Theme: Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence




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T
heme: Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence




Title: “Stuff In Space”
Overview:

Space is filled with “stuff.” Some of this stuff is easy to see, some is detectable with common instruments, and some is only able to be detected by complex machines designed for the task. “Stuff” can include the tangible matter such as stars and comets, and intangible, theoretical matter that has not been proven to exist. It can include exotic things like Black Holes and White Dwarfs. However, space is also filled with energy. Space was once thought of as empty space – scientists don’t think that anymore.


Grade Level: 5-8
Subject Matter: Space Science
Duration: 3-5, 50-minute periods
National Standards Addressed:

Science as Inquiry





  • Fundamental abilities in inquiry


Earth and Space Science


  • Earth in the solar system


Objectives:

By the end of the lesson, the students will be able to:




  • Identify, discuss, and describe the different aspects of massive objects in space.

  • Identify, discuss, and describe the different aspects of energy in space.

Materials:



  • Computers

  • Internet access

  • Word processing program

  • CD copies of Pulse of the Planet programs

  • Poster board (optional)


Procedure:

  1. Hook – “Stuff in Space” could be matter or energy.

    1. Engage the students by showing them some of the different things they will research in this lesson.

    2. Make a slide presentation of the following:

      1. Black Hole (artist’s rendition) http://lisa.nasa.gov/gallery/images/stellar-mass-black-hole.jpg

      2. White dwarf (small bright dot in the center of the photograph): http://www.williamsclass.com/EighthScienceWork/ImagesEighth/WhiteDwarf.jpg

      3. Dark Matter (computer simulation): http://www.mpa-garching.mpg.de/HIGHLIGHT/2002/fig0206_1.jpg

      4. Stars – Red Giant: http://www.lancs.ac.uk/ug/hilditch/low-mass.html main sequence: http://btc.montana.edu/ceres/html/LifeCycle/images/current_fdha_stamp.gif

      5. Nebula – crab nebula: http://www.caffeinenebula.com/nebula04%20(Main)-edit.JPG

      6. Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (computer simulation of temperature differences caused by CBR): http://faculty.washington.edu/jcramer/ILC_b_2.jpg

      7. Comet: http://www.astro.ex.ac.uk/people/mbate/comet2.jpg

      8. Meteor Shower: http://www.nightskynation.com/pics/meteor-showers-alpha-monocerotids.jpg

  2. “Stuff in Space” pamphlet

    1. Introduce the project.

      1. Students will work in groups of two or three.

      2. Each group will research some aspect of matter or energy found in space and make a two to three minute persuasive oral presentation to the class on how their “stuff” is the neatest. Each student will receive a pamphlet on the topic from each presenter.

      3. After all the oral presentations are made, the students will vote on the best “Stuff in Space.”

**Note – a poster or some other visual aid can accompany the oral presentations. Add the necessary details for this to be accomplished.

      1. A “Stuff in Space” Quiz will be given based on the details of the pamphlets. The students should study the contents of each pamphlet.

    1. Hand out the “Stuff in Space” pamphlet details.

      1. Go over the details of the project as outlined on the handout: “Stuff in Space” Pamphlet Details.

      2. Note: as there are not enough items to research as you have students, some students will be researching the same topic. Limit duplicate research to two or three.

      3. You may wish to provide an opportunity for students to pick a topic of interest (not listed below) as long as it fits with concepts of matter and/or energy found in space.

