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This science news story highlights a new initiative by the Hubble Space Telescope to image distant galaxies. The program uses gravitational lenses to image galaxies that are otherwise too distant and faint for the telescope to image. The story... (View More) includes information describing how gravitational lenses are similar to optical lenses. The article also includes a description of parallel fields - a set of observations done in tandem with the gravitational lens observations that will result in six additional HUDF-type observations of the sky. Star Witness News is a series of articles, written for students, that are inspired by Hubble Space Telescope press releases. Supplemental education materials include vocabulary, discussion questions and answers, and identifies relevant Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts. (View Less)
This science news story highlights Hubble's infrared image of the Horsehead Nebula. Students will discover why astronomers are interested in this nebula and how they study the nebula using infrared light. Star Witness News is a series of articles,... (View More) written for students, that are inspired by Hubble Space Telescope press releases. Supplemental education materials include vocabulary, discussion questions and answers, and identifies relevant English language arts standards. (View Less)
This is an educators guide to accompany the Journey to the Stars planetarium show. The materials include a section, titled Teaching With the Show, containing guiding questions to encourage class discussions about the life cycle of stars.
Students are introduced to the basic properties, behavior and detection of black holes through a brief discussion of common conceptions and misconceptions of these exciting objects. They "act out" a way black holes might be detected through their... (View More) interaction with other objects. In this activity, girls represent binary star systems in pairs, walking slowly around one another in a darkened room with each pair holding loops of wire to simulate the gravitational interaction. Most of the students are wearing glow-in-the-dark headbands to simulate stars, some are without headbands to represent black holes, and a small set of the black holes have flashlights to simulate X-ray emission. This activity is part of a series that has been designed specifically for use with Girl Scouts, but the activities can be used in other settings. Most of the materials are inexpensive or easily found. It is recommended that a leader with astronomy knowledge lead the activities, or at least be available to answer questions, whenever possible. (View Less)
This is an educators guide to accompany the Journey to the Stars planetarium show. The materials for grades 6-8 include suggestions for activities to do before and after viewing the planetarium show, including class discussions about our Solar... (View More) System, online activities to calculate planetary distances and explore magnetism, and a demonstration to show a scale model of the Earth-Sun distance. (View Less)
This manual provides simple demonstrations to show how lenses and mirrors are used to create telescopes. It was created for use by the Night Sky Network of astronomy clubs.
This collection of activities presents learners with intriguing questions about the universe and provides an opportunity to explore topics related to the search for life beyond our own planet. The collection includes eight existing classroom... (View More) activities that have been adapted for after school school settings. Each activity can be completed in one hour, however some activities require advance preparation. The activities also require materials that may need to be gathered by the instructor. However, these include commonly available supplies. The activities in this collection are targeted for 5-12 year olds. Separate instructions for the different age groups are provided as appropriate. (View Less)
This manual provides an overview of how telescopes have changed our understanding of the universe and contains simple demonstrations to use at star parties to get across basic ideas of optics. This manual will also help explain why the images that... (View More) folks see at the eyepiece of a telescope at an outreach star party is so different from images published in magazines. The manual was produced to accompany an outreach toolkit developed for the NASA Night Sky Network. The toolkit is no longer being manufactured, but the activities are available through the manual, which can be freely downloaded. (View Less)
This is an activity about the Venus Transit and how it helped astronomers determine the scale of the solar system. Learners will use measurement, ratios, and graphing to construct a model of the solar system and determine the relationship of each... (View More) planet to the Sun. They will explore the scales needed to represent the size of the planets and the distances to the Sun. This activity corresponds to the NASA CONNECT video, titled Venus Transit, and has supplemental questions to support the video viewing. (View Less)
This science news story explains how an area in the constellation, Orion, called the Orion Nebula is a stellar nursery, where more than 3,000 stars are being born. Students read about why astronomers are interested in this region of space and how... (View More) they go about studying the nebula. Star Witness News is a series of articles, written for students, that are inspired by Hubble Space Telescope press releases. Supplemental education materials include background information, vocabulary, and discussion questions and answers. (View Less)