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This is a lesson about detecting ice on the permanently shadowed craters of Mercury and the Moon. Learners will consider what might be in that ice and will examine why the polar regions of Earth, Mercury and the Moon are colder than elsewhere on the... (View More)

In this activity, students use rulers to measure distances between hypothetical galaxies and then use these distances to calculate the velocities of the galaxies. This activity is part of the "Cosmic Questions" educator's guide that was developed to... (View More)

This lesson is about collaborative design of a lander vehicle. Learners will design and build a descent and landing system for an egg. The students will also practice their writing skills by writing a letter or article about the success or failure... (View More)

This is a lesson about the path of one xenon ion through an ion propulsion engine. Learners will focus on what a single xenon ion sees and does as it goes through the reactions and processes that provide the ion jet propulsion engine's thrust. They... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students compute the strengths of the gravitational forces exerted on the Moon by the Sun and by the Earth, and demonstrate the actual shape of the Moon's orbit around the Sun. The lesson begins with students' assumptions about the... (View More)

In this activity, students will interpret and analyze the information presented on the Evidence for Hidden Mass graph. They will observe trends in the graphs, and use it to determine if there is evidence for hidden mass. This is Activity 6b in the... (View More)

In this activity, students investigate one specific topic (MACHOs, WIMPs or hydrogen gas) related to dark matter using available resources. Students will organize their findings and present this information in a creative and engaging fashion. This... (View More)

In this activity, students use Newton's Laws of Motion, and the motions of the planets, to determine the mass of the sun. They then use the same techniques to determine the mass of a galaxy. In doing so, students convert among different units of... (View More)

This activity is a kinesthetic exercise for students to experience rotation curves for themselves. The students are divided into two groups; one group will participate in the activity, while the other observes. The groups should switch for different... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this interactive module, students can vary the comet's angle of approach to see the effect of gravity on its trajectory towards Jupiter. The speed and masses of the two bodies are held constant. The goal is for the students to understand the... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free