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This is an online lesson associated with activities during Solar Week, a twice-yearly event in March and October during which classrooms are able to interact with scientists studying the Sun. This activity is scheduled to occur during Monday of... (View More) Solar Week. The lesson introduces the concept of astronomical filters and their connections to imaging different objects in space. Learners will explore perceptions of images as seen using different colors of light, construct a filter wheel, and practice investigating various astronomical images using the filter wheel. This material was designed to highlight how filters are useful to astronomers and show how a real astronomical telescope uses filters to image the Sun. Outside of Solar Week, information, activities, and resources are archived and available online at any time. (View Less)
This is a make-it-yourself planisphere designed to show where Kepler is pointing. Learners can use it to locate exoplanets around stars in the night sky. It comes with two wheels: one with coordinate grid for plotting additional exoplanet stars and... (View More) one without grid that is easier to read; and two holders for varying latitudes (one for 30°-50° and one for 50°-70°). The product is updated approximately annually to incorporate improvements and any newly discovered planets orbiting naked eye stars. (View Less)
In this kinesthetic activity, students will demonstrate how two spacecraft are able to document a space weather event across the Van Allen radiation belts better than one spacecraft can. Students will graph the data collected by one spacecraft and... (View More) by two spacecraft during a space weather event; compare and contrast the graphical data from one spacecraft and from two spacecraft collected during a space weather event; and explain that space weather events can change from time-to-time and place-to-place across the Van Allen radiation belts, which is why it is helpful to observe them from two spacecraft simultaneously. Includes background science information, student handouts and data collection sheets, teacher answer key, and suggested extensions and adaptations for students with vision or hearing impairments. (View Less)
In this activity, students will read a color plot of Earth's absorption of the sun's radiation, and see that solar energy is unevenly distributed across the Earth's surface. The lesson provides detailed procedures, related links and sample graphs,... (View More) follow-up questions, extensions, and teacher notes. Designed for student use, MY NASA DATA LAS samples micro datasets from large scientific data archives, and provides structured investigations engaging students in exploration of real data to answer real world questions. (View Less)
In this activity, learners select the scientific instruments for their satellite, calculate the power requirements for all the subsystems, and construct a scale model of their very own Earth observing satellite using building blocks and/or Legos.... (View More) Includes instructions and worksheets. (View Less)
This is an activity about how giant dish antennas work. Learners create a "sound cone" and use it to understand how the Deep Space Network antennas pick up radio communications from space.
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 is a game about planning what to take on a space trip to Mars. Learners will decide on the appropriateness of items to take on a long trip to Mars and take into consideration the effects of zero gravity, limited electrical power, etc.
This is a lesson about visual spectra. Learners will explore different ways of displaying visual spectra, including colored "barcode" spectra, like those produced by a diffraction grating, and line plots displaying intensity versus color, or... (View More) wavelength. Students learn that a diffraction grating acts like a prism, bending light into its component colors. 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)
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)