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National Science Education Standards:
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Astronomy  
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Dieter Hartmann, a high-energy physicist, presents a story-based lesson on the science of Gamma-Ray astronomy. The lesson focuses on gamma-ray bursts; examining their sources, types, and links to the origin and evolution of the Universe. The... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

NASA scientist, Neil Gehrels, serves as your guide to this online lesson on gamma ray tools, which focuses on advances in detector technologies since the 1980s that have enabled us to capture and image high-energy phenomena. Dr. Gehrels explains... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

The H-R diagram is a scatter graph of stars, a plot of stellar absolute magnitude or luminosity versus temperature or stellar classification. It is an important astronomical tool for understanding how stars evolve over time. Stellar evolution cannot... (View More)

Keywords: Stellar evolution
Audience: High school, Higher education
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about detecting atmospheres of planets. Learners will explore stellar occultation events (by interpreting light curves) to determine if an imaginary dwarf planet “Snorkzat” has an atmosphere. The activity is part of Project... (View More)

This is an activity about detecting elements by using light. Learners will develop and apply methods to identify and interpret patterns to the identification of fingerprints. They look at fingerprints of their classmates, snowflakes, and finally... (View More)

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)

Learners will build an open spectrograph to calculate the angle the light is transmitted through a holographic diffraction grating. After finding the desired angles, the students will design their own spectrograph using the information learned. The... (View More)

In this lesson, students consider observations and inferences to determine the support for each of two theories on the origin of the universe: Steady State and Big Bang. Working with partners, students draw from a set of Evidence cards (master... (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 will be introduced to how the Doppler effect changes our perception of wavelengths of sound (pitch) and light (color). Students will model how astronomers use the line spectra of stars to identify elements in the stars and... (View More)

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