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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 is a lesson about visual spectra. Learners will explore different ways of displaying visual spectra, including colored "barcode" spectra, like those produced by a diffraction grating, and line plots displaying intensity versus color, or... (View More) wavelength. Students learn that a diffraction grating acts like a prism, bending light into its component colors. 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 the Discovery Program's exploration of the solar system. Learners will identify and communicate to others the varied space science explorations carried out by the Discovery Program and dig into one mission in depth. They can... (View More) then respond to a NASA Discovery Program Announcement of Opportunity (AO) to submit a mock proposal. Includes the award-winning video, "Unlocking Mysteries of Our Solar System." (View Less)
This is a DVD about asteroids and impacts in the solar system. Learners can watch a 7-minute video of the "lifetime" of a meteor. The narrated, subtitled program includes images of impact craters on planets and asteroids, visualizations of the... (View More) Asteroid Belt, animations of collisions between asteroids, an explanation of how collisions between asteroids can create fragments that reach Earth as a meteorite, visualizations of resonances in the asteroid belt, the perturbation of an asteroid fragment toward Earth, an explanation of how meteors that impact Earth might have obtained high and low impact velocities, and visualizations of the range of outcomes from impacts by meteors with different velocities and sizes. The goal is to provide engaging and scientifically accurate animations and images of impact processes in the solar system. The program is specifically designed to dispel commonly-held misconceptions and improve general understanding of solar system science among student's grades 5-12, as well as a broad lay audience. In addition to the 7-minute stand-alone video, the DVD also contains two interactives for Windows® and Macintosh® computers. The first interactive is a version of the above program that allows students and other users to view segments in any order through answering some of the most-commonly asked questions about asteroid impacts. The second interactive, "Make a Collision," allows users to simulate asteroid collisions, by selecting the parameters of collisions between asteroids and then seeing the results. The third interactive, "ImpactChallenge," provides additional experience with simulations Asteroid Belt impacts by giving users additional parameters that can be adjusted to make a wider variety of asteroid collisions. (View Less)
In this lesson about comets, learners will use images to observe and compare the surfaces of two comet nuclei from close range. Separate teachers guides and students guides are provided. Supplementary resources needed for the lesson are provided and... (View More) include scientist and student audio tracks, and images of Wild 2, Tempel 1, and Hartley 2. (View Less)