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This is a website about asteroids and comets. Learners can play a physics-based asteroid game, learn about how backyard astronomers are contributing to asteroid research, or simulate an asteroid impact using a Google Earth Impact simulation.... (View More) Includes background information about comets and asteroids and links to multimedia resources. (View Less)
This online game allows players to choose any location on Earth and impact it with a variety of different sized asteroids and comets. They can see how big the blast radius will be, and determine what size object it would take to wipe out their town.... (View More) It is part of the Killer Asteroids Web Site. The site also features a background overview of the differences between asteroids and comets, information on different types of asteroids (rubble piles vs monoliths), a discussion of how at risk Earth really is to an asteroid or comet impact, and background information on light curves. (View Less)
This is an activity about comet composition. Learners will explore the physical characteristics of comets by reaching into a series of boxes and feeling the materials and structures within. They will describe what they observe and speculate on comet... (View More) characteristics being modeled in each box, opening the discussion about the nature of these icy bodies and begin to compare them to other members of our solar system. (View Less)
In this activity, learners replicate the scientific processes of observing, forming an explanation, revising and communicating about a model of a comet. Learners construct a model of features of a comet using an assortment of common craft supplies.... (View More) This activity relates to several NASA comet missions such as Deep Impact, Stardust, Stardust-NExT, and EPOXI and can be used to emulate a process that scientists and engineers follow on all missions. (View Less)
This is an online interactive about asteroid composition. Learners will explore how scientists learn about the composition of an asteroid by studying energy and neutrons that emanate from it. Includes audio (and transcription) explaining the diagram.
This 24 minute planetarium show teaches about meteors, meteorites, asteroids, and comets. The show was created for fulldome theaters, but is also available on DVD to be shown in flat version for TVs and computer monitors, and can be freely viewed... (View More) online. It shows the effects of the Chixulub and Tungusta events, plus the Pallasite impact that resulted in the Brenham meteorite fall, and describes ways that asteroid hunters seek new objects in the solar system, and how ground penetrating radar is used to find meteorites that have survived to the Earth's surface. Narrated by astronaut Tom Jones, it also discusses ways that humans might try to deflect an asteroid or comet that is on a collision course with Earth. The show was created for informal science venues (digital planetariums); it is also useful as supplemental material for middle school science. Impact Earth is available for free if presented directly from the Space Update site (widescreen or fisheye views linked from YouTube). Otherwise, a DVD of the show can be purchased for $10. (View Less)
This is a story about space exploration. Learners will read about missions to asteroids and comets, consider the measurements and math required for the robotic spacecraft to visit these objects, and are invited to finish the story themselves. The... (View More) provided extension explains how to use a K-W-L chart with the story and provides a glossary of terms. (View Less)
This is a lesson about the shape of objects in space. Learners will observe the surface of rotating potatoes to help them understand how astronomers use variations in reflective brightness to determine the shape of asteroids.
This is a lesson about the characteristics of planets, comets, asteroids, and trans-Neptunian objects. Learners will classify objects and then apply what they have learned by participating in a formal debate about a solar system object discovered by... (View More) the New Horizons spacecraft and by defining the term planet. (View Less)