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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) understand scale. They are introduced to the concept of space weather and how that affects both observing instruments and the Earth. Students learn about spectra, how helium and coronium were discovered, and go on to explore real spectra from the Sun. Most activities are mathematically based, and targeted for grades 9-10. Imagery is included from NASA/ESA's SOHO mission, NASA's SDO mission, and Japan's Hinode satellite. (View Less)

The Cosmic Times Gallery Walk and Cosmic Times Jigsaw lessons serve as extensions to the Cosmic Times suite of curriculum support materials. They are intended to provide an introduction to Cosmic Times as a whole, giving students the larger picture... (View More) of how our understanding of the universe has changed over the last century. During the Gallery Walk lesson, students peruse the Cosmic Times posters to answer open-ended questions. During the Jigsaw lesson, students work in cooperative teams to understand the primary scientific advances over the past century that have contributed to our current understanding of the universe. (View Less)

This is an activity that compares the magnetic field of the Earth to the complex magnetic field of the Sun. Using images of the Earth and Sun that have magnets attached in appropriate orientations, learners will use a handheld magnetic field... (View More) detector to observe the magnetic field of the Earth and compare it to that of the Sun, especially in sunspot areas. For each group of students, this activity requires use of a handheld magnetic field detector, such as a Magnaprobe or a similar device, a bar magnet, and ten small disc magnets. (View Less)

Materials Cost: Over $20 per group of students

This is a lesson about statistics in science as it applies to the measurement of dust in space. Learners will be introduced to the concepts of error analysis, including standard deviation. They will apply the knowledge of averages (means), standard... (View More) deviation from the mean, and error analysis to their own distribution of heights and then to the Student Dust Counter (SDC) data to determine the issues associated with taking data including error and noise. (View Less)

This is an online set of information about astronomical alignments of ancient structures and buildings. Learners will read background information about the alignments to the Sun in such structures as the Great Pyramid, Chichen Itza, and others.... (View More) Next, the site contains 10 short problem sets that involve a variety of math skills, including determining the scale of a photo, measuring and drawing angles, plotting data on a graph, and creating an equation to match a set of data. Each set of problems is contained on one page and all of the sets utilize real-world problems relating to astronomical alignments of ancient structures. Each problem set is flexible and can be used on its own, together with other sets, or together with related lessons and materials selected by the educator. This was originally included as a folder insert for the 2010 Sun-Earth Day. (View Less)

This is a lesson about density. Learners will relate the concept of density to the density of dust in space. They will use mission data from the Student Dust Counter (SDC) interface to determine the density of dust grains in a volume of space in the... (View More) Solar System in order to answer questions concerning the distribution of dust in the solar system. They will discover that space is much more sparsely populated with dust than they may have thought. Students discuss their findings with the class. (View Less)

This is a booklet containing 15 problems that incorporate data and information from the Hinode solar observatory. The problems involve math skills such as finding the scale of an image to determine actual physical sizes in images, time calculations,... (View More) volumes of cylinders, graph analysis, and scientific notation. Learners will use mathematics to explore solar science topics such as sunspot structure, spectroscopy, solar rotation, magnetic fields, density and temperature of hot gases, and solar flares. This booklet can be found on the Space Math@NASA website. (View Less)