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**Earth and space science**

**Astronomy**

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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)

Students will learn about black holes through reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips™ video segment. Then students will use tables and mathematical expressions to compare black hole sizes and temperatures. Common Core State... (View More) 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 use simple proportions and fractions to explore the number of stars in the Milky Way, and the relative sizes of some famous stars compared to our own Sun. By reading a NASA press release and viewing a NASA eClips™ video segment, students... (View More) will learn more about stars and the Milky Way galaxy. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Art 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 NASA's Fermi satellite and gamma ray sources through reading a NASA press release. They will also learn about gamma rays and the electromagnetic spectrum by viewing a NASA eClips™ video segment. Then, students will use... (View More) percentages to explore the origins of mysterious gamma ray sources in the sky using NASA Fermi data. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Art 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)

The H-R diagram is a scatter graph of stars, a plot of stellar absolute magnitude or luminosity versus temperature or stellar classification. It is an important astronomical tool for understanding how stars evolve over time. Stellar evolution cannot... (View More) be studied by observing individual stars as most changes occur over millions and billions of years. Astrophysicists observe numerous stars at various stages in their evolutionary history to determine their changing properties and probable evolutionary tracks across the H-R diagram. In this activity, students plot both maxima and minima with corresponding stellar classifications for several variables, and then identify the type of variability: Cepheid, RR Lyrae, Mira or Semiregular. This activity includes background information, a teacher guide, a student activity, and accompanying worksheets. The American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) and The Chandra X-Ray mission have collaborated to develop this activity. (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)

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 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 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)