NASA's Saturday Academy for Space Science 2003-2004
Chicago State University - Science Building
Each session meets Saturday, Noon to 4 p.m.
Be on time! Bring your notebooks and homework! Remember to keep your moon journal!
October 4, 2003: Observe the Sun through a solar filter and a telescope. Learn to use the Hands-On Universe image processing (HOU_IP) software. Practice voice projection as a presentation skill. Cut out globe views of the planets that can be glued onto a styrofoam form.
October 11, 2003: Participate in moon journal reports and discussion. Login to the Collaboratory and send a message. Model the features on Mars by drawing them on an orange referring to images taken of different profiles of Mars. View the model with a filter viewer. Construct a radian with from a circle and chenille stems. Measure the degrees in a radian with a protractor. Learn how astronomers use angular size as a measure of objects observed with telescopes. Learn about the small angle formula; take notes for future reference. Complete homework on angular size. Keep a moon journal. Make a planet globe at home and bring it to class on the 18th.
October 18, 2003: Participate in moon journal reports and discussion. Review homework. Work in the Collaboratory. Calculate the changing distance to Mars as Earth and Mars move in their orbits. How? By using HOU-IP software tool, slice to find the diameter in pixels; calculate the angular size of the images; look up the actual diameter of Mars in kilometers; and then use the small angle formula to calculate the distance to Mars. Build a detector to sense light. Measure the voltage sensed with a multimeter. Listen to the signal with a speaker-amplifier. View invisible light with an IR video camera. Related NASA SOFIA Mission Active Astronomy. SOFIA is the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy.
October 25, 2003: Participate in moon journal reports and discussion. Review homework. Work in the Collaboratory. Guest Astronomer: Andrew Puckett, University of Chicago.
Scale Model of the Solar System. We will build this scale model when we visit Yerkes Observatory. You will use JPL's Solar System Simulator to determine distances to the planets on Nov. 8, 2003 (the day we go to Yerkes Obs. and build our model). Solar System Activity document for students. Plots of the Solar System for Nov. 8, 2003
Teacher documents. Reference pages: Solar System Model Data.
Angular Size: Calculate the changing distance to Mars as Earth and Mars move in their orbits. How? By using HOU-IP software tool, slice to find the diameter in pixels; calculate the angular size of the images; look up the actual diameter of Mars in kilometers; and then use the small angle formula to calculate the distance to Mars. Do the same for the Moon at apogee and perigee. Try this again with two full moon images. Since the moon has an elliptical orbit, its distance from Earth varies. Measure the angular size of the moon. Look up its diameter. Calculate its distance.
Density of Planets: In the physics lab you will research the diameter and mass of planets, calculate their volume, and determine their density. Then you will create a model of the planet with the correct density. For the model you will use an isocahedron which is formed from a map of the planet. So, you will have to figure out the volume of the isocahedron and the amount of material to fill it with to make an accurate model. Link to isocahedron models of the planets http://planetscapes.com/maps/ico.html.
November 1st, 2003
The Sun and its Systems.
The Sun is the center of our Solar System. It has been in the news this week for a giant coronal mass ejection. Take a look at the SOHO website to learn more. SOHO http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/ or follow Explorations links to this site. To see the sunspots for recent dates, scroll down to the end of this page and click on each gif: http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/synoptic/sunspots/
Distance to Planets. Size and Scale of the Solar System. Teams will measure out the strings with lengths to represent the distance between the Sun and each planet. The scale will match the one we are using to build the model at Yerkes on Nov. 8th. This will take a lot of string, patience and cooperation in teams.
Jupiter and its Moons. The planets orbit the Sun, but what about the moons of a planet? What is the motion of moons? If a planet has many moons, can you predict anything about their speed compared to their distance?
Continuing Angular Size: Use the Angular Size of Planets to Compare Distance and vice versa. Compare the moon at apogee and perigee... full moons and matched sets. Compare Jupiter at two different places in its orbit with these images. Calculate the changing distance to Mars as Earth and Mars move in their orbits.
Teacher documents. Reference pages: Solar System Model Data.
November 8, 2003: Field Trip (to be confirmed) -- University of Chicago Yerkes Observatory. Meet at CSU at 10:00 am. We will return about midnight; plan ahead for a ride home. We can call parents/guardians from the bus when we are close to Chicago State. Bring warm clothes, we will be doing day and evening outdoor activities. If you made a telescope in SASS last year, bring it along. Activities will include a tour, the construction of a Scale Model of the Solar System; and observing with telescopes. We will have lunch and dinner as part of the event. Special Guests: Andrew Puckett, Astronomer, University of Chicago; Greg Buchwald, Motorola Engineer and Amateur Astronomer.
November 15 Chicago State University Open House
November 22 Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy. http://sofia.arc.nasa.gov/ Guest: Dr. Al Harper. http://sofia.arc.nasa.gov/Edu/materials/edu_materials.html Conduct Active Astronomy Experiments making circuits with light detectors, speaker-amplifiers. Graph responsiveness of detector to different colors of the spectrum and beyond the visible spectrum. Make a circuit to transmit a signal from a radio through an Infrared LED. Pick up the signal with the light detector and play the radio music through the speaker-amplifier in the detector circuit.
December 6 Lensing and Gravity
Investigate Lenses, Mirrors, and Telescopes. Do the F-Box experiment with Lenses. http://www.handsonuniverse.org/activities/Explorations/OpticalPowers/4-fbox-s.html
Use the Universal Law of Gravitation (Sir Isaac Newton's) to calculate the Mass of Jupiter based on images taken during one night of Jupiter and its moons. Prepare for Field Trip to Field Museum to see the Einstein Exhibit. Wrap up Moon Journals by modeling the motion of the Earth and Moon. Astronomy Self-Study Texts will be distributed to everyone.
Moon Phases: http://www.handsonuniverse.org/activities/Explorations/tactile-moonphases/
Jupiter Images: January 22, 2002, images #1-9
February 28, 2003
December 13, 2003. Field Trip to the Museum of Natural History to See the Einstein Exhibit.
Field Museum of Natural History: http://www.fmnh.org/
Einstein Exhibit: http://www.fmnh.org/exhibits/einstein_tempexhib.htm
SASS Schedules for 2003-4.
Core Instructional Team: Kevin McCarron, Pamela Greyer, Vanessa Hughes, Jackie Barge, Martha Robinson. Module Developer: Vivian Hoette. Program Manager: Kevin G. Smith. Principal Investigator: Dr. Floyd Banks.
We are just getting familiar with Northwestern's Collaboratory to post our activities, communicate, and allow students to interact with mentors and create e-portfolios. To participate, apply for a login.
Last Year's Program: SASS 2002-2003
Comments, Suggestions, Questions?, Ideas!
Email Vivian Hoette at firstname.lastname@example.org
* NASA CSU
* Sky Projects * Explorations * Hands-On UniverseTM *
* The University of Chicago Yerkes Observatory * * Northwestern's Collaboratory *