Universe of Learning Science Briefing: November 2017

Created by Brandon Lawton Last updated 10/31/2017

The resources in this list pertain to the presentation given on November 2, 2017, titled, "Multimessenger Astronomy: A New Era in Space Science".
NASA's Universe of Learning is a program which will integrate NASA's Astrophysics Science Mission Directorate programs, and will advance STEM learning and literacy by creating and delivering a unified suite of education products, programs, and professional development that spans the full spectrum of NASA Astrophysics.
NASA's Universe of Learning is partnering with the Museum Alliance to provide professional development briefings for the informal science education community. These briefings provide current NASA Astrophysics themes, content, and resources to the informal community. These curated lists present the resources described during the briefings. To find the briefings, you can go here:

  • Press Release: GW170817 | LIGO Lab

    LIGO and Virgo make first detection of gravitational waves produced by colliding neutron stars. Discovery marks first cosmic event observed in both gravitational waves and light. For NASA press-release, see here: https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-missions-catch-first-light-from-a-gravitational-wave-event
  • Hands-On Activities: LIGO Educator's guide

    This Educator’s Guide was developed by the Education and Public Outreach group at Sonoma State University under the direction of Prof. Lynn Cominsky. It was issued on 2/11/16 as part of the public materials that accompanied the announcement by the National Science Foundation of LIGO’s discovery of the first gravitational wave event. The 508-compliant Guide includes several sections of background material: Gravitational Waves as Signals from the Universe, Gravity from Newton to Einstein, Gravitational Waves, The Direct Observation of Gravitational Waves by LIGO and Black Holes, as well as two demonstration activities, that are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards.
  • Hands-on Activities: Gamma Ray Bursts Educator's Guide

    This series of activities uses gamma ray bursts - distant explosions of incredible fury - as an engagement to teach basic concepts in physical science and mathematics. A detailed listing of the science and mathematics learning objectives can be found at the end of this educators guide.
  • Making Waves

    This interactive, online activity provides a method for generating waves using a computer. Students can select the energy they want the waves to have, observe how the waves appear on the screen, and then measure the frequency and wavelength of the observed waves. Upon completion of this activity, students will have uncovered the relationship among frequency, wavelength, and energy.
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4F/M7
  • ViewSpace

    A new ViewSpace segment on the LIGO/VIRGO/NASA result is being released in conjunction with the November Universe of Learning Science Briefing. If you have ViewSpace in your venue, be on the lookout for "A New Era in Astronomy: Light Detected from a Gravitational Wave Source." *We are transitioning current users to this new free platform.*
  • Video: Ripples of Gravity, Flashes of Light

    On Aug. 17, 2017, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) and Virgo detected, for the first time, gravitational waves from the collision of two neutron stars. The event was not only “heard” in gravitational waves but also seen in light by dozens of telescopes on the ground and in space. Learn more about what this rare astronomy event taught us in a new video from LIGO and Virgo. *We are transitioning current users to this new free platform.*
  • When Dead Stars Collide!

    Gravity has been making waves - literally. Earlier this month, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for the first direct detection of gravitational waves two years ago. But astronomers just announced another huge advance in the field of gravitational waves - for the first time, we’ve observed light and gravitational waves from the same source.
  • Einstein's Gravity

    In this lesson, students will read the 1919 edition of the Cosmic Times (see related resources) and respond by raising questions to be answered with further research. They will make a model of curved space to view the motion of spheres as explained by Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. After presentations of their research to the class they will create an interview with Einstein. This activity is part of the Cosmic Times teachers guide and is intended to be used in conjunction with the 1919 Cosmic Times Poster.
    AAAS Benchmarks: 10C/H4
  • Gravitational Waves

    The purpose of this lesson is to model for students gravitational waves and how they are created. Students will build a simple "Gravitational Wave Demonstrator" using inexpensive materials (plastic wrap, plastic cups, water, food coloring, and rubber bands, marbles). Students should have a basic understanding of waves and be familiar with Einstein's theory of general relativity. The activity can be done either as a teacher demonstration or student activity. This lesson is part of the Cosmic Times teachers guide and is intended to be used in conjunction with the 1993 Cosmic Times Poster.
    AAAS Benchmarks: 10C/H4, 4F/H6ab