Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Featured: 12-3-2013 Other Worlds/Other Earths

Other Worlds 1

Other Worlds/Other Earths provides you and your students the opportunity to participate in the search for other worlds and other life using a telescope that you control online.

Other Worlds
You will be able to take your own images of distant solar systems, interpret the data you gather, and become one of the few humans to detect a planet orbiting a star beyond our Sun. 
The goal of the Other Worlds/Other Earths project is to give your school and students first-hand experience with the nature of scientific inquiry. They will:
  • Learn how to gather, assess and interpret their own data.
  • Use interactive models to help make predictions and interpret findings.
  • Communicate their results to a community of student observers and professional scientists.
Many of the basic concepts of earth science, astronomy, and physics that your students are already learning and will use throughout science can be applied in this project. This will allow you to assess your students' understanding of core concepts as they work through the project.
Other Worlds/Other Earths takes about two to three weeks to complete. In the first part students will be involved in the detection of another world, using the MicroObservatory online telescopes.  From their observations, they can deduce the size of the planet, its distance from Earth, and even whether the planet's orbit is tilted.
Other Worlds 2
Students can learn how to use scientific models to tell much more about what these other worlds are like in the second part of the project. They'll use interactive models to learn how to decode light coming from exoplanets and what the light can tell us about a planet's surface.
Finally, students will have to draw on their imagination as well as the evidence they have considered to create their own 3-D model of their newly discovered planet. 
Other Worlds/Other Earths is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.


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