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This model aims to help illustrate the purpose and methodology of NASA's Kepler mission. It includes (1) a hand-cranked or motorized orrery (moving model of a planet system) made of LEGO parts, (2) a light sensor representing the Kepler photometer,... (View More) (3) computer software for graphing light curves, representing Kepler Science Office - data analysis. A light bulb at the center of the orrery represents a star, and as planets in the model pass between the star and the light sensor, dips in the computer graph light curve happen in real time. (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 toolkit includes PowerPoints and scripts, videos and accompanying activities and handouts about supernovae. Following are specific items in the kit: Supernova in the Lives of Stars PowerPoint and Script; Let's Make a Supernova (participants... (View More) imagine themselves inside a large star at the end of its life, just as it is about to go supernova); Nuclear Fusion (a simple and engaging activity explains nuclear fusion and how radiation is generated by stars, using marshmallows as a model); Supernova Star Maps (allow visitors to experience finding stars in the night sky that will eventually go supernova); A Universe Without Supernovae (an active game to illustrate the value of supernovae in the universe); and Lives of Stars (an activity and handout about the lifecycle of stars and when supernovae happen.) (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 measuring angular size and understanding the solar and lunar proportions that result in solar eclipses. Learners will use triangles and proportions to create a shoebox eclipse simulator. They will then apply what they learn... (View More) about angular size to predict the diameter and distance of one object that can be eclipsed by another. They will also complete three journal assignments to record observations and conceptual understanding. This activity derives from those demonstrated in the NASA CONNECT television series episode, titled Path of Totality. (View Less)