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Learners will measure the diameter of a solar flare by making calculations using transparency grids overlaid on images of the Sun. This is the third activity in the lesson "How Does HESSI Take a Picture?" NOTE: The HESSI mission was renamed... (View More) after Dr. Reuven Ramaty, who was the original Co-Investigator for this NASA mission, and was a pioneer in the fields of solar physics, gamma-ray astronomy, nuclear astrophysics, and cosmic rays.

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free per group of students

This is an activity about determining the distance of a solar flare from the center of the Sun's disk. Learners will use transparency grids overlaid on images of the Sun in order to calculate the distance of a solar flare, similar to a signal... (View More)

This is an activity about seasonal variations in day length. Learners will graph the number of daylight hours in each month in cities around the world and compare results. They will also gain an understanding of the meaning of the term equinox... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free per student

This is an activity about the solar activity cycle. Learners will construct a graph to identify a pattern of the number of observed sunspots and the number of coronal mass ejections emitted by the Sun over a fifteen year time span. A graphing... (View More)

This is an activity about sampling in astronomy. Learners will make a sampling window in order to estimate the number of stars in the sky visible to the unaided eye. After, they will discuss how to estimate the effect of different variables on their... (View More)

In this inquiry investigation, students explore how light hits things of different shape and form. One real world application to this activity is understanding what we actually observe when we see a solar eclipse. Supplies needed for this lesson... (View More)

In this inquiry investigation, students conclude that the motion of the Earth is linked to the changes we observe such as the length of the day. Students learn about the reason behind the Earth's time zones. An optional water clock and sand clock... (View More)

Keywords: Time; Orbit; Time zones

This inquiry activity supports student understanding of the cause of light, heat and shadow, how to measure the passage of time, and how to use rules and other measuring tools. Students make observations using shadows, a meter stick, and a homemade... (View More)

Keywords: Angle; Sphere; Model

This is a lesson about the path meteorites take to get from the asteroid belt to Earth and how rare it is for the Earth to be hit by a large asteroid. Three activities comprise the lesson. Learners will draw circles and ellipses to illustrate basic... (View More)

In this activity, learners build a sextant to measure the altitude, or height above the horizon, of an object. The activity was originally designed to accompany a previous NASA-funded educational program, entitled The Sun in Time.

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