Astronomy Class Summary 10/6/14
with Leigh Ann Yoder
The Magnetic Sun
This week we had the privilege of meeting Ranger Bob. Bob is not an actual ranger, but he has quite an interesting background and now refers to himself as an Amateur Astronomer. Actually, he explained to all of us how we could also become Amateur Astronomers!
As the students arrived, Ranger Bob had set up his specialized hydrogen-alpha telescope to safely observe the Sun, and we were easily able to view sun flares. It was exciting! Although our view was different, we were generally able to see prominences in the same 3 and 9 o'clock positions as illustrated below. This photo was taken on Sunday using space instruments.
In the classroom Ranger Bob had prepared an engaging and educational presentation for the class (and the teachers!). After introducing himself and his background he then launched into solar "anatomy and physiology" with impactful NASA images.
He asked the class to share what the Sun provides us, and they quickly came up with heat, light, electricity/power. We jumped into an activity with each student receiving a laminated card. Based on their image (a plant, an animal, power plant, Sun, etc.) they had to assemble themselves in an "energy web" like a food-web. The exercise illustrated the Sun's central role in ALL energy exchange/existence.
Back to more imagery with great photos that illustrated other benefits we receive from the Sun, until we got to the electromagnetic spectrum and the different views of the Sun that scientists observe and measure. He even explained to us how infrared light was discovered. Ranger Bob also included information on meteors, comets, sublimation, the magnetosphere, and more. There was so much to learn this week, that I could never recap it all. I highly encourage you to speak with your students asking them to highlight their favorites.
The last phenomena and images Ranger Bob shared were of aurorae and eclipses. The next total solar eclipse in North America will be in August of 2017. This will most likely be the last one in my lifetime that I would have have the ability to see. Families interested might consider a somewhat extended field trip to South Carolina to view this spectacular event!
Ranger Bob provided links for the students to further explore these topics and more. I encourage them to use their extra time over the next two weeks to do so.
As a final note I would like to say that the class was exemplary. Each student was respectful, engaged and represented Mosaic in a positive way. Both Jayne and I were proud!
Remember we do not have class next Monday, October 13th.
ECA - Chapter 4
Lending Library Book
ACG - Chap 7 & 8
NB - pg. 42, 43, 44, 48, 53
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