  1. Stuff in Space research handouts

    1. Allow the students to select the “stuff” they wish to research. All types of “stuff” must be handed out.

    2. When they have chosen, give each group the research handout for each topic.

      1. Websites can be looked up in class.

      2. Pulse of the Planet programs can be given to the students on CD to listen to at home.

      3. The topic “The Lifecycle of Stars” is big.

        1. You might want to consider splitting it up into three separate groups/pamphlets.

        2. Tell the groups involved with this topic that the pamphlets will be in a three-part series.

    3. Two to three periods should be given for research as this will provide opportunity for direction and questions.

    4. Include one day for oral persuasive presentations and voting.

  2. Neatest “Stuff in Space” voting

    1. The students will vote as soon as all the oral presentations are done.

    2. The prize can be determined by you.

  3. Assessment on “stuff”

    1. Create a quiz that is based on the student-generated content in the pamphlets.

    2. Administer the quiz a day or two after the presentations to provide study time.



Handouts:
Stuff in Space” Pamphlet Details
Steps:

  1. Get into groups of two to three students.

  2. Pick “stuff” to research. The teacher has several topics to pick from.

  3. Listen to the teacher describe the project.

  4. Research your “stuff” and answer the questions provided. The questions and your answers to the questions will provide a basis for what you need to include in your pamphlet.

  5. a) Write and rehearse a two to three minute oral persuasive speech to class on why your “stuff” is the neatest. You should include facts and neat details on your “stuff.”

b) Create a pamphlet of your own design that will get given to each member of your class.

c) Your pamphlet:



  • Should be designed by your group

  • Should have titles, facts, explanations etc.

  • Will be a regular piece of printer paper folded in half (short-ways).

  • Should be in color and should grab the reader’s attention.

  • The front should be a cover page.

  • The middle and back of the pamphlet will include content, pictures, and illustrations.

  1. Vote on the neatest “stuff.”

  2. Quiz on the “stuff.”



Dark Matter
The following questions will guide your research on this topic. There is a reference section after the questions. You will find all the answers to the questions by using these references. Log on to the internet if it’s a website. If it is a Pulse of the Planet program, get the CD from your teacher. Answer the question in complete sentences on a separate sheet of paper.
Remember, this is the information you will use to make your pamphlet.


  1. Do scientists really know what dark matter is?

  2. Can you see dark matter? Why or why not?

  3. What is a W.I.M.P.? What does W.I.M.P.’s stand for?

  4. How much Dark Matter is in the universe?

  5. Have scientists been able to detect Dark Matter?

  6. What does gravity do to matter?

  7. When scientists analyze distant galaxies they can calculate how much matter is there, but their calculations tell them that there should be much, much more matter. Where is this extra matter? What form is it in?

  8. Are dark matter particles bigger or smaller than atoms?

  9. Is space really empty?

Dark Matter Resources.



  • Pulse of the Planet Program #3018: “Missing Matter: Wimps”

  • http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/en/kids/phonedrmarc/2003_october.shtml

  • http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/scripts/printthis.asp?clip=%2Farticles%2F20040211%2Fclip_Feature1.asp

  • http://www.pbs.org/wnet/hawking/strange/html/dark.html



The Lifecycle of Stars
The following questions will guide your research on this topic. There is a reference section after the questions. You will find all the answers to the questions by using these references. Log on to the internet if it’s a website. If it is a Pulse of the Planet program, get the CD from your teacher. Answer the question in complete sentences on a separate sheet of paper.
Remember, this is the information you will use to make your pamphlet.
Birth of a Star


  1. How are stars born?

  2. What is a nebula?

  3. What is a protostar and why is it shrinking?

  4. What causes lots of heat to be generated in a protostar?

Main-sequence stars




  1. When will a protostar become a main sequence star?

  2. How long does it take for a protostar to become a main-sequence star?

  3. What is nuclear fusion?

  4. What is the fuel source for nuclear fusion on this kind of star?

  5. What is the name of the element that is created from fusing two hydrogen nuclei?

  6. How does nuclear fusion give energy to the star?

  7. How long will our star live?

  8. What is the next step in the life cycle?

Red-Giant




  1. Does the nucleus of a red giant shrink or grow?

  2. Why does the color change and total size of the red giant change?

  3. If main sequence stars mainly create Helium from the fusion of hydrogen, then the other elements must come from Red Giants. Name some elements produced by nuclear fusion in Red Giants.

