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This is an activity about image resolution. Learners will recreate a solar image taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) using various sizes of building bricks, and discuss how their recreations relate to image resolution. Learners will also... (View More) compare SDO images to solar images from older spacecraft to see how improved technology helps scientists learn more about the Sun. (View Less)
Participants will experiment with ultraviolet light sensitive plastic beads, which are generally white but turn colors when exposed to UV light. Participants are informed about the nature and risks of UV light and are asked to be the scientist to... (View More) explore what types of materials keep the beads, and hence the user, safe from UV light. (View Less)
This is an activity about image comparison. Learners will analyze and compare images taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. They will match four magnetic solar images, or magnetograms, to their corresponding extreme ultraviolet, or EUV, light... (View More) images by studying solar features in the images. At the end, they will recognize that areas of high magnetic activity on the Sun correspond to extreme solar activity. (View Less)
This is an activity that compares the magnetic field of the Earth to the complex magnetic field of the Sun. Using images of the Earth and Sun that have magnets attached in appropriate orientations, learners will use a handheld magnetic field... (View More) detector to observe the magnetic field of the Earth and compare it to that of the Sun, especially in sunspot areas. For each group of students, this activity requires use of a handheld magnetic field detector, such as a Magnaprobe or a similar device, a bar magnet, and ten small disc magnets. (View Less)
This is an activity about asteroids. Learners will shape mashed potatoes into their own odd-shaped asteroids. They can then bake them in the oven to turn them (more or less) asteroid color, and eat them for dinner.
This is an activity about image comparison. Learners will analyze and compare two sets of images of the Sun taken by instruments on the Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft. With Set 1, they will observe the Sun in both a highly active and a... (View More) minimally active state, and be able to detect active regions and loops on the Sun by comparing the two images. With Set 2, they will identify areas of high magnetic activity on a magnetogram image and recognize that these areas correspond to highly active regions on the Sun. (View Less)
This activity is an interactive word find game with words related to comets and NASA's Comet Nucleus Sample Return mission. Accompanying text and pictures describe what comets are and why we are interested in them.
In this activity, learners draw a circle with a single focus, an ellipse with two foci close together, and an ellipse with two foci far apart, and compare the shapes. Learners then measure the Sun in four images each taken in a different season,... (View More) comparing the apparent size of the Sun in each image to determine when Earth is closest to the Sun. This is the second activity in the SDO Secondary Learning Unit. The activity is reprinted with permission from the Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS). (View Less)
In this activity about spectroscopy, learners build a spectroscope, learn about graphing spectra, and then identify elements in gas tubes using their spectra. The activity concludes as learners graph the spectra of different materials. Essential... (View More) materials required for this activity include spectrum light tubes, the power source for spectrum light tubes, and diffraction grating material. (View Less)
This is an activity about perspective. Learners will examine pictures of objects up close and far away to try and figure out what they are. Then, given an image of a star and the Sun and through discussion about the differences and similarities of... (View More) seeing objects up close, learners will use the concept of perspective to relate our nearby Sun to the stars that appear as small points of light in our sky. (View Less)