In science, the exceptions offer researchers a chance to think differently about a concept they thought they understood. In this Guide, students will learn how astronomers use a concept called the Roche limit and how a ring around a dwarf planet does not follow the Roche limit rules.
Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “The Kuiper Belt’s dwarf planet Quaoar hosts an impossible ring,” which describes a recent astronomical discovery that is completely counter to what scientists expected to see. A version of the article, “This dwarf planet hosts an odd ring,” appears in the March 11, 2023 issue of Science News.
Students will review force diagrams and gravitational force and discuss planetary ring and moon formation using the concept of the Roche limit. Learning Outcomes: Applying gravitational forces and interactions in space to understand ring and moon formation.
Have you heard about the James Webb Space Telescope’s stunning first images of deep space? Use this guide to help students explore the science behind pictures of exploding stars, dancing galaxies, cosmic cliffs and more, and discuss how images can be thought of as data.
Students will answer questions about the Science News article “Here are the James Webb Space Telescope’s stunning first pictures,” which highlights dazzling cosmic wonders seen in farthest and clearest views yet of deep space. A version of the article, “Postcards from a new space telescope,” appears in the August 13, 2022 issue of Science News.
Share a universal celebration in science with images of deep space from the James Webb Space Telescope. Have students collaborate to think about the science shown in the images and the implications of images as data. Learning Outcomes: Observe, interpret and compare data in images; explore universal questions about science.
Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “When James Webb launches, it will have a bigger to-do list than 1980s researchers suspected,” which details the long journey of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to make it into space to explore other galaxies. A version of the story, “The origami satellite,” appears in the October 9, 2021 & October 23, 2021 issue of Science News.
Students will research exoplanets and their properties and detection methods. Then students will use fictitious data to create a light curve of a transiting exoplanet and to calculate the exoplanet’s motion through its solar system.
In this guide, students will examine a photograph of a distant solar system, learn how astronomers captured the image and learn about the system’s inhabitants. Students will then discuss units of measure and create a scaled drawing of the distant solar system.
Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “This is the first picture of a sunlike star with multiple exoplanets,” which describes a young solar system 300 light-years from our own. A version of the story, “A weird solar system cousin makes its photographic debut,” can be found in the August 29, 2020 issue of Science News.