Astronomy Class Summary 10/27/14
with Leigh Ann Yoder
A Walk with Galileo
Ranger Bob WOWED us once again! His classes are gripping, entertaining, and highly educational. Please be certain to ask your students what they learned this week. Below I will share some of the highlights.
He began class by sharing a photo of today's sun. We were able to see a huge sunspot that is perhaps 8-10 times as wide as the Earth! For those interested he recommended the following website: www.spaceweather.com (Check it out!)
Next we transported ourselves back to the year 1610 to reveal startling findings regarding the four largest natural satellites of Jupiter (Galilean Moons) just like Galileo did. He reminded the students that they were now acting like true scientists by making predictions, collecting non-biased data, drawing conclusions, and then asking more questions. He emphasized that in science one hypothesis leads to another, and another, and another, ad infinitum. Science is a process where questions lead to more questions and truths unfold slowly.
Our first observation regarding the objects surrounding Jupiter were that they were lined up. This attribute alone would lead one to believe that they were not stars. We then tracked the four objects over a nine night period. Galileo tracked them for years, but in our short sample we were able to reveal that these four objects revolved around Jupiter--concluding they were moons. We were also able to accurately determine their rate of revolution based on our observations.
Of course Ranger Bob awed us with his fabulous photos of the Galilean moons. He recommended we look at the work of astrophotographer Christopher Go. You can see some of his work here. He also reminded us that in the year 2016 the Juno Mission will be exploring Jupiter.
As usual, Ranger Bob offered us a pleuthura of information. Some facts that stood out to me were:
Sharing more of his time, he set up his specialized telescope during lunch, so we could again view the sun today. We were easily able to see the huge sunspot he shared at the beginning of class!
The students truly enjoy their time with Ranger Bob and I know they are all excited that he will be with us again next week as we learn about the Moon. Please remember to have students arrive no later than 9:55 next week.
Below I have also included information regarding Solar Week. There are some great activities that the students can participate in.
ECA Chapter 6
Lending Library Book
Moon Log (Continue)
Johannas Kepler Chapter 1
NB - pg. 64, 65, 66, 70, 73
Solar Week Activities (See Below)
Celebrate Solar Week -- Fall 2014
Interact live with solar scientists during Solar Week, Oct. 27-31, 2014. Solar Week provides a weeklong series of Web-based educational classroom activities and games with a focus on the Sun-Earth connection. Students in grades 5-9 can learn about solar careers, sunspots, solar energy and solar storms through a series of activities, games and lessons.
Solar Week is ideal for students studying the solar system, the stars or astronomy in general. Many lessons are suitable for fun computer lab activities as well. After doing the activities, students can interact on the bulletin board with leading scientists at the forefront of Sun-Earth research. Solar Week is great for learning about our nearest star, the Sun.
To learn more and to register to participate, visit http://www.solarweek.org/.
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