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**Earth and space science**

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Students will learn about the Spitzer Infrared Observatory and a recently observed dust ring around Saturn through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA video segment. Then students will use scientific notation to perform calculations to... (View More) understand the size, mass, and volume of dust and the new dust ring. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

Students will learn about the Big Bang theory of the universe through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips video segment. They will use simple linear equations to analyze data that reveals the expansion and early history of the... (View More) universe after the Big Bang. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school textbooks. The modules cover specific math topics at multiple levels of difficulty with real-world data and use the 5E instructional sequence. (View Less)

These directions allow students to open different images that have been collected from the ROSAT satellite. The directions instruct the user to open the website, but first the user will need to install Hera software. (See related and supplementary... (View More) resources for a link to download Hera software at http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/teachers/hera/install/install_hera.html). (View Less)

This lesson provides a way for students to determine the relationship between the distance from a light source and its brightness. Once students discover the relationship, they can begin to understand how astronomers use this knowledge to determine... (View More) the distances to stars and far away galaxies. (View Less)

Materials Cost: $10 - $20 per group of students

In this investigation, students use "point-source" light, light meters, and graphing software to quantify the reduction in light over distance. Through careful measurement of light received at several distances, students discover the best fit of the... (View More) data is the inverse square rule. Using this rule, students then calculate the distance between the light source and the light meter at random placements. Finally, students extend this principle to model the manner in which distances to Cepheid variable stars are measured. The distance between the Cepheid (here the light source) and the Earth (the light meter) can be determined by comparing the output of the source to the amount of light received. An historic scientific breakthrough occurred when the period-luminosity relationship of Cepheids was quantified throughout the early 1900s. This breakthrough allowed astronomers to gain a more correct understanding of the dimensions of our galaxy and the universe beyond. This activity is part of the "Cosmic Times" teacher's guide and is intended to be used in conjunction with the 1929 Cosmic Times Poster. (View Less)

In this lesson, students simulate an experiment in which the discovery of dark energy can be made by plotting modern supernova distances on a Hubble Diagram. Data is provided in an Excel spreadsheet (see related resources). In order to complete this... (View More) activity, students should be familiar with Hubble's Law and the concepts of absolute luminosity, apparent luminosity, and Doppler shift (particularly redshift). This activity can be done using either a computer graphing program or manually with graph paper. This lesson is part of the "Cosmic Times" teacher's guide and is intended to be used in conjunction with the 2006 Cosmic Times Poster. (View Less)

In this lesson, students read the original paper written by Henrietta Leavitt in which she compared the apparent brightness and period of Cepheid variable stars. The students prepare graphs from numerical data, just as she did, and compare their... (View More) data to hers. They then discover that there is a relationship between the period and luminosity of the variable stars she observed, and experience for themselves how scientists really collect data. Materials required include standard graph paper and logarithmic graph paper (a template is supplied). This activity is part of the "Cosmic Times" teacher's guide and is intended to be used in conjunction with the 1929 Cosmic Times Poster. (View Less)

In this lesson, students measure the size of several galaxies to reproduce a plot of Hubble's Law. The goal of this lesson is to give students the chance to simulate the process that led to the notion that the universe is expanding, provide insight... (View More) into how this idea was reached, and inform students about the nature of our universe. This lesson is part of the Cosmic Times teacher's guide and is intended to be used in conjunction with the 1929 Cosmic Times Poster. (View Less)

This is an activity about the period of the Sun’s rotation. Learners will select images of the Sun from the SOHO spacecraft image archive. Next, they will calculate an image scale for the selected solar images. Then, they will use it to help... (View More) determine the actual speed of sunspots based on measurements of their motion in the selected Sun images and, finally, determine the period of the Sun's rotation. This activity requires access to the internet to obtain images from the SOHO image archive. This is Activity 3 of the Space Weather Forecast curriculum. (View Less)

In this activity, students compare two images of the Crab Nebula taken more than 40 years apart. By measuring the motion of some of the knots of glowing gas in the neubla, students will be able to determine the date of the supernova explosion that... (View More) set the Crab Nebula into motion. This is Activity 2 of the "Supernova Educator's Guide" developed by the XMM-Newton and GLAST E/PO programs. The guide features background information, assessment rubrics, student worksheets, extension and transfer activities, and alignment to national education standards. Note: In 2008, GLAST was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)