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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 astronomy program is designed for middle school children in out-of-school-time settings. The program explores basic astronomy concepts (like invisible light, telescopes) and focuses on the universe outside the solar system (stars, galaxies,... (View More) black holes). The program is structured for use in a variety of settings, including astronomy days, summer camps, or year-long afterschool programs. Although session activities build concepts sequentially, each session activity is designed to be freestanding as not all participants may attend every session. A manual provides background information and descriptions of how to conduct each activity. A companion website provides additional information and resources for the program leader. (View Less)
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 exhibit uses text and images to portray humanity's views of the universe and how they have evolved over time. It includes six two-sided panels that feature key astronomical discoveries from the past 400 years. The exhibit also highlights the... (View More) technological advancements that made these discoveries possible. Exhibit topics range from celestial objects within our own "cosmic backyard" to those beyond the realm of our solar system. Featured objects include the sun, the moon, Saturn, Mars, comets, stars, nebulae, and galaxies. Images are accompanied by captions that highlight relevant, historical discoveries. Each exhibit panel is supported by supplemental resource materials available online in a downloadable, PDF format. Resource materials include science background information in the form of Q&As, related science misconceptions, a glossary, and links to additional resources on NASA's Amazing Space website. In addition, each exhibit panel is available as a downloadable, poster-size file. (View Less)
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)