  4. How big can a Red Giant become?

White Dwarfs




  1. What happens to the temperature of the outer gas layers on White Dwarfs?

  2. What eventually happens to the outer layers of gas on a cooling White Dwarf?

  3. How big are White Dwarf’s?

  4. Describe the mass that White Dwarfs have (how massive are they?).

  5. What are White Dwarf’s made of?

  6. Why are they called planetary nebula’s?

  7. What percentage of stars that are shining now will end their starry lives as White Dwarf’s?

  8. Can White Dwarf’s be seen from the Earth?

Stars Resources:



  • Pulse of the Planet program #3016: “Missing Matter: Nature of Dark Objects”

  • Pulse of the Planet program #3017: “Missing Matter: White Dwarfs”

  • http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Launchpad/1364/Stars.html#Bright



Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMB)
The following questions will guide your research on this topic. There is a reference section after the questions. You will find all the answers to the questions by using these references. Log on to the internet if it’s a website. If it is a Pulse of the Planet program, get the CD from your teacher. Answer the question in complete sentences on a separate sheet of paper.
Remember, this is the information you will use to make your pamphlet.


  1. What is cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB)?

  2. What frequency range does CMB have?

  3. How cold is 2.726 Kelvin in Degrees Celsius? (To convert to Celsius from Kelvin, subtract 2.726 – 273.)

  4. How does the Big Bang Theory and CMB relate?

  5. Could protons, neutrons, and electrons combine to form atoms at the “beginning of the universe” (just after the Big Bang)

  6. How long did it take, in years, and at what temperature did atoms start to form?

  7. Where can we find CMB?

  8. How hot was the universe

  9. Explain how “snow” on your TV and “static” you hear on the radio is related to CMB?

Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation Resources



  • http://encyclopedia.kids.net.au/page/co/Cosmic_microwave_background_radiation

  • http://www.astro.ubc.ca/people/scott/faq_basic.html

  • Pulse of the Planet program #3795: “Origins of the Universe: Cosmic Background Radiation”



Black Holes
The following questions will guide your research on this topic. There is a reference section after the questions. You will find all the answers to the questions by using these references. Log on to the internet if it’s a website. If it is a Pulse of the Planet program, get the CD from your teacher. Answer the question in complete sentences on a separate sheet of paper.
Remember, this is the information you will use to make your pamphlet.


  1. What is a Black Hole?

  2. Where do black holes come from?

  3. Describe the following words: event horizon, singularity.

  4. How strong is a black hole’s gravitational pull? Explain how even light cannot escape.

  5. If you were pulled into a black hole, could you survive? Explain.

  6. If black holes are not visible, what evidence do we have that they exist? (Hint: Curvature of space)

Black Holes resources:



  • Pulse of the Planet program #1508: “BLACK HOLES: Basics”

  • Pulse of the Planet program #1509: “BLACK HOLES: Detecting”

  • Pulse of the Planet program #1510: “BLACK HOLES: Falling in”

  • http://www.kidsastronomy.com/black_hole.htm

  • http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/en/kids/blackhole/# (game)



Space’s Vacuum
The following questions will guide your research on this topic. There is a reference section after the questions. You will find all the answers to the questions by using these references. Log on to the Internet if it’s a website. If it is a Pulse of the Planet program, get the CD from your teacher. Answer the question in complete sentences on a separate sheet of paper.
Remember, this is the information you will use to make your pamphlet.


  1. What are vacuums?

  2. How much of space is a vacuum?

  3. Can light travel through a vacuum? List all the types of waves and rays that can travel in a vacuum?

  4. Can sound travel in a vacuum? Why or why not?

  5. Explain what might happen to you if you stepped outside of your spaceship in space’s vacuum? Why would this happen?

  6. Explain why a feather falls to Earth slower than a hammer.

  7. Explain why a feather and a hammer fall at the same rate in a vacuum (like on the moon).

Space’s Vacuum resources:



  • http://www.cartage.org.lb/en/kids/science/Astronomy/Universe/Vacuum.htm

  • http://video.aol.com/video/clip-07-what-does-the-vacuum-of-space-look-like/1637501



Meteors
The following questions will guide your research on this topic. There is a reference section after the questions. You will find all the answers to the questions by using these references. Log on to the Internet if it’s a website. If it is a Pulse of the Planet program, get the CD from your teacher. Answer the question in complete sentences on a separate sheet of paper.
Remember, this is the information you will use to make your pamphlet.


