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Comparative planetology  
Educational Level:
High school  
Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours  
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This is an activity about the way distance, albedo, and atmosphere affect the temperature of a planet. Learners will create a planet using a computer game and change features of the planet to increase or decrease the planet's temperature. They will... (View More)

This is an activity about how much atmospheric pressure is needed on Mars to maintain surface water and why the planet does not have surface water today. Learners will use a computer interactive to learn about Mars past and present before exploring... (View More)

Keywords: Triple Point; Climate

Learners create art inspired by authentic NASA planetary image data while learning to recognize the geology on planetary surfaces, uniquely inspiring learner engagement. This presentation and accompanying activity use the elements of art - shape,... (View More)

In this lesson, learners will use images to observe and compare the surfaces of two comet nuclei from close range. Separate teachers guides and students guides are provided. Supplementary resources needed for the lesson are provided and include... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

Students explore how mathematical descriptions of the physical environment can be fine-tuned through testing using data. In this activity, student teams obtain satellite data measuring the Earth's albedo, and then input this data into a... (View More)

In this activity, student teams create a knowledge map of the essential characteristics or factors of a planet with a habitable climate, identifying range of inputs, outputs and variables of a planetary environmental system. Identified... (View More)

In this activity, students simulate the interaction of variables, including carbon dioxide, in a radiation balance exercise using a spreadsheet-based radiation balance model. Through a series of experiments, students attempt to mimic the surface... (View More)

Learners will consider the essential question, "How much energy does sunlight provide to the Earth and what is its role in the Earth’s energy resources?" Activities include building a device to measure the solar constant - the amount of energy in... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

Working in teams of two, learners will observe the characteristics of and classify crustal material samples. They will then infer causes for the characteristics of the different samples and the history of the "mystery" planet they originate from.... (View More)

This is a lesson about observing and examining meteorites in a Meteorite Sample Disc. Learners will practice scientific techniques, develop skills in acquiring data through the senses, observe, examine, record, and sketch data, use magnifying... (View More)

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