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This slide set is one of a series of slide sets meant to bring recent NASA discoveries to the college-level non-major introductory astronomy classroom. This series is intended to support the higher education community by making relevant NASA Science... (View More) Mission Directorate E/PO discoveries easier to incorporate into the classroom. The "Astro 101 slide sets" compile short, topical presentations on new developments from NASA SMD Astrophysics missions relevant to introductory astronomy (a.k.a. Astronomy 101) topics. We intend for these slide sets to help Astronomy 101 instructors include the latest developments (discoveries not yet in their textbooks) into the “big-picture” context of their courses. The slide sets are constructed to be included easily as a lecture supplement including synopsis, references, and graphics. This particular slide set focuses on new information learned about galaxy evolution thanks for multiwavelength observations of M101. The set was produced in collaboration with the NASA Astrophysics education and public outreach (E/PO) community. (View Less)

NuSTAR has a 10-meter rigid mast that separates the optics from the detector. Inspired by this, students will design, test, and build a lightweight mast 1 meter tall that can fully support the weight of a typical hardcover textbook (~2 kg). The... (View More) footprint of the mast must be no larger than 11" x 14". This activity is from the NuSTAR Educators Guide: X-Rays on Earth and from Space, which focuses on the science and engineering design of NASA's NuSTAR mission. The guide includes a standards matrix, assessment rubrics, instructor background materials, and student handouts. (View Less)

Students will use the law of reflection to reflect a laser beam off multiple mirrors to hit a sticker in a shoebox. Since X-ray telescopes must use grazing angles to collect X-rays, students will design layouts with the largest possible angles of... (View More) reflection. This activity is from the NuSTAR Educators Guide: X-Rays on Earth and from Space, which focuses on the science and engineering design of NASA's NuSTAR mission. The guide includes a standards matrix, assessment rubrics, instructor background materials, and student handouts. (View Less)

As science extension activities, this book of problems introduces students to mapping the shape of the Milky Way galaxy, and how to identify the various kinds of galaxies in our universe. Students also learn about the shapes and sizes of other... (View More) galaxies in our universe as they learn how to classify them. The math problems cover basic scientific notation skills and how they apply to working with astronomically large numbers. It also provides exercises in plotting points on a Cartesian plane to map the various features of our Milky Way. (View Less)

This lesson uses a simple discrepant event to demonstrate the underlying cause for early miscalculation of the size of the Milky Way galaxy. By standardizing the Cepheid period-luminosity relationship without recognizing there were two types of... (View More) Cepheid variable stars with intrinsic differences in absolute magnitude, a distance calculation error occurred. Requires two lamps and two soft-white light bulbs: 25 watt and 60 watt (estimated materials cost is for light bulbs). This lesson is part of the Cosmic Times teachers guide and is intended to be used in conjunction with the 1955 Cosmic Times Poster. (View Less)

In this lesson, students measure the size of several galaxies to reproduce a plot of Hubble's Law. The goal of this lesson is to give students the chance to simulate the process that led to the notion that the universe is expanding, provide insight... (View More) into how this idea was reached, and inform students about the nature of our universe. This lesson 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 these activities, students investigate how gamma ray bursts emit energy in beams (as opposed to emitting light in all directions) and investigate the implications of this on the total number of gamma ray bursts seen in the universe. This activity... (View More) uses Gamma-ray Bursts as an engagement tool to teach selected topics in physical science and mathematics. In addition, the guide features background information, assessment information, student worksheets, extension and transfer activities, and detailed information about the physical science and mathematics content standards for grades 9-12. This is Activity 4 of 4 in the guide which accompanies the educational wall sheet, titled Angling for Gamma-ray Bursts. (View Less)

In this activity, students look at the distribution of aluminum foil balls arranged in a circle on the floor, and compare them to the distribution of gamma-ray bursts on the sky. This activity uses Gamma-ray Bursts as an engagement tool to teach... (View More) selected topics in physical science and mathematics. In addition to the activities, it features background information, assessment information, student worksheets, extension and transfer activities, and detailed information about the physical science and mathematics content standards for grades 9-12. This is Activity 3 of 4 in the guide which accompanies the educational wall sheet titled Angling for Gamma-ray Bursts (View Less)

In this activity students convert antilogs to logs, and logs to antilogs using scientific notation as an intermediate step. They will thereby develop a look-up table for solving math problems by using logarithms. This is activity D2 in the "Far Out... (View More) Math" educator's guide. Lessons in the guide include activities in which students measure,compare quantities as orders of magnitude, become familiar with scientific notation, and develop an understanding of exponents and logarithms using examples from NASA's GLAST mission. These are skills needed to understand the very large and very small quantities characteristic of astronomical observations. Note: In 2008, GLAST was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)

In this activity students construct multiplying slide rules scaled in Base-10 exponents and use them to calculate products and quotients. They will come to appreciate that super numbers (exponents, orders of magnitude and logarithms) play by... (View More) different rules of arithmetic than ordinary numbers (numbers, powers of ten and antilogs). This is activity A2 in the "Far Out Math" educator's guide. Lessons in the guide include activities in which students measure,compare quantities as orders of magnitude, become familiar with scientific notation, and develop an understanding of exponents and logarithms using examples from NASA's GLAST mission. These are skills needed to understand the very large and very small quantities characteristic of astronomical observations. Note: In 2008, GLAST was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)