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Space Weather Action Center

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Short Description: Imagine being able to monitor the progress of an entire solar storm from the time it erupts from our Sun until it sweeps past our small planet effecting enormous changes in our magnetic field. Now imagine being able to do all of this from your Space Weather Action Center (S.W.A.C.)! By following the basic steps in the Instructional Guide your class will soon be on its way to accessing, analyzing and recording NASA satellite and observatory data.

Topic: Magnetospheres: Planetary Shields, The Sun, Transits and Eclipses

Grade Level: 5-8, 9-12

Body: Our Solar System, Sun, Earth

Mission: Earth Science Missions (Earth), Heliophysics Missions (Sun)

Science Education Standards:

Benchmarks

By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that

  • Without touching them, a magnet pulls on all things made of iron and either pushes or pulls on other magnets. 4G/E2
  • Without touching them, an object that has been electrically charged pulls on all other uncharged objects and may either push or pull other charged objects. 4G/E3*

By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that

  • Electric currents and magnets can exert a force on each other. 4G/M3
  • A charged object can be charged in one of two ways, which we call either positively charged or negatively charged. Two objects that are charged in the same manner exert a force of repulsion on each other, while oppositely charged objects exert a force of attraction on each other. 4G/M5** (BSL)

By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that

  • At the atomic level, electric forces between electrons and protons in atoms hold molecules together and thus are involved in all chemical reactions. 4G/H2b*
  • In many conducting materials, such as metals, some of the electrons are not firmly held by the nuclei of the atoms that make up the material. In these materials, applied electric forces can cause the electrons to move through the material, producing an electric current. In insulating materials, such as glass, the electrons are held more firmly, making it nearly impossible to produce an electric current in those materials. 4G/H4ab*
  • Magnetic forces are very closely related to electric forces and are thought of as different aspects of a single electromagnetic force. Moving electrically charged objects produces magnetic forces and moving magnets produces electric forces. 4G/H5ab*
  • Electric currents in the earth's interior give the earth an extensive magnetic field, which we detect from the orientation of compass needles. 4G/H7** (SFAA)

National Science Education Standards

Physical Science - Content Standard B

Grades 9-12
MOTIONS AND FORCES

  • The electric force is a universal force that exists between any two charged objects. Opposite charges attract while like charges repel. The strength of the force is proportional to the charges, and, as with gravitation, inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.
  • Between any two charged particles, electric force is vastly greater than the gravitational force. Most observable forces such as those exerted by a coiled spring or friction may be traced to electric forces acting between atoms and molecules.
  • Electricity and magnetism are two aspects of a single electromagnetic force. Moving electric charges produce magnetic forces, and moving magnets produce electric forces. These effects help students to understand electric motors and generators.

Source: NASA Sun-Earth Day


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Last Updated: 17 Mar 2014