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This is a website about gravitational waves. Learners will read about how the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission will detect gravitational waves.
This collection features images taken by the Chandra X-ray Observatory, including image descriptions and comparison with optical images. Search options include chronological listings, images by category, and images by interest such as... (View More) multi-wavelength and top rated images. Image tutorials are available on a variety of topics. Special features include Chandra for Kids, constellations, sky map, and image handouts (images with short captions that may be printed on a single page). (View Less)
This Hubble Space Telescope image shows what appears to be a delicate bubble of gas floating serenely in space. In actuality, the bubble is the visible remnant of a powerful supernova explosion called SNR 0509. The bubble was formed from gas being... (View More) swept up by the expanding shock wave. In the accompanying educational activity, In Search of ... Supernova Remnants, students investigate supernova explosions and remnants through a level 1 inquiry activity using the images and text from the lithograph and other resources. A level 1 inquiry activity can help prepare students to become independent thinkers. (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 planetarium show is designed to engage visitors directly in activities and demonstrations, and is optimized for group sizes of 25 to 70 people. Show content includes general planet-finding techniques (Doppler, astrometric, etc.), an audience... (View More) activity about the transit method of extrasolar planet discovery, NASA Kepler mission, and Johannes Kepler's work. It is 50-minutes long, but modular, so that it can be adjusted for shorter lengths (suggestions for 30-minute and 40-minute versions are provided in the script). The script, images, movies and music are available for free download at the website provided. (View Less)
This Hubble Space Telescope image captures thousands of sparkling young stars nestled within the star-forming nebula NGC 3603. This stellar "jewel box" is one of the most massive young star clusters in the Milky Way Galaxy. The image and text... (View More) describe a family portrait of stars in different stages of their lives, from infant stars still wrapped in cocoons of gas to stars nearing the end of their lives. In the accompanying educational activity, In Search of ... Stellar Evolution, students investigate stellar evolution through a level 1 inquiry activity using the images and text from the lithograph and other resources. A level 1 inquiry activity can help prepare students to become independent thinkers. (View Less)
Students are introduced to the scientific tool of spectroscopy. They each build a simple spectroscope to examine the light from different light sources, particularly the Sun (Warning: Do not look directly at the Sun) and artificial lights (e.g.,... (View More) fluorescent or sodium lamps). Students compare the continuous spectrum of incandescent lights and the solar spectrum with the clear spectral lines of the fluorescent or sodium room lights and discharge lamps. They learn how the spectral "fingerprints" of each particular element help astronomers recognize the presence of specific elements in distant astronomical objects. Students are also introduced to the broader electromagnetic spectrum beyond what is visible with our eyes and how scientists observe distant objects using multiple wavelength bands. This activity is part of a series that has been designed specifically for use with Girl Scouts, but the activities can be used in other settings. Most of the materials are inexpensive. (View Less)
This resource gives an impression of how immense our Universe is by employing a method used many times in "Power of 10" films - that is, starting with an image of the Earth and then zooming out towards the furthest visible reaches of our Universe.... (View More) This is not, however, an exercise in "powers of 10" - on the contrary, the goal is to show astronomical distances without scientific notation. It focuses on the large number of zeros that are in astronomical distances which are then measured with a familiar unit like the kilometer. The number of zeros increase with each zoom, though not at a constant rate. This resource was written because many people do not realize how spectacularly far away the "nearest" astronomical objects are. (View Less)
In this activity, students are reminded that the Universe is made up of elements and that the heavier elements are created inside of a star, as they learned in the "Elements and You" activity. They are introduced to the life cycle of a star and to... (View More) the way in which a star's mass affects its process of fusion and eventual death. Students discuss the physical concept of equilibrium as a balancing of forces and observe an experiment to demonstrate what happens to a soda can when the interior and exterior forces are not in equilibrium. An analogy is made between this experiment and core collapse in stars, to show the importance of maintaining equilibrium in stars. Finally, students participate in an activity which demonstrates how mass is ejected from a collapsed star in a supernova explosion, thereby dispersing heavier elements throughout the Universe. This activity is part of a series that has been designed specifically for use with Girl Scouts, but the activities can be used in other settings. Most of the materials are inexpensive or easily found. It is recommended that a leader with astronomy knowledge lead the activities, or at least be available to answer questions, whenever possible. (View Less)
This is an educators guide to accompany the Journey to the Stars planetarium show. The materials include a section, titled Teaching With the Show, containing guiding questions to encourage class discussions about the life cycle of stars.