activity as it is a representation of the relative distances of the planets in our solar system, so this PowerPoint presentation was designed to create a visual to accompany the written and oral directions. Coupled with the original design by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, students may become aware of the small scale applications of astronomical units and the comparisons of distances of the solar system's planets. Teachers may insert the curious mathematical table of the Bode's - Titus Law that predicts average orbital distances. It is important to discuss the misconceptions associated with models, this one included. For example, the idea that the planets are "lined up" as they appear in most graphics and that these distances do not vary.

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Views: 926
Rating:
(3 ratings)
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Dawn Classrooms - Dwarf Planet Activity

URL (Grade Level: 5-8)

Uploaded: December 05, 2011

This middle school activity, developed for NASA’s Dawn mission, utilizes a researched-based instructional strategy called direct vocabulary instruction to help students understand the new definitions of planet and dwarf planet. Site contains teacher guide with background information as well as student activity pages.

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Views: 650
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Pocket Solar System

Lesson Plan in PDF (Grade Level: 4-8)

Uploaded: October 27, 2011

Pocket Solar System: Making a Scale Model of our Solar System is a very easy and inexpensive activity that uses adding machine paper and fractions to make a scale model of the distances of the planets, asteroids and Pluto in our solar system. http://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/download-view.cfm?Doc_ID=392

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Views: 1056
Rating:
(2 ratings)
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Exploring Strange New Worlds

Lesson Plan in PDF (Grade Level: 4-12)

Uploaded: October 05, 2011

This activity is a simulation of the progression of missions employed by NASA to collect observations and research exoplanets orbiting distant stars. Participants become members of a research team that makes observations on three modeled alien worlds. The first observations are the simplest viewing at a distance and progressively collect more data by moving closer to the planets and using advanced technologies, until they ultimately collect a sample of the planet they are observing.

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Views: 677
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Introduction to the Electromagnetic Spectrum

URL (Grade Level: 4-6)

Uploaded: June 23, 2011

This 5-minute video helps reinforce the relationships found by the student teams with animations and physical data.

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Views: 627
Rating:
(1 ratings)
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Count Your Lucky Stars

URL (Grade Level: 7-9)

Uploaded: June 22, 2011

Students will readily understand that the number of stars in the galaxy are truly astronomical, not to mention the total number of stars in the universe. It is recommended that students work in pairs for this activity. See page 60 of the guide.

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Views: 620
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Follow the Falling Meteorite

Lesson Plan in PDF (Grade Level: 7-9)

Uploaded: June 22, 2011

Apply geometric properties and triangulation to determine the location where a meteorite fell.

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Views: 853
Rating:
(1 ratings)
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Moon Phase and Libration

Quicktime Video (Grade Level: K-12)

Uploaded: June 20, 2011

NASA Animator, Chris Smith, has created an animation that shows wonderfully detailed images of the moon with an explanation of its phases and eclipses as seen from the Earth. This marks the first time that accurate shadows at this level of detail are possible in such a computer simulation. The shadows are based on the global elevation map being developed from measurements by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). LOLA has already taken more than 10 times as many elevation measurements as all previous missions combined. The Moon always keeps the same face to us, but not exactly the same face. Because of the tilt and shape of its orbit, we see the Moon from slightly different angles over the course of a month. When a month is compressed into 12 seconds, as it is in this animation, our changing view of the Moon makes it look like it's wobbling. This wobble is called libration. The word comes from the Latin for "balance scale" (as does the name of the zodiac constellation Libra) and refers to the way such a scale tips up and down on alternating sides. The sub-Earth point gives the amount of libration in longitude and latitude. The sub-Earth point is also the apparent center of the Moon's disk and the location on the Moon where the Earth is directly overhead. The Moon is subject to other motions as well. It appears to roll back and forth around the sub-Earth point. The roll angle is given by the position angle of the axis, which is the angle of the Moon's north pole relative to celestial north. The Moon also approaches and recedes from us, appearing to grow and shrink. The two extremes, called perigee (near) and apogee (far), differ by more than 10%. The most noticed monthly variation in the Moon's appearance is the cycle of phases, caused by the changing angle of the Sun as the Moon orbits the Earth. The cycle begins with the waxing (growing) crescent Moon visible in the west just after sunset. By first quarter, the Moon is high in the sky at sunset and sets around midnight. The full Moon rises at sunset and is high in the sky at midnight. The third quarter Moon is often surprisingly conspicuous in the daylit western sky long after sunrise. Celestial north is up in these images, corresponding to the view from the northern hemisphere. The descriptions of the print resolution stills also assume a northern hemisphere orientation. To adjust for southern hemisphere views, rotate the images 180 degrees, and substitute "north" for "south" in the descriptions.

