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This is a demonstration about the density of the planets. Learners will compare the relative sizes and masses of scale models of the planets as represented by fruits and other foods. They will then dunk the "planets" in water to highlight the fact... (View More) that even a large, massive planet - such as Saturn - can have low density. They discuss how a planet's density is related to whether it is mainly made up of rock or gas. This activity is part of Explore! Jupiter's Family Secrets, a series designed to engage children in space and planetary science in libraries and informal learning environments. (View Less)
Learners will model the gravitational fields of planets on a flexible surface. Children place and move balls of different sizes and densities on a plastic sheet to develop a mental picture of how the mass of an object influences how much effect it... (View More) has on the surrounding space. This activity is part of Explore! Jupiter's Family Secrets, a series designed to engage children in space and planetary science in libraries and informal learning environments. (View Less)
Learners will create a physical timeline of comet appearances in art and literature throughout history. Participants use a set of photos depicting comets in art images and science missions and place the images in chronological order, while learning... (View More) about the perceptions of comets during that time period. Note: Timeline cards that are needed to complete this activity can be found under the Related and Supplemental Resources links on the right side of this page. (View Less)
This is a lesson about using the light from the star during an occultation event to identify the atmosphere of a planet. Learners will add and subtract light curves (presented as a series of geometrical shapes) to understand how this could occur.... (View More) The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students, focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System. (View Less)
This full-dome planetarium show takes learners on a futuristic journey through our Solar System. They explore the inner and outer planets, then the moons: Titan, Europa, and Callisto as possible places to establish a human colony.
Learners will create their own models of lunar orbiters out of edible or non-edible materials. They determine what tools would be necessary to help us better understand the Moon and plan for a future lunar outpost. Then they incorporate these... (View More) elements into their models. NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is used as an example of a spacecraft armed with "eyes," "ears," and other tools for exploration. This activity is part of Explore! To the Moon and Beyond! - a resource developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
This is an activity about impact craters. Learners will experiment to create impact craters and examine the associated features. Then they observe images of lunar craters and explore how the mass, shape, velocity, and angle of impactors affects the... (View More) size and shape of the crater. This activity is part of Explore! To the Moon and Beyond! - a resource developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
In this activity, learners draw conclusions about where on a planetary body scientists might look for ice and why. They use a clay ball, ice cubes, and a heat lamp to model the permanently-shadowed polar regions of planets and moons that may harbor... (View More) ice. They learn that our Moon, and even Mercury, may have areas with ice. This activity is part of Explore! To the Moon and Beyond! - a resource developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
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 is a collection of mathematical problems about transits in the solar system. Learners can work problems created to be authentic glimpses of modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data.