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This is a lesson about detecting atmospheres of planets. Learners will explore stellar occultation events (by interpreting light curves) to determine if an imaginary dwarf planet “Snorkzat” has an atmosphere. The activity is part of Project... (View More)

This is a lesson about elemental spectra. Learners will compare known elemental spectra with spectra of Titan and Saturn’s rings from a spectrometer aboard the NASA Cassini spacecraft. They identify the elements visible in the planetary and lunar... (View More)

In this activity, students will use a simulator of an orbiting X-ray observatory to observe a supernova remnant, the expanding gas from an exploded star. They will take X-ray spectral data, analyze them, and answer questions based on that data. This... (View More)

This modular activity traces the history of telescope development and highlights the interplay between technological and scientific advances. Milestones in telescope development are highlighted in the ten sections called "eras," with specific... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This interactive, online activity traces the history of the telescope from Galileo's first look at the stars to the work of modern observatories. Learners will read about the milestones in telescope development, witness the interplay between... (View More)

Keywords: History of science
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This modular activity introduces five major pre-requisite ideas: the electromagnetic spectrum, three ways to alter the path of light, refraction by lenses vs. reflection by mirrors, what telescopes do, and what makes a good telescope. Students can... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about finding habitable planets. Learners will use an online, multimedia module to simulate the techniques that scientists might use to find a star system and planet that meet the astronomical conditions required for human... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a lesson about the kinds of stars that are suitable for supporting human life. Learners will characterize stars on a HR diagram and identify the characteristics of those most suitable for supporting human life. They then explore the... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This interactive, online module provides students the opportunity to explore actual Hubble images and the tools used to hunt for black holes. By completing this activity, students learn about the technology required to confirm the existence of black... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This interactive, online activity introduces the idea that everything emits electromagnetic radiation, including students. Students discover how the light emitted from an object (a robot) changes as the object is heated. A graph shows the amount of... (View More)

Keywords: light and color
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free
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