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How big is the Earth’s atmosphere and where does space begin? This is a question that many students have trouble picturing and this activity helps them get a handle on the relative size of the Earth’s atmosphere and the various ideas about where... (View More) space starts. Students construct a scale model in which the height of Mount Everest is equal to the thickness (diameter) of a regular pencil. They then see where various things (such as airplane flights, the beginning of space, the Hubble Space Telescope) fit on the model. (View Less)

Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1 per group of students

This Hubble Space Telescope image of galaxies appears to form the number 10. The text describes the image and provides a brief explanation of why astronomer Halton Arp compiled his catalogue of odd-looking galaxies in the 1960s. In the accompanying... (View More) educational activity, In Search of ... Peculiar Galaxies, students investigate galaxy interactions through a level 1 inquiry activity using the images and text from the lithograph and other resources. A level 1 inquiry activity can help prepare students to become independent thinkers. (View Less)

The Hubble Ultra Deep Field lithograph shows the deepest visible light observation of the early universe. In vibrant contrast to the image's rich harvest of classic spiral and elliptical galaxies, there is a zoo of oddball galaxies littering the... (View More) field. Some look like toothpicks; others like links on a bracelet. A few appear to be interacting. In the accompanying educational activity, In Search of...Galaxy Evolution, students investigate galaxies from different eras to determine how they have evolved and changed over time through a level 1 inquiry activity using the images and text from the lithograph and other resources. A level 1 inquiry activity can help prepare students to become independent thinkers. (View Less)

This Hubble Space Telescope image shows the diversity of galaxies in the universe. A huge elliptical galaxy, designated ESO 325-G004, dominates the image. In addition to many elliptical and spiral galaxies, the image contains a few small irregular... (View More) galaxies, and red, yellow, and blue foreground stars. In the accompanying educational activity, In Search of ...Galaxy Types, students investigate the diversity of galaxies through a level 1 inquiry activity using the images and text from the lithograph and other resources. A level 1 inquiry activity can help prepare students to become independent thinkers. (View Less)

The lithograph contains a Hubble Space Telescope image that shows the colorful Planetary Nebula NGC 2440 with one of the hottest known white dwarf stars at its center. The text briefly explains the process of stellar death of sun-like stars and... (View More) those with a mass greater than eight times the Sun. In the accompanying educational activity, In Search of ... Stellar Death, students investigate how stars end their lives through a level 1 inquiry activity using the images and text from the lithograph and other resources. A level 1 inquiry activity can help prepare students to become independent thinkers. (View Less)

In this activity, a three-part questionnaire launches students on discussions about where objects in space are located, and when they formed. By physically manipulating images of objects in space, students represent their own mental models of space... (View More) and time, which lays the foundation for thinking about the size and scale of the universe. This actvity can be used to assess students? understanding and introduce concepts before proceeding to other activities that follow this one. This activity is part of the "Cosmic Questions: Our Place in Space and Time" educators guide that developed to support the Cosmic Questions exhibit. This activity can be used in conjunction with, or independently of, the exhibit. (View Less)

In this activity, students solve exponential equations where the unknown is contained in the exponent. Students learn that taking base-10 or base-2 logs pulls down the exponent, allowing the unknown to be isolated and solved. This activity is... (View More) activity C3 in the "Far Out Math" educator's guide. Lessons in the guide include activities in which students measure, compare quantities as orders of magnitude, become familiar with scientific notation, and develop an understanding of exponents and logarithms using examples from NASA's GLAST mission. These are skills needed to understand the very large and very small quantities characteristic of astronomical observations. Note: In 2008, GLAST was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)

In this activity students convert antilogs to logs, and logs to antilogs using scientific notation as an intermediate step. They will thereby develop a look-up table for solving math problems by using logarithms. This is activity D2 in the "Far Out... (View More) Math" educator's guide. Lessons in the guide include activities in which students measure,compare quantities as orders of magnitude, become familiar with scientific notation, and develop an understanding of exponents and logarithms using examples from NASA's GLAST mission. These are skills needed to understand the very large and very small quantities characteristic of astronomical observations. Note: In 2008, GLAST was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)

In this activity, students construct base-two slide rules that add and subtract base-2 exponents (log distances), in order to multiply and divide corresponding powers of two. Students use these slide rules to generate both log and antilog equations,... (View More) learning to translate one in terms of the other. This is activity C1 in the "Far Out Math" educator's guide. Lessons in the guide include activities in which students measure,compare quantities as orders of magnitude, become familiar with scientific notation, and develop an understanding of exponents and logarithms using examples from NASA's GLAST mission. These are skills needed to understand the very large and very small quantities characteristic of astronomical observations. Note: In 2008, GLAST was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)

In this activity students use log tapes and base-two slide rules as references to graph exponential functions and log functions in base-10 and base-2. Students discover that exponential and log functions are inverse, reflecting across the y = x axis... (View More) as mirror images. This is activity E2 in the "Far Out Math" educator's guide. Lessons in the guide include activities in which students measure, compare quantities as orders of magnitude, become familiar with scientific notation, and develop an understanding of exponents and logarithms using examples from NASA's GLAST mission. These are skills needed to understand the very large and very small quantities characteristic of astronomical observations. Note: In 2008, the GLAST mission was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)