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Learners will create a physical timeline of comet appearances in art and literature throughout history. Participants use a set of photos depicting comets in art images and science missions and place the images in chronological order, while learning... (View More) about the perceptions of comets during that time period. Note: Timeline cards that are needed to complete this activity can be found under the Related and Supplemental Resources links on the right side of this page. (View Less)
This is a lesson about using the light from the star during an occultation event to identify the atmosphere of a planet. Learners will add and subtract light curves (presented as a series of geometrical shapes) to understand how this could occur.... (View More) The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students, focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System. (View Less)
This full-dome planetarium show takes learners on a futuristic journey through our Solar System. They explore the inner and outer planets, then the moons: Titan, Europa, and Callisto as possible places to establish a human colony.
Learners will create their own models of lunar orbiters out of edible or non-edible materials. They determine what tools would be necessary to help us better understand the Moon and plan for a future lunar outpost. Then they incorporate these... (View More) elements into their models. NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is used as an example of a spacecraft armed with "eyes," "ears," and other tools for exploration. This activity is part of Explore! To the Moon and Beyond! - a resource developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
This is an activity about impact craters. Learners will experiment to create impact craters and examine the associated features. Then they observe images of lunar craters and explore how the mass, shape, velocity, and angle of impactors affects the... (View More) size and shape of the crater. This activity is part of Explore! To the Moon and Beyond! - a resource developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
In this activity, learners draw conclusions about where on a planetary body scientists might look for ice and why. They use a clay ball, ice cubes, and a heat lamp to model the permanently-shadowed polar regions of planets and moons that may harbor... (View More) ice. They learn that our Moon, and even Mercury, may have areas with ice. This activity is part of Explore! To the Moon and Beyond! - a resource developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
This is a website about asteroids and comets. Learners can play a physics-based asteroid game, learn about how backyard astronomers are contributing to asteroid research, or simulate an asteroid impact using a Google Earth Impact simulation.... (View More) Includes background information about comets and asteroids and links to multimedia resources. (View Less)
This is a collection of mathematical problems about transits in the solar system. Learners can work problems created to be authentic glimpses of modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data.
This is an activity exploring the concept that distance affects how we perceive an object's size, specifically pertaining to the size of the Sun and the Moon as seen from Earth. Learners will complete a hands on activity where two balls of differing... (View More) sizes stand in for the Sun and the Moon. By moving the balls away from each other, students will determine how far the larger ball needs to be in order to make the two seem similar in size. They will also use the balls to demonstrate a solar eclipse. Lastly, learners will complete a worksheet explaining their findings. This is Activity 12 of a larger resource entitled Eye on the Sky. (View Less)
This is an activity about the rotation of the Earth and Sun, and the Earth's revolution around the Sun. In chalk, learners will draw the Sun-Earth system, complete with Earth's orbit, and then act out the rotation and revolution of a yearly cycle.... (View More) Learners will also complete a worksheet to reinforce visual understanding of this model. This activity requires an outdoor location with ample room and is Activity 6 of a larger resource entitled Eye on the Sky. (View Less)