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In this activity, students study the range of colors in a visible light spectrum created from either a glass prism or holographic diffraction grating. This activity is in unit 2 of the "Space-Based Astronomy" guide that contains background... (View More)

In this activity, students construct an analytical spectroscope and analyze the spectrum produced when various substances are heated or excited with electricity. This activity is part of Unit 2 in the Space Based Astronomy guide that contains... (View More)

In this activity, students perform a version of the experiment of 1801, in which ultraviolet light was first discovered by Johann Wilhelm Ritter. This experiment should be conducted outdoors on a sunny day - variable cloud conditions, such as patchy... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $5 - $10 per group of students

This 28-minute film was created to explain how our current understanding of the Milky Way was reached using many different wavelength of the electromagnetic spectrum. Please note, the link is to a direct download of the video; this is a large file -... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

Using a paper and tape device, students experience how atoms and molecules of gas in Earth’s atmosphere absorb electromagnetic energy through resonance. This activity is part of Unit 2 in the Space Based Astronomy guide that contains background... (View More)

Students identify the actual colors of objects bathed in monochromatic light and learn how three colors of light can be combined to produce colors ranging from black to white. Students see how space observatories make use of monochromatic filters to... (View More)

Students determine the ability of various lenses and mirrors to gather light in order to compare and calculate their light gathering power. This activity is part of Unit 3 in the Space Based Astronomy guide that contains background information,... (View More)

In this activity, students simulate how light collected from a space object converts into binary data and reconverts into an image of the object. A pencil and paper activity demonstrates how astronomical spacecraft and computers create images of... (View More)

In this activity, a Whiffle® ball containing a battery-operated buzzer is twirled in a circle to demonstrate the Doppler effect.  The demonstration is an illustration of how stellar spectra can be used to measure a star's motion relative to Earth... (View More)

This activity introduces measurement and scale using hands-on activities. In this activity, students use the concept of similar triangles to determine the height of a tree. This activity is one of several available on an educational poster related... (View More)