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This classic video explains the history, debate and continuing discussion of the definition of a planet.

Keywords: Dwarf planet
Audience: Middle school, High school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This is an annotated, topical list of science fiction novels and stories based on more or less accurate astronomy and physics ideas. Learners can read fictional works that involve asteroids, astronomers, black holes, comets, space travel where... (View More)

Developed as a planetarium show, this video describes the unique environment of our solar system planets and a few satellites, along with some of the challenges and possible solutions for potential human habitation on each. Two versions of the video... (View More)

Become a crime scene investigator! Learners model Dawn Mission scientists, engineers, and technologists and how they use instrumentation to detect distant worlds. After a briefing to build context, students explore interactions between different... (View More)

The theme of this unit is the development of an imaginary mission to the asteroid Vesta. It also introduces teachers and students to the Vesta Mappers citizen scientist project, which is part of the CosmoQuest online community. The unit is designed... (View More)

This is a lithograph set about the solar system. It contains images of the planets, the sun, asteroids, comets, meteors and meteorites, the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud, and moons of the solar system. General information, significant dates,... (View More)

Audience: High school

This paper model shows the orbit of Comet ISON (late 2013) with respect to the innermost planets of the solar system. After reading background information about comets - how they form and where they come from - students cut out and tape together the... (View More)

This is a poster about the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM), an instrument onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Learners can find out what it does and how it works. Then you can go online and start exploring the Red... (View More)

This is an activity about how much atmospheric pressure is needed on Mars to maintain surface water and why it does not have surface water today. Learners will use a computer interactive to learn about Mars past and present before exploring the... (View More)

Keywords: Triple Point; Climate

This is an activity about the way distance, albedo, and atmosphere affect the temperature of a planet. Learners will create a planet using a computer game and change features of the planet to increase or decrease the planet's temperature. They will... (View More)

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