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This activity is an interactive word find game with words related to comets and NASA's Comet Nucleus Sample Return mission. Accompanying text and pictures describe what comets are and why we are interested in them.
In this interactive module, students can vary the comet's angle of approach to see the effect of gravity on its trajectory towards Jupiter. The speed and masses of the two bodies are held constant. The goal is for the students to understand the... (View More) relationship between the distance from the planet and the force of gravity. Students may work independently or in small groups to complete this activity. It may also be done as a teacher-directed activity in the classroom. After completing this module, students will learn about how changing the angle of approach affects the force of gravity on a comet. This module is a part of the online exploration "Planet Impact!" An explanation of the science behind the animations can be found in "Science Scoop." More information on the crash of Shoemaker-Levy 9 on Jupiter can be obtained from "Gravity Gallery" and "Comet News." Detailed teacher pages, identified as Teaching Tips on the title pages of the activity, provide science background information, lesson plan ideas, related resources, and alignment with national education standards. (View Less)
This science news story highlights a Hubble Space Telescope observation of an unusual asteroid. Astronomers hypothesize that the spin rate of the asteroid increased to such an extent that materials were flung off its surface. Star Witness News is a... (View More) series of articles, written for students, that are inspired by Hubble Space Telescope press releases. Supplemental education materials include vocabulary, discussion questions and answers, and identifies relevant Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts. (View Less)
This science news story highlights Comet ISON's travels through our region of the solar system. Star Witness News is a series of articles, written for students, that are inspired by Hubble Space Telescope press releases. Supplemental education... (View More) materials include vocabulary, discussion questions and answers, and identifies relevant English language arts standards. (View Less)