  1. What is a meteor?

  2. What is another name for a meteor?

  3. How are meteor showers named?

  4. Is a meteor and a meteorite the same thing? Explain.

  5. So, what is a meteoroid?

  6. How many meteors occur in the Earth’s atmosphere each day?

  7. Name and describe the three types of meteorites (refer to the NASA website).

Meteor resources



  • http://www.nineplanets.org/meteorites.html

  • http://www.nasa.gov/worldbook/meteor_worldbook.html



Asteroids
The following questions will guide your research on this topic. There is a reference section after the questions. You will find all the answers to the questions by using these references. Log on to the internet if it’s a website. If it is a Pulse of the Planet program, get the CD from your teacher. Answer the question in complete sentences on a separate sheet of paper.
Remember, this is the information you will use to make your pamphlet.


  1. Describe an asteroid’s: size, shape, composition.

  2. Where are the asteroids found in our solar system?

  3. How big is an asteroid as compared to the moon?

  4. What is the name and size of the largest asteroid?

  5. Asteroids are what are normally thought of when we hear about an impact that could kill everything on the planet. What are the chances of an asteroid hitting Earth?

  6. What is the difference between a meteoroid and an asteroid?

  7. What is the difference between a comet and an asteroid?

Asteroid resources:



  • http://www.kidscosmos.org/kid-stuff/asteroid-facts.html#sub2

  • http://www.nineplanets.org/asteroids.html

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asteroid

  • http://www.play.vg/games/4-Asteroids.html# (game)



Comets
The following questions will guide your research on this topic. There is a reference section after the questions. You will find all the answers to the questions by using these references. Log on to the internet if it’s a website. If it is a Pulse of the Planet program, get the CD from your teacher. Answer the question in complete sentences on a separate sheet of paper.
Remember, this is the information you will use to make your pamphlet.


  1. What exactly is a comet?

  2. What is a nickname for a comet?

  3. What does it mean when comets are described as periodic?

  4. Draw, label, and describe the distinct parts of a comet.

  5. What is the difference between a comet and an asteroid?

  6. When is the only time a comet can be seen?

  7. Once a comet loses all its ice, what will it likely be called?

Comet resources



  • http://www.kidscosmos.org/kid-stuff/asteroid-facts.html#sub2

  • http://www.nineplanets.org/comets.html

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comet



Additional Resources
Web Sites
Stephen Hawking’s Universe – PBS Online

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/hawking/html/home.html
Cosmicopia: Stars – NASA

http://helios.gsfc.nasa.gov/qa_star.html
The Life Cycle of Stars (PDF posters, PowerPoint presentation, activities and tutorial) - NASA

http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/teachers/lifecycles/stars.html
Dark Matter (see left column for more topics) – NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l1/dark_matter.html
The Nature of Dark Matter: Introduction (See left column for more topics) - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/mysteries_l1/dark_matter.html
Dark Energy and Dark Matter FAQ’s – NASA
http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_astro/dark_matter.html
Dark Matter – BBC Online

http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/space/deepspace/darkmatter/index.shtml
White Dwarf Stars (see left column for more topics) – NASA

http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l2/dwarfs.html
White Dwarfs and Planetary Nebulas – Chandra X-Ray Observatory / Harvard University

http://chandra.harvard.edu/xray_sources/white_dwarfs.html
WIMPS – University of Oregon

http://zebu.uoregon.edu/~soper/Mass/WIMPS.html
Cosmology, Deep Fields, X-Ray Background - Chandra X-Ray Observatory / Harvard University

http://chandra.harvard.edu/xray_sources/background.html
The Cosmic Background Radiation – University of Tennessee

http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr162/lect/cosmology/cbr.html
Discovery of the Cosmic Microwave Background – NASA

http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/universe/bb_tests_cmb.html
CMB FAQ’s – University of British Columbia

http://www.astro.ubc.ca/people/scott/faq_basic.html

Video
“Dark Matter” (4:55) – Space.com

http://www.space.com/common/media/video.php?videoRef=150407Dark_matter
“Dark Matter” (16:09 – in depth lecture with visual presentation) – Ted.com / Patricia Burchat

