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Planetary atmospheres  
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This newsletter is designed to share NASA mission discoveries about the planet Jupiter which includes information about the 2009 Impact, birth of red spot storms, observed color changes in its atmospheric bands, calculated wind speeds, strong... (View More)

Keywords: Rings
Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about discovering distant planets using an Earth-based observing technique called stellar occultation. Learners will explore how a stellar occultation occurs, how planetary atmospheres can be discovered, and how planetary diameters... (View More)

This is a set of lessons about the Moon. Learners will focus on answering the essential question: What are the challenges engineers and scientists are working to solve as NASA prepares to send humans to live and work on the Moon for extended periods... (View More)

This activity is about planetary climate. Once familiar with the factors that determine a planet's surface temperature, learners will use an interactive spreadsheet model of a planet's atmosphere to determine if greenhouse gases, luminosity of the... (View More)

This is a lesson about the amount of atmosphere a planet is likely to have. Learners will look for the relationship between atmospheric mass and other characteristics of the planet. When the results are not completely conclusive, the students... (View More)

Keywords: habitable zone
Audience: Middle school

In this activity, students pose several hypotheses for what will happen if you continue heating or supplying energy to the hot and cold planet models (Mercury, Mars, Venus, and Earth) and then test their hypotheses using a spreadsheet based... (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 kinesthetic activity, the concept of energy budget is strengthened as students conduct three simulations using play money as units of energy, and students serve as parts of a planetary radiation balance model. Students will determine the... (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 use the inquiry process to explore the affect of atmosphere on the temperature of a planet. They create a model of the system to test. They then create a concept map of the planetary temperature system. The lesson models scientific... (View More)

Audience: Middle school