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Views: 1009
Rating:
(1 ratings)
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Vegetable Light Curves

Lesson Plan in PDF (Grade Level: 7-9)

Uploaded: June 16, 2011

In this activity, students will observe the surface of rotating potatoes to help them understand how astronomers can sometimes determine the shape of asteroids from variations in reflective brightness.

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Views: 595
Rating:
(2 ratings)
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Year of the Solar System: Missions

URL (Grade Level: 4-12)

Uploaded: June 16, 2011

This is a Web site containing an up-todate comprehensive review of all planetary missions launched during the Year of the Solar System.

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Views: 486
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Walking Planet Distances

Lesson Plan in PDF (Grade Level: 7-9)

Uploaded: June 16, 2011

This activity has two parts: Exploring Planet Sizes and Walking Planet Distances. The second part of the activity takes the students outside to walk the distances between the planets over a 600-meter area.

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Views: 611
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Whats Out There?

Lesson Plan in PDF (Grade Level: K-12)

Uploaded: June 15, 2011

Students look at dry food mixtures in sealed bottles to compare elemental abundances in stars and other celestial bodies.

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Views: 547
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How We Got Stars

URL (Grade Level: 7-9)

Uploaded: June 15, 2011

Students explore stellar evolution and draw parallels to Navajo creation stories.

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Views: 513
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Stories in the Sky

Lesson Plan in PDF (Grade Level: K-12)

Uploaded: June 15, 2011

Students create a constellation in a portable planetarium and write a constellation myth to explain it. Includes instructions on building your own portable planetarium.

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Views: 652
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Hubble Deep Field Academy

URL (Grade Level: 7-9)

Uploaded: June 15, 2011

Students use a Web based activity to count and classify galaxies. There are four levels each exploring different elements to the universe. Including counting objects, classifying objects, estimating distances of objects in the Hubble Deep Field. The final level is a review of knowledge of the galaxy properties.

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Views: 991
Rating:
(1 ratings)
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Light Pollution Star Count

Lesson Plan in PDF (Grade Level: 1-12)

Uploaded: June 15, 2011

Encourage your students to participate in a world-wide citizen science campaign to observe and record the magnitude of visible stars as a means of measuring light pollution in a given location. Because the data collection occurs in the evening, this is an excellent opportunity to get parents involved in a learning activity with their child. Participants will learn how to locate the constellation Leo. They will learn stars have different magnitudes of brightness in the night sky and that this information is of interest to scientists studying light pollution. Provided by Globe at Night.

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Views: 551
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Space Weather Action Centers

URL (Grade Level: 6-9)

Uploaded: June 15, 2011

Students investigate solar storms and their effect on the Earth to produce a space weather daily report.

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Views: 708
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Earth vs. Mars—What similar physical processes occur on both Earth and Mars?

Lesson Plan in PDF (Grade Level: 7-9)

Uploaded: June 15, 2011

In this activity, students work in pairs to compare and contrast the physical processes that may be inferred through the observation of images of both Mars and Earth. They will discuss the processes that have occurred on the Earth and the outcomes that have resulted and transfer this knowledge to the interpretation of the processes that may have occurred on Mars.

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Views: 784
Rating:
(1 ratings)
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Solar System Missions

URL (Grade Level: 7-9)

Uploaded: June 15, 2011

Students research recent discoveries about our solar system using NASA Internet sites.

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Views: 586
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Exploring Planet Sizes

Lesson Plan in PDF (Grade Level: 7-9)

Uploaded: June 15, 2011

Students investigate planetary sizes by using models to represent planets in our solar system.This activity has two parts: Exploring Planet Sizes and Walking Planet Distances. In this first part students find objects (food and candy) to match the sizes of the planets for a Solar System model on the one ten-billionth scale.

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Views: 572
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Paint By Numbers

Lesson Plan in PDF (Grade Level: 7-9)

Uploaded: June 14, 2011

A pencil and paper activity demonstrates how astronomical spacecraft and computers create images of objects in space.

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Views: 622

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