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/patricia_burchat_leads_a_search_for_dark_energy.html

Audio
“Listen to the Echo of the Big Bang” (scroll down) – Astroscience Berlin

http://www.astroscience-berlin.org/index.php/become


Interactive Graphics

The Universcale (interactive universe ruler – click on ruler at the bottom) - Nikon



http://www.nikon.com/about/feelnikon/universcale/index_f.htm


Articles

“Understanding Dark Matter and Light Energy” (01/05/01) – Space.com



http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/astronomy/dark_matter_sidebar_010105.html

Other
Life Cycle of Stars (information and activity book for grades 9-12) – NASA

http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/teachers/lifecycles/LC_title.html
White Dwarf Quiz – NASA
http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/quiz_l1/dwarfs_quiz.html

Photos and Graphics
Name: Triangulum Nebula

URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebula

Caption: The Triangulum Emission Nebula NGC 604.

Credit: NASA


Name: Formation of a Star Chart

URL: http://ssc.spitzer.caltech.edu/documents/compendium/galsci/greene.jpg

Caption: The evolution of a star.

Credit: NASA / Spitzer Space Telescope


Name: Star Formation Poster

URL: http://heritage.stsci.edu/2007/04/supplemental.html

Caption: 
The young stellar cluster NGC 602 is located in the wing of the SMC, Z~0.004, a low density region far from the main body of the galaxy with low gas and stellar content

Credit: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team


Name: Dark Matter Pie

URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:DarkMatterPie.jpg

Caption: Estimated distribution of dark matter and dark energy in the universe, with "normal" matter making up only 4% of the mass of the universe.

Credit: NASA


Name: Star Life Cycle

URL: http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/teachers/lifecycles/sc_life_cycles.gif

Caption: The life cycle of stars.

Credit: NASA


Name: Dark Matter

URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_matter

Caption: Composite image of the Bullet cluster shows distribution of ordinary matter, inferred from X-ray emissions, in red and total mass, inferred from gravitational lensing, in blue.

Credit: NASA


Name: Sirius A and B

URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Sirius_A_and_B_Hubble_photo.jpg

Caption: Image of Sirius A and Sirius B taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Sirius B, which is a white dwarf, can be seen as a faint dot to the lower left of the much brighter Sirius A.

Credit: NASA / ESA


Cosmology, Deep Fields, X-Ray Background (image gallery) - Chandra X-Ray Observatory / Harvard University

http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/category/background.html
White Dwarfs and Planetary Nebulas (image gallery) - Chandra X-Ray Observatory / Harvard University http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/category/whitedwarf_pne.html

Special thanks to the following scientists for their help with this project:
Pulse of the Planet Programs: #1508 “Black Holes: Basics,” 1509 “Black Holes: Detecting,” 1510 “Black Holes: Falling In”

Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Director

Hayden Planetarium

American Museum of Natural History
Pulse of the Planet Programs: #3016 “Missing Matter: Nature of Dark Objects,” #3017 ”Missing Matter: White Dwarfs” #3018 “Missing Matter: Wimps”

Ben R. Oppenheimer

Assistant Curator

Dept. of Astrophysics

Museum of Natural History
Pulse of the Planet Programs: #3795 ”Origins of the Universe: Cosmic Background Radiation”

John E. Carlstrom

Professor

Dept. of Astronomy and Astrophysics

University of Chicago
Header Image

Name: Sirius A and B



Credit: NASA / ESA



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