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Acting as the ICESat-2 satellite, students investigate the reflection of light photons off Earth's surface by catching and recording a number of photons. Using bouncy balls to represent the photons, students drop, let bounce once and try to catch in... (View More)

Participants will use scientific practices to investigate answers to questions involving the color of the sky, sunsets, the Sun, and oceans. This activity requires use of a clear acrylic or glass container to hold water, a strong flashlight,... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This lesson includes a demonstration to show why the sky is blue and why sunsets and sunrises are orange. Learners will use scientific practices to investigate answers to questions involving the color of the sky, sunsets, the Sun, and oceans.... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

Nighttime light patterns on Earth have been recorded using NASA satellites. In this investigation, students will correlate those patterns of lights with the distribution of human populations, and then determine if related statements included in the... (View More)

Through the use of prisms and glue sticks, this activity introduces students to a fundamental property of light: white light is made up of colors representing different wavelengths. Students use the results of the activity to explain the variation... (View More)

This article explains how Earth's atmosphere scatters the light from the sun, thereby creating the blue color we typically associate with our sky. Supplementing this article is an explanation of the importance of scattering sunlight. The article is... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This comic addresses the question "What is color?" Using the Sun as an example, the comic discusses how visible light (white light) contains all the colors of the rainbow. It goes on to describe why our Sun is white, our sky is blue, and why sunsets... (View More)

This textbook chapter traces the historical development of the modern scientific understanding of light, and reviews the electromagnetic spectrum and the Earth's atmospheric shield. The resource includes links to current news articles, and a suite... (View More)

In this activity, students experience a demonstration of light scattering that explains the blue colors in the Intersetllar Medium (ISM) nebulae, and the reddening of stars viewed through the ISM. It also explains the blue appearance of the sky on... (View More)

Audience: High school, Higher education
Materials Cost: $1 - $5

In this hands-on experiment, students will investigate the basic principle of photosynthesis and learn how light intensity diminishes as a function of distance from the light source. Questions help learners connect these two ideas to determine if... (View More)

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