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In this activity, students use Newton's Laws of Motion, and the motions of the planets, to determine the mass of the sun. They then use the same techniques to determine the mass of a galaxy. In doing so, students convert among different units of... (View More)

This activity is a kinesthetic exercise for students to experience rotation curves for themselves. The students are divided into two groups; one group will participate in the activity, while the other observes. The groups should switch for different... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, the student will be able to assess their understanding of what makes up the universe, by filling in a concept map with the following terms: Planetary Systems, Galaxies, Planets, Sun, Venus, Moon, Stars, Sirius, Solar System, Comet,... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students become familiar with using binoculars and/or a telescope. They locate and identify constellations, and the Andromeda Galaxy. This is a night-time activity that is designed to be done in the fall, when the Andromeda Galaxy... (View More)

Keywords: Telescopes
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

This Hubble Space Telescope image shows a tightly packed crowd of stars resembling a swarm of bees. Called M80 (NGC 6093), the stellar swarm is one of the densest globular clusters in our Milky Way Galaxy. M80 contains hundreds of thousands of... (View More)

Audience: High school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows light from hot stars eating away the surface of the dust and gas cloud in this region of the Eagle Nebula to reveal a pillar composed of denser material. The text includes information about the... (View More)

Audience: High school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about habitable planets. Learners will discuss what they know about the astronomical conditions of the planets they have found in earlier lessons and what they still need to know in order to determine if they are habitable to... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a lesson about finding habitable planets. Learners will use an online, multimedia module to simulate the techniques that scientists might use to find a star system and planet that meet the astronomical conditions required for human... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a lesson about the kinds of stars that are suitable for supporting human life. Learners will characterize stars on a HR diagram and identify the characteristics of those most suitable for supporting human life. They then explore the... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a lesson that sets up the final project for the Astronomy unit. Learners will research the requirements for human survival and analyze the planets and moons in our solar system to assess the ability of each to support human survival. The... (View More)

Audience: Middle school