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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) borrowed from the Lunar and Planetary Institute or purchased online) and Mars soil simulant. The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students, focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System. (View Less)
This is a game about planning what to take on a space trip to Mars. Learners will decide on the appropriateness of items to take on a long trip to Mars and take into consideration the effects of zero gravity, limited electrical power, etc.
This is a series of three webpages about how humans and computers communicate. Learners will explore the binary and hexidecimal systems and how engineers use them to translate spacecraft data into images.
This is a game about data compression. Learners will use virtual foam balls to explore the different compression methods (lossless, lossy, and superchannel) used by the Earth Observing 3 mission.
This is a lesson about elemental spectra. 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... (View More) spectra. The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students, focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System. (View Less)
This is a lesson about emission spectra. Learners will look at various light sources (including glow sticks and christmas lights) and make conjectures about their composition. The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering... (View More) program for middle-high school students, focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System. (View Less)
This is an lesson about spectrographs. Learners will build and decorate their own spectrographs using simple materials and holographic diffraction gratings. After building the spectrographs, they observe the spectra of different light sources.... (View More) Requires advance preparation to spray-paint the inside of the containers black the day before construction. The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students, focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System. (View Less)
This website presents basic information and concepts about Cosmology and our current best understanding of the Universe. Cosmology is the scientific study of the large scale properties of the Universe as a whole. It endeavors to use the scientific... (View More) method to understand the origin, evolution and ultimate fate of the entire Universe. Like any field of science, cosmology involves the formation of theories or hypotheses about the universe which make specific predictions for phenomena that can be tested with observations. Depending on the outcome of the observations, the theories will need to be abandoned, revised or extended to accommodate the data. Includes sections on: Big Bang Theory, Big Bang Tests, Beyond the Big Bang, and Our Universe. (View Less)
This website provides instructions on how to find and download images directly from the WISE archive. With a computer and Internet connection, users can access high-resolution, infrared images from the WISE mission. Instructions are provided to... (View More) explain how to get access the images from the archive. (View Less)
Learners will be introduced to the concepts of error analysis, including standard deviation. They will apply the knowledge of averages (means), standard deviation from the mean, and error analysis to their own classroom distribution of heights. They... (View More) will then apply this knowledge to data from the Student Dust Counter (SDC) onboard the New Horizons mission to determine the issues associated with taking data, including error and noise. Note: Updated links to the Student Dust Counter Data Viewer and website are provided under Related & Supplemental Resources (right). (View Less)