Astronomers just spotted a big explosion. Scientists studied this glowing afterburn of pulverized planets — comparing infrared and visible light — to peel back layers of space and time. They also answered questions about how probability can be used to draw conclusions and assess scientific claims.
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 ever wondered how the people who get to fly in space are chosen? The path to becoming an astronaut has changed a lot over the years. In this activity, students will learn about the space travelers of the past and present — and consider a future where the diversity of astronauts better reflects the diversity of all of humankind. Students will use their creative writing skills to imagine this future.
Students will answer questions about a NASA mission to smash a spacecraft into an asteroid after reading a Science News article and watching a Science News TikTok video about the mission. A version of the article, “NASA’s DART mission is a success,” appears in the November 5, 2022 issue of Science News.
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 use the clues provided and the Science News Century of Science website to explore how science advances. After making connections across scientific subtopics, student groups will research and present highlights of discoveries from an assigned decade.