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This model aims to help illustrate the purpose and methodology of NASA's Kepler mission. It includes (1) a hand-cranked or motorized orrery (moving model of a planet system) made of LEGO parts, (2) a light sensor representing the Kepler photometer,... (View More) (3) computer software for graphing light curves, representing Kepler Science Office - data analysis. A light bulb at the center of the orrery represents a star, and as planets in the model pass between the star and the light sensor, dips in the computer graph light curve happen in real time. (View Less)
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 activity includes twelve monthly star charts to identify the stars that are visible in the night sky and that are known to have planets around them. The star maps can be used to find constellations and identify stars with extrasolar planets.... (View More) (Northern Hemisphere only, naked eye) (View Less)
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 is a hands-on demonstration of the communication path between the Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE) satellite and a scientist on Earth, where students play the parts of various satellites, ground stations, and science centers. The module... (View More) includes a Java applet animation of the Satellite data flow and background information on the various communication links. The purpose of this lesson plan is to show students how the data are sent and received by making students active participants in the chain of events. This demonstration also allows students to get a feel for the dynamic of satellite communications and orbital motion around the Earth. (View Less)