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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)
This exhibit uses text and images to portray humanity's views of the universe and how they have evolved over time. It includes six two-sided panels that feature key astronomical discoveries from the past 400 years. The exhibit also highlights the... (View More) technological advancements that made these discoveries possible. Exhibit topics range from celestial objects within our own "cosmic backyard" to those beyond the realm of our solar system. Featured objects include the sun, the moon, Saturn, Mars, comets, stars, nebulae, and galaxies. Images are accompanied by captions that highlight relevant, historical discoveries. Each exhibit panel is supported by supplemental resource materials available online in a downloadable, PDF format. Resource materials include science background information in the form of Q&As, related science misconceptions, a glossary, and links to additional resources on NASA's Amazing Space website. In addition, each exhibit panel is available as a downloadable, poster-size file. (View Less)
This is a lesson about the definition of planet. Learners will use direct vocabulary instruction to learn the new definitions of planet, dwarf planet, and asteroid. The publicity generated by the International Astronomical Union’s definition of... (View More) Pluto as a dwarf planet in 2006 created a teachable moment for schools around the world to consider the definitions of these concepts and how discoveries necessitate a change in the language we use to talk about it. (View Less)
This is a video about NASA's Dawn mission to the asteroids Vesta and Ceres. Learners will follow the mission from paper to launch pad to asteroid belt and beyond. The video features the planning, instrumentation and technological challenges of this... (View More) unique mission. Leonard Nimoy narrates. (View Less)
This is a lesson about the design and operation of an ion propulsion engine. Learners will study the essential components and variables of an ion propulsion system. Activities include an on-line ion propulsion engine simulation and design. Included... (View More) are changes in energy and fuel consumption as a result of variable changes (dependent/independent variable relationships). This is activity 5 of 5 in Structure and Properties of Matter: Ion Propulsion. (View Less)