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High school  
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Solar system  
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This series of laboratory lessons and activities uses authentic solar imagery and data to introduce students to solar science. Students are asked to explore details in imagery, including how to deal with the issues of noise and resolution, and... (View More)

Keywords: Solar activity; Spectra
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

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)

Learners will compare known elemental spectra with spectra of Titan and Saturn’s rings from a spectrometer aboard the NASA Cassini spacecraft. They identify the elements visible in the planetary and lunar spectra. The activity is part of Project... (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)

This is an activity about the way distance, albedo, and atmosphere affect the temperature of a planet. Learners will create a planet using a computer game and change features of the planet to increase or decrease the planet's temperature. They will... (View More)

This is an activity about how much atmospheric pressure is needed on Mars to maintain surface water and why the planet does not have surface water today. Learners will use a computer interactive to learn about Mars past and present before exploring... (View More)

Keywords: Triple Point; Climate

Learners will interpret spectral graphs to determine the atmospheric composition of Earth, Venus, and Mars, and then mathematically compare the amount of the greenhouse gas, CO2, on these planets. Students will brainstorm what things, along with... (View More)

In this lesson, students observe the surface of rotating potatoes to help them understand how astronomers can sometimes determine the shape of asteroids from variations in reflective brightness.

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 lesson about light in the outer solar system. Learners will demonstrate the effect of the inverse square law of illumination with distance and connect this to the functioning of solar panels at Saturn. Requires a silicon solar cell... (View More)

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