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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 is a lesson about the shape of objects in space. Learners will observe the surface of rotating potatoes to help them understand how astronomers use variations in reflective brightness to determine the shape of asteroids.
This activity includes twelve monthly star charts to identify the stars that are visible in the night sky and that are known to have planets around them. The star maps can be used to find constellations and identify stars with extrasolar planets.... (View More) (Northern Hemisphere only, naked eye) (View Less)
This is an activity about ultraviolet light. Learners will make ultraviolet light detector bracelets and use them to experiment with artificial light and sunlight. Then, they experiment with various sun-blocking materials to see how such materials... (View More) impact the beads' absorption of ultraviolet light. Special UV detecting beads are required for this activity. This is Activity 3 of the Sun As a Star afterschool curriculum. (View Less)
This is an activity about modeling the apparent motion of the Sun as seen from Earth. Learners will use a flashlight, toothpick, and styrofoam model Sun to mimic the relative shadow motion produced by a sundial. The activity will help learners... (View More) understand that because the Earth rotates from West to East, the Sun appears to rise in the East and set in the West. This is Activity 6 of the Sun As a Star afterschool curriculum. (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 comparing images of the Sun in different wavelengths of light. Learners will examine solar images taken by the SOHO spacecraft to look for differences in the features that are visible in the various wavelengths of light.... (View More) This activity requires access to the internet to view or print images of the Sun. This is Activity 7 of the Sun As a Star afterschool curriculum. (View Less)
This is an activity about light and shadow. Learners will make outdoor sundials. They will use the sundial and the length of the shadow that is cast to explore the relationship between the size and position of the shadows and the position of the Sun... (View More) in the sky. to measure the lengths of the shadows made directly by the Sun at various times. The activity requires access to a sunny outdoor location. This is Activity 5 of the Sun As a Star afterschool curriculum. (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)