The materials for activities in these courses are for teachers to read and use to teach students in classrooms. 

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Written by: Frances Dellutri, Jr. High / Intermediate Level EIS Education Team and Lynne Zielinski, Manager of EIS Education
Topic: Art, Astronomy
Title of Lesson: Orbital Debris and Albedo - Middle School
Grade (Age) Level: Grades 5-8 (Ages 10-13)

Standards:  CCCS:   6.8.3, 6.8.7: http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RST/6-8/

NGSS:  MS-ESS1-3; MS-ESS3-2,3; MS-ETS1-1,4: 

http://www.nextgenscience.org/search-standards


When we look at the moon from Earth or the Earth from space, we are seeing reflected light, albedo. Earth is reflecting the sun's light energy and the moon is reflecting light energy from the sun and second hand sun reflection from Earth. Scientists have learned to use albedo in determining the size and shape of space objects that cannot be captured by a camera. The Air Force Phillips Laboratory in Maui, Hawaii uses albedo as one source to conduct measurements to characterize the orbital debris LEO environment. The U.S. Space Surveillance network primarily tracks deep space objects (those with orbital periods greater than 225 minutes) using optical sensors that detect reflected sunlight.  The observed brightness of a space object depends on many factors besides its size, such as its orientation, its surface composition and the viewing geometry.

 

This experiment gives a friendly hands-on demonstration of determining and analyzing albedo and takes into account a space object in a mock revolving orientation.


Written by: Frances Dellutri, Jr. High / Intermediate Level EIS Education Team, October 2015
Topic: Art, Astronomy
Title of Lesson: Fly Me to the Moons - Middle School
Grade (Age) Level: Grades 5-8 (Ages 10-13)

Key Topics Associated With Standards:
Scale Properties, Astronomy, Solar System Models,  Proportion, Quantity, Interpreting Data, Gravity, Patterns, Math

US Standards:  NGSS:
MS-ESS1-3 http://www.nextgenscience.org/dci-arrangement/ms-ess1-earths-place-universe

Introduce students to scale models with this lesson plan. Students engage in different model perspectives and finally focus on making a model of one of our solar system's moons with features that are to scale.