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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)

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)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Over $20 per group of students

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)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson, students will explore the density of substances as a model for understanding the mass to light ratio as a predictor of dark matter. They will measure and calculate mass and volume to calculate the density of a foam ball. Students... (View More)

In this lesson, students explore how eclipses happen and why Einstein needed a total eclipse to image stars near the Sun in order to demonstrate how the Sun's mass bends the light from a far away star. Using a foam ball and a lamp, learners create a... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

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)

Keywords: Data graphing

In this two-part investigation, students explore the concept of transits. In the first part, they discover that a transit is an event where one body crosses in front of another, like when a planet goes in front of a star. In the second part,... (View More)

Keywords: NSTA2013

In this activity, students compare two images of the Crab Nebula taken more than 40 years apart. By measuring the motion of some of the knots of glowing gas in the neubla, students will be able to determine the date of the supernova explosion that... (View More)

Students will play a card game similar to "go fish" in which they match multi-wavelength images of different supernova remnants.

Audience: Middle school

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)

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