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High school  
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1 to 2 hours  
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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 determining planetary composition. Learners will use a reflectometer to determine which minerals are present (from a set of knowns) in a sample of Mars soil simulant. Requires the use of ALTA II spectrometers (which may be... (View More)

This is a set of materials about spectroscopy, including a downloadable PowerPoint presentation and two demonstrations or activities. Learners will read and/or hear about the science of spectroscopy, what a spectrum is, and how spectroscopy is... (View More)

This is an activity about how the Sun can affect the Earth's atmosphere, specifically the ionosphere. Learners will use real data from a Sudden Ionosphere Disturbance Monitor, or SID Monitor, to identify the signatures in the graphed data that can... (View More)

In this activity, students learn that light carries information. Students also discover that infrared (IR) radiation is a form of light that in some cases behaves like visible light and in other cases behaves very differently. For example, some... (View More)

Gamma-ray bursts are distant explosions that briefly outshine the rest of the gamma-ray universe. In this lesson, students will follow the same procedures used by today's astronomers to determine two basic facts about gamma-ray bursts: their... (View More)

This two-page lithograph features an infrared image entitled, Pillars in the Monkey Head Nebula (the nebula also known as NGC 2174), located in the Orion constellation. The accompanying classroom activity "In Search of....Star Formation" is a... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This lithograph features a Hubble image of the galaxy cluster Abell 2744, which exhibits a special feature known as gravitational lensing. The backside includes a description of the image and its features. Students use the image and the information... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students will use a simulator of an orbiting X-ray observatory to observe a supernova remnant, the expanding gas from an exploded star. They will take X-ray spectral data, analyze them, and answer questions based on that data. This... (View More)

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
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