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Carl Sagan once claimed that the most important lesson we learn from studying the stars is perspective. To address this concept, this activity offers a scale model of the solar system to be evaluated. There are many versions of solar system scale... (View More) models available; this one is unique for its large scale chosen, the quality of the scaled objects, and the supplementary materials and information provided. The model is extended to include interaction and discovery on the part of learners, and suggested extensions. The set of materials includes a book about the solar system, developed from NASA's "From Earth to the Solar System" (FETTSS) imagery, and appropriate for use with the model. (View Less)
This comic addresses the question "What is color?" Using the Sun as an example, the comic discusses how visible light (white light) contains all the colors of the rainbow. It goes on to describe why our Sun is white, our sky is blue, and why sunsets... (View More) are red/orange. The discussion ends with a thought-question and provides further information on NASA missions and websites that address issues related to the Sun. The comic is illustrated mostly with NASA imagery and is part of the series Tales from Stanford Solar, featuring Camilla Corona and Colours O’Iris. The topic “What is Color?” was inspired by the 2014 Alan Alda Flame Challenge, an international competition asking scientists to communicate complex science in ways that would interest and enlighten an 11-year-old. (View Less)
This two-sided poster presents images and information about ozone. The front features a series of color Earth images; each image reflects total ozone readings taken every October from 1979 to 2012. The poster back contains information about ozone... (View More) under the following headings: What is Ozone?, Chemistry of the Ozone Layer, Measuring Ozone in the Earth's Atmosphere, Timeline of Stratospheric Ozone Depletion and Observations, How the Ozone Hole Forms, and A World Avoided. In addition, the back contains two activities: Visualizing the Ozone Hole and a Color by Number worksheet. (View Less)
This is a lithograph about NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission, or MMS. Learners will cut out and assemble a colorful 3D model of an MMS spacecraft. Web links, additional facts, and QR codes are included for audiences to access more information.
This is an activity about scale. Participants will arrange imagery of Earth and many other space objects in order of their size from smallest to largest, their distance from Earth's surface, their temperature from coolest to hottest, and/or their... (View More) age from youngest to oldest. By manipulating these images and discussing their ideas, children and adults represent and confront their own mental models of space and time. (View Less)
This activity is an interactive word find game with words related to comets and NASA's Comet Nucleus Sample Return mission. Accompanying text and pictures describe what comets are and why we are interested in them.
This manual provides simple demonstrations to show how lenses and mirrors are used to create telescopes. It was created for use by the Night Sky Network of astronomy clubs.
This manual provides an overview of how telescopes have changed our understanding of the universe and contains simple demonstrations to use at star parties to get across basic ideas of optics. This manual will also help explain why the images that... (View More) folks see at the eyepiece of a telescope at an outreach star party is so different from images published in magazines. The manual was produced to accompany an outreach toolkit developed for the NASA Night Sky Network. The toolkit is no longer being manufactured, but the activities are available through the manual, which can be freely downloaded. (View Less)
This online activity introduces the importance of meteorites to the understanding of the origin of the Solar System. Learners will use a key to determine if samples are meteorites. Finding meteorites can be difficult because most meteorites look... (View More) like Earth rocks to the casual or untrained eye. (View Less)
In this activity, students use base-two slide rules, log tapes, and calculators to practice raising exponents in base notation and pulling down exponents in log notation. Students will develop an understanding that antilog notation expresses the... (View More) exact same idea as raising a base to a power. This activity is activity C2 in the "Far Out Math" educator's guide. Lessons in the guide include activities in which students measure, compare quantities as orders of magnitude, become familiar with scientific notation, and develop an understanding of exponents and logarithms using examples from NASA's GLAST mission. These are skills needed to understand the very large and very small quantities characteristic of astronomical observations. Note: In 2008, GLAST was renamed Fermi, for the physicist Enrico Fermi. (View Less)