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The Windiest Planet
Dark, cold and whipped by supersonic winds, Neptune is the last of the hydrogen and helium gas giants in our solar system. More than 30 times as far from the sun as Earth, the planet takes almost 165 Earth years to orbit our sun. In 2011 Neptune completed its first orbit since its discovery in 1846.

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Just the Facts
Just the Facts
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Dig Deeper
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Create Your Report
Even More Stuff...
Even More Stuff...
Even More Stuff...
  Explore Neptune in 3D Videos Activities

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Best of the Solar System
Topic: Investigating Our Planetary Family Tree
Grade Level: 5-8
Body: Our Solar System, Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Asteroids, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Dwarf Planets, Comets, Kuiper Belt & Oort Cloud, Earth's Moon, Europa, Pluto
Mission: Cassini (Saturn), Dawn (Dwarf Planets), Galileo (Jupiter), Voyager 1 (Our Solar System), Voyager 2 (Our Solar System)

Short Description: This activity introduces students to planetary research. Using some of the most famous and interesting images of the solar system, students learn to focus on details by studying uncaptioned images. Next students increase their knowledge of the planets and their features by comparing their observations to those of real researchers. Students organize their findings to infer a key difference between inner and outer planets.


Candy Gas Giants
Topic: Windy Worlds: Gas Giants, Atmospheres and Weather
Grade Level: K-4
Body: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Mission: Cassini (Saturn), Galileo (Jupiter), Juno (Jupiter), Pioneer 10 (Jupiter), Pioneer 11 (Saturn), Voyager 1 (Our Solar System), Voyager 2 (Our Solar System)

Short Description: Students make two edible or non-edible models of the Earth and one of their favorite gas giants. They explore the differences in size and composition of layers through choices of materials.


Cosmic Chemistry: Planetary Diversity
Topic: Evolving Worlds: Planets, Like People, Grow and Change Over Time, Formation of the Solar System
Grade Level: 9-12
Body: Our Solar System, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Asteroids, Meteors & Meteorites, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Dwarf Planets
Mission: Dawn (Dwarf Planets), InSight (Mars)

Short Description: The goal of this module is to acquaint students with the planets of the solar system and some current models for their origin and evolution. During the explorations of the Cosmic Chemistry: Planetary Diversity module, students will make decisions concerning possible patterns or groupings of the physical and chemical compositions of internal structures and atmospheres of planets. Through classroom activities, they will be encouraged to examine some contemporary models proposed to explain the origin and evolution of the planets. In the final assessment activity students will use these experiences to predict the properties of the the missing planet that could have formed in the asteroid belt.


Dunking the Planets
Topic: Investigating Our Planetary Family Tree
Grade Level: K-4
Body: Our Solar System, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Asteroids, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Dwarf Planets
Mission: Voyager 1 (Our Solar System), Voyager 2 (Our Solar System)

Short Description: In this 30-minute demonstration, children ages 9-13 compare the relative sizes and masses of scale models of the planets as represented by fruits and other foods. The children dunk the "planets" in water to highlight the fact that even a large, massive planet -- such as Saturn -- can have low density. They discuss how a planet's density is related to whether it is mainly made up of rock or gas.


Live from the Hubble Space Telescope
Topic: Windy Worlds: Gas Giants, Atmospheres and Weather
Grade Level: 5-8
Body: Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Mission: Cassini (Saturn), Hubble (Beyond Our Solar System), Juno (Jupiter), Voyager 1 (Our Solar System), Voyager 2 (Our Solar System)

Short Description: In this series of activities, students compare the weather, plot the movement of weather systems, and observe a fundamental motion of air responsible for certain large cloud formations on Earth and other planets, and report these observations.


Magnetic Math
Topic: Magnetospheres: Planetary Shields
Grade Level: 9-12
Body: Our Solar System, Sun, Mercury, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Mission: Cassini (Saturn), Juno (Jupiter), MESSENGER (Mercury)

Short Description: This book contains hands-on exercises and math problems which allow students to explore magnetism and magnetic fields. The activities include drawing and geometric construction, and introduce students in the use of simple algebra to quantitatively examine magnetic forces, energy, and magnetic field lines and their mathematical structure.


Magnetic Sensor Measurements with a Graphing Calculator
Topic: Magnetospheres: Planetary Shields
Grade Level: 9-12
Body: Our Solar System, Sun, Mercury, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Mission: Cassini (Saturn), Earth Science (Earth), InSight (Mars), Juno (Jupiter)

Short Description: This activity uses magnetic field sensors with the "Texas Instrument" Graphing Calculator and CBL to measure and plot magnetic fields. This allows the student to prove that magnetic fields decrease as the negative cube of the distance.


Magnetism and Electromagnetism
Topic: Magnetospheres: Planetary Shields
Body: Our Solar System, Sun, Mercury, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Mission: Cassini (Saturn), Earth Science (Earth), Juno (Jupiter), MESSENGER (Mercury)

Short Description: In this review of basic magnetism, students map field lines around bar magnets to visualize the magnetic dipole field, and create their own electromagnet using copper wire, battery and a pencil to learn that electric currents create magnetic fields.


Terrabagga Activity Using a Magnetometer
Topic: Magnetospheres: Planetary Shields
Grade Level: 5-8
Body: Mercury, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Mission: Dawn (Dwarf Planets), Earth Science (Earth), InSight (Mars), MAVEN (Mars)

Short Description: This activity models real-world uses of a magnetometer instrument. Students will see how magnetic fields of the planets and moons are found.


