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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)
In this activity, learners replicate the scientific processes of observing, forming an explanation, revising and communicating about a model of a comet. Learners construct a model of features of a comet using an assortment of common craft supplies.... (View More) This activity relates to several NASA comet missions such as Deep Impact, Stardust, Stardust-NExT, and EPOXI and can be used to emulate a process that scientists and engineers follow on all missions. (View Less)
This series of short articles details the discovery and subsequent impact of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 on Jupiter. The impending impact created quite a buzz among scientists since it marked the first of its kind. Student may work independently or in... (View More) small groups to complete each article. It may also be done as a teacher-directed activity in the classroom. This module is a part of the online exploration "Planet Impact!" 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 is an activity about mission planning. Learners will use the roles of a navigation team, spacecraft, comet, Earth, and Sun to simulate how mission planners design a spacecraft/comet rendezvous. This activity requires at least four active... (View More) participants and a large open space. Includes mathematics extensions. (View Less)
This is an activity about comet composition. Learners will explore the physical characteristics of comets by reaching into a series of boxes and feeling the materials and structures within. They will describe what they observe and speculate on comet... (View More) characteristics being modeled in each box, opening the discussion about the nature of these icy bodies and begin to compare them to other members of our solar system.Note: See Related & Supplemental Resources (right side of this page) for links to assembly instructions and worksheets needed to complete this activity. (View Less)