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This story-based lesson presents information on the early investigation into solar and cosmic X-rays, as well as the scientists working in pursuit of X-ray detection and imaging, that set the stage for a program of space-based astronomy. The lesson... (View More) is narrated by Dr. Herbert Friedman, and includes information on his work, as well as his childhood, home life, and interests while a college student. (View Less)
This activity allows participants to build a paper model of the GPM Core Observatory and learn about the technology the satellite uses to measure precipitation from space. Directions explain how to cut, fold and glue the individual pieces together... (View More) to make the model. The accompanying information sheet has details about the systems in the satellite including the Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR), the GPM Microwave Imager (GMI), the High Gain Antenna, avionics and star trackers, propulsion system and solar array, as well as a math connection and additional engineering challenges. (View Less)
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) Einstein's ideas are used correctly, exploding stars, etc. (View Less)
This is a series of three webpages about how humans and computers communicate. Learners will explore the binary and hexidecimal systems and how engineers use them to translate spacecraft data into images.
This is a game about data compression. Learners will use virtual foam balls to explore the different compression methods (lossless, lossy, and superchannel) used by the Earth Observing 3 mission.
This is a lesson about how spacecraft use gravity assists to get where they are going. Learners will explore how engineers minimize the use of fuel by utilizing gravity. In Activity 1, students explore the physical conservation laws by observing the... (View More) behavior of balls colliding with other objects. In Activity 2, the students use an interactive online simulation tool to explore the various ways in which gravity assists can be used to aid space exploration. (View Less)
This is a lesson about the path of one xenon ion through an ion propulsion engine. Learners will focus on what a single xenon ion sees and does as it goes through the reactions and processes that provide the ion jet propulsion engine's thrust. They... (View More) will learn to adopt an informed, experimental method for use in a later lesson. A tightly-scripted slide-by-slide presentation is provided. Preconceptions are discussed. This is activity 4 of 5 in Structure and Properties of Matter: Ion Propulsion. (View Less)
This interactive, online activity traces the history of the telescope from Galileo's first look at the stars to the work of modern observatories. Learners will read about the milestones in telescope development, witness the interplay between... (View More) technological and scientific advances, glimpse the humanity of the inventors and astronomers behind the telescopes, find out what the telescopes discovered, as well as learn the science of light and optics. Students can work through the activity independently or in groups. Teachers may also choose to have students study a portion of the activity and then share their learning with the class. The science of light and telescopes is presented in the section called "Get to the root of it" that can be used for review, learning the basics, or remediation. Detailed teacher pages, identified as Teaching Tips on the title page of the activity, provide science background information, lesson plan ideas, related resources, and alignment with national education standards. (View Less)
This is an article about detecting gravitational waves. Learners can read about how the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) is detecting gravitational waves. An activity is included about how to build a mini-LISA and use it to explore the... (View More) technology behind the instrument. (View Less)