NASA's Universe of Learning Science Briefing: May 2018

Created by Emma Marcucci Last updated 12/3/2018

The resources in this list pertain to the presentation given on May 3, 2018, titled, "Birth of Stars: Near and Far".
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 NASA 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:

  • Hubble 28th Anniversary Image Captures Roiling Heart of Vast Stellar Nursery

    Hubble celebrates 28th anniversary in style with stunning view of Lagoon Nebula and shows this vast stellar nursery in stunning unprecedented detail. At the center of the photo, a monster young star 200,000 times brighter than our Sun is blasting powerful ultraviolet radiation and hurricane-like stellar winds, carving out a fantasy landscape of ridges, cavities, and mountains of gas and dust. This region epitomizes a typical, raucous stellar nursery full of birth and destruction.
  • Lagoon Nebula Images

    Visible and Infrared images of the Lagoon Nebula (Hubble's 28th Anniversary) show complementary views reveal different and important details of this stellar nursery.
  • Lagoon Nebula Videos

    Zooms and 3D Pans of the Lagoon Nebula stellar nursery.
  • NGC 2174: Pillars in the Monkey Head Nebula lithograph and In Search of ... Star Formation classroom activity

    This two-page lithograph features an infrared image entitled, Pillars in the Monkey Head Nebula (the nebula also known as NGC 2174), located in the Orion constellation. The accompanying classroom activity "In Search of....Star Formation" is a curriculum support tool designed for use as an introductory inquiry activity. During the classroom activity, students use the images and text on this lithograph to generate questions about the electromagnetic spectrum. They will conduct research to answer their questions, then create a presentation to demonstrate their understanding of the material.
    AAAS Benchmarks: 1B/H3, 4A/H2ef
  • Stellar Spire in the Eagle Nebula Lithograph

    This image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows light from hot stars eating away the surface of the dust and gas cloud in this region of the Eagle Nebula to reveal a pillar composed of denser material. The text includes information about the process of star formation taking place in the nebula. In the accompanying educational activity, In Search of ... Star Formation, students investigate star through a level 1 inquiry activity using the images and text from the lithograph and other resources. A level 1 inquiry activity can help prepare students to become independent thinkers.
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4A/H2cd, 4A/H2ef
  • Star Birth | Cool Cosmos

    Interactive slider. The dark, dusty cloud identified as L1014 hides a baby star inside its cocoon of dust. Shifting to infrared light allows us to peer into the dust and see a glowing warm protostar on its way to becoming a star. In the infrared view, the protostar glows red due to the warm glow of a surrounding disk that both feeds the growth of the star and provides material for building a surrounding planetary system.
  • Milky Way | Cool Cosmos

    This interactive slider shows the difference between mid- and far-infrared views of the Milky Way. Looking at an otherwise normal patch of the Milky Way that falls within the Southern constellation Crux, we see a complex array of dust that is strewn through interstellar space, along with some regions that are furiously forming stars.
  • Think Tank: A Star Is Born

    Short informational video. Where do stars come from? A science expert (Jerrika Hinton) explains by hooking her hapless assistant (Wil Wheaton) up to a Thought Visualizer, a machine that allows anyone to see his thoughts. With Ed Wasser.
  • Progressive Star Formation in the Magellanic Clouds

    Between star formation in the Milky Way and in the early universe, there is formation at an intermediate level, in nearby galaxies. This PDF reviews the process of star formation and how it applies to the neighboring Magellanic Clouds.
  • Hubble Survey Unlocks Clues to Star Birth in Neighboring Galaxy

    This Hubble news article describes a survey of stars in the nearbyAndromeda galaxy (M31). Astronomers have found that M31 and our own galaxy have a similar percentage of newborn stars based on mass. By nailing down what percentage of stars have a particular mass within a cluster, or the Initial Mass Function (IMF), scientists can better interpret the light from distant galaxies and understand the formation history of stars in our universe.
  • Firestorm of Star Birth in Galaxy M33

    This festively colorful nebula, called NGC 604, is one of the largest known seething cauldrons of star birth in a nearby galaxy. NGC 604 is similar to familiar star-birth regions in our Milky Way galaxy, such as the Orion Nebula, but it is vastly larger in extent and contains many more recently formed stars. This monstrous star-birth region contains more than 200 brilliant blue stars within a cloud of glowing gases some 1,300 light-years across, nearly 100 times the size of the Orion Nebula. By contrast, the Orion Nebula contains just four bright central stars. The bright stars in NGC 604 are extremely young by astronomical standards, having formed a mere 3 million years ago.