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In this experiment, students replicate a version of the 1800 experiment in which a form of radiation other than visible light was discovered by the famous astronomer Sir Frederick William Herschel. Students use glass prisms, thermometers, and... (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)

In this activity, students perform a version of the experiment of 1801, in which ultraviolet light was first discovered by Johann Wilhelm Ritter. This experiment should be conducted outdoors on a sunny day - variable cloud conditions, such as patchy... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $5 - $10 per group of students

In this activity, students learn that infrared light is reflected in the same manner as visible light. Students align a series of mirrors so that they can turn on a TV with a remote control when the remote is not in a direct line with the TV. As a... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students are introduced to light and colored gels (filters). Students make and test predictions about light and color using gels; learn about the importance of gels (filters) to astronomers; then analyze images taken with regular... (View More)

In this activity, students build a photocell detector, and use it to detect different colors of light in a spectrum. Then they place the detector just outside the red region of the visible light spectrum and see that the detector detects the... (View More)

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)

This activity introduces students to the visible light spectrum, and demonstrates what happens to the appearance of an image when certain wavelengths of light are blocked by filters or made visible using special tools. Students are lead through... (View More)

In this activity, students explore images taken with telescopes sensitive to several different wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. Students compare the images to determine that light carries information about physical features in the... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students examine the first line of evidence, galactic motion, for the notion of an expanding universe. By examining the spectrum of light from a galaxy, students can determine whether a galaxy is moving toward or away from us, and... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free
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