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Asteroids and comets  
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This is an activity about mission planning. Learners will use the roles of a navigation team, spacecraft, comet, Earth, and Sun to simulate how mission planners design a spacecraft/comet rendezvous. This activity requires at least four active... (View More)

In this lesson, learners will use images to observe and compare the surfaces of two comet nuclei from close range. Separate teachers guides and students guides are provided. Supplementary resources needed for the lesson are provided and include... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

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)

This is a legacy site for videos and animations related to the Deep Impact mission and encounter with Tempel 1. Learners can watch videos about the mission, encounter, science, and results.

Audience: Middle school, High school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

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)

Learners can read about the Deep Impact mission to encounter comet Tempel 1, including the mission, the experiment, results, the comet, the team, and how the results were transmitted back to Earth. Includes pre- and post-encounter fact sheets.

Audience: Middle school, High school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson, students observe the surface of rotating potatoes to help them understand how astronomers can sometimes determine the shape of asteroids from variations in reflective brightness.

In this online interactive, 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.

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 provided extension explains how to use a... (View More)

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)

Keywords: Meteors; Meteorites
Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free