The Magnetometer
Topic: Magnetospheres: Planetary Shields
Grade Level: K-4
Body: Mercury, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Mission: Earth Science (Earth)

Short Description: Students build an instrument capable of detecting a magnetic field and magnetic polarity.

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Previous
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Best of the Solar System
Topic: Investigating Our Planetary Family Tree
Grade Level: 5-8
Body: Our Solar System, Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Asteroids, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Dwarf Planets, Comets, Kuiper Belt & Oort Cloud, Earth's Moon, Europa, Pluto
Mission: Cassini (Saturn), Dawn (Dwarf Planets), Galileo (Jupiter), Voyager 1 (Our Solar System), Voyager 2 (Our Solar System)

Short Description: This activity introduces students to planetary research. Using some of the most famous and interesting images of the solar system, students learn to focus on details by studying uncaptioned images. Next students increase their knowledge of the planets and their features by comparing their observations to those of real researchers. Students organize their findings to infer a key difference between inner and outer planets.


Candy Gas Giants
Topic: Windy Worlds: Gas Giants, Atmospheres and Weather
Grade Level: K-4
Body: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Mission: Cassini (Saturn), Galileo (Jupiter), Juno (Jupiter), Pioneer 10 (Jupiter), Pioneer 11 (Saturn), Voyager 1 (Our Solar System), Voyager 2 (Our Solar System)

Short Description: Students make two edible or non-edible models of the Earth and one of their favorite gas giants. They explore the differences in size and composition of layers through choices of materials.


Cosmic Chemistry: Planetary Diversity
Topic: Evolving Worlds: Planets, Like People, Grow and Change Over Time, Formation of the Solar System
Grade Level: 9-12
Body: Our Solar System, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Asteroids, Meteors & Meteorites, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Dwarf Planets
Mission: Dawn (Dwarf Planets), InSight (Mars)

Short Description: The goal of this module is to acquaint students with the planets of the solar system and some current models for their origin and evolution. During the explorations of the Cosmic Chemistry: Planetary Diversity module, students will make decisions concerning possible patterns or groupings of the physical and chemical compositions of internal structures and atmospheres of planets. Through classroom activities, they will be encouraged to examine some contemporary models proposed to explain the origin and evolution of the planets. In the final assessment activity students will use these experiences to predict the properties of the the missing planet that could have formed in the asteroid belt.


Dunking the Planets
Topic: Investigating Our Planetary Family Tree
Grade Level: K-4
Body: Our Solar System, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Asteroids, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Dwarf Planets
Mission: Voyager 1 (Our Solar System), Voyager 2 (Our Solar System)

Short Description: In this 30-minute demonstration, children ages 9-13 compare the relative sizes and masses of scale models of the planets as represented by fruits and other foods. The children dunk the "planets" in water to highlight the fact that even a large, massive planet -- such as Saturn -- can have low density. They discuss how a planet's density is related to whether it is mainly made up of rock or gas.


Live from the Hubble Space Telescope
Topic: Windy Worlds: Gas Giants, Atmospheres and Weather
Grade Level: 5-8
Body: Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Mission: Cassini (Saturn), Hubble (Beyond Our Solar System), Juno (Jupiter), Voyager 1 (Our Solar System), Voyager 2 (Our Solar System)

Short Description: In this series of activities, students compare the weather, plot the movement of weather systems, and observe a fundamental motion of air responsible for certain large cloud formations on Earth and other planets, and report these observations.


Magnetic Math
Topic: Magnetospheres: Planetary Shields
Grade Level: 9-12
Body: Our Solar System, Sun, Mercury, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Mission: Cassini (Saturn), Juno (Jupiter), MESSENGER (Mercury)

Short Description: This book contains hands-on exercises and math problems which allow students to explore magnetism and magnetic fields. The activities include drawing and geometric construction, and introduce students in the use of simple algebra to quantitatively examine magnetic forces, energy, and magnetic field lines and their mathematical structure.


Magnetic Sensor Measurements with a Graphing Calculator
Topic: Magnetospheres: Planetary Shields
Grade Level: 9-12
Body: Our Solar System, Sun, Mercury, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Mission: Cassini (Saturn), Earth Science (Earth), InSight (Mars), Juno (Jupiter)

Short Description: This activity uses magnetic field sensors with the "Texas Instrument" Graphing Calculator and CBL to measure and plot magnetic fields. This allows the student to prove that magnetic fields decrease as the negative cube of the distance.


Magnetism and Electromagnetism
Topic: Magnetospheres: Planetary Shields
Body: Our Solar System, Sun, Mercury, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Mission: Cassini (Saturn), Earth Science (Earth), Juno (Jupiter), MESSENGER (Mercury)

Short Description: In this review of basic magnetism, students map field lines around bar magnets to visualize the magnetic dipole field, and create their own electromagnet using copper wire, battery and a pencil to learn that electric currents create magnetic fields.


Terrabagga Activity Using a Magnetometer
Topic: Magnetospheres: Planetary Shields
Grade Level: 5-8
Body: Mercury, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Mission: Dawn (Dwarf Planets), Earth Science (Earth), InSight (Mars), MAVEN (Mars)

Short Description: This activity models real-world uses of a magnetometer instrument. Students will see how magnetic fields of the planets and moons are found.


The Magnetometer
Topic: Magnetospheres: Planetary Shields
Grade Level: K-4
Body: Mercury, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Mission: Earth Science (Earth)

Short Description: Students build an instrument capable of detecting a magnetic field and magnetic polarity.

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