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Solar System Exploration
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Space Math: LRO Makes a Temperature Map of the Lunar South Pole
Topic: Ice in the Solar System, Space Math
Grade Level: 5-8
Body: Earth's Moon
Mission: Lunar Recon Orbiter (Earth's Moon)

Short Description: Students use the published LRO temperature map to study the scale of the south polar region, the sizes of its craters and estimate the volume of water-ice that may be present in Shackleton Crater.

SpaceMath: Planet Kepler-10b: A Matter of Gravity
Topic: Gravity: It's What Keeps Us Together, Space Math
Grade Level: 9-12
Body: Beyond Our Solar System

Short Description: Students use the measured properties of the Earth-like planet Kepler 10b such as its size and density, and by solving Newton's formula for gravity, they determine the weight of a 100 kilogram human standing on the planet's surface.

SpaceMath: The Transit of Mercury
Topic: Space Math, The Sun, Transits and Eclipses
Grade Level: 9-12
Body: Sun, Mercury, Earth
Mission: Heliophysics (Sun)

Short Description: As seen from Earth, the planet Mercury occasionally passes across the face of the sun; an event that astronomers call a transit. From images taken by the Hinode satellite, students will create a model of the solar disk to the same scale as the image, and calculate the distance to the sun.

The Earth-like Planet Gliese 518g
Topic: Discovering New Worlds, Space Math
Grade Level: K-4
Body: Beyond Our Solar System
Mission: Astrophysics (Beyond Our Solar System), Hubble (Beyond Our Solar System), Webb Space Telescope (Our Solar System)

Short Description: Students use data for the Gliese 581 planetary system to draw a scaled model of the locations and sizes of the discovered planets. They also identify the location and span of the Habitable Zone for this planetary system.

Volcanos are a Blast: Working with Simple Equations
Topic: Space Math, Volcanism in the Solar System
Grade Level: 9-12
Body: Earth, Earth's Moon
Mission: Cassini (Saturn), Earth Science (Earth), Lunar Recon Orbiter (Earth's Moon)

Short Description: Students examine the famous Krakatoa explosion, asteroid impacts on the moon and geysers on Enceladus (a moon of Saturn) using three equations that describe the height of the plume and initial velocity to answer questions about the speed of the debris and terminal height.

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Last Updated: 21 Oct 2011