Resources for education and public engagement related to the primitive bodies of the solar system. Know of a product that ought to be listed here? Let us know!
Atlas of the Giant Asteroid Vesta
This atlas of the giant asteroid Vesta was created from images taken as NASA's Dawn mission flew around the object, also known as a protoplanet. The set of maps was created from mosaics of10,000 images from Dawn's framing camera instrument, taken at a low altitude of about 130 miles (210 kilometers). The maps are mostly at a scale about that of regional road touring maps, where every inch of map is equivalent to a little more than 3 miles of asteroid (one centimeter equals 2 kilometers).
Explore the Vesta Atlas >
3D Interactive: Eyes on the Solar System - Comets, Asteroids & Near-Earth Objects module
Learn about this fascinating and diverse families of small objects that orbit our sun along with the planets. Eyes on the Solar System uses video-game technology to recreate the solar system and the spacecraft that explore it within a web-browser. Eyes on the Solar System uses the Unity3D engine and real science and engineering data to recreate the solar system and many of the spacecraft exploring it.
Launch this Eyes on the Solar System module >
Interactive: Bright Tails, Black Hearts: Exploration of Comets
Take an interactive journey into the heart of comets, the mysterious icy wanderers of our solar system. Explore a comet's anatomy and life cycle and take a closer look at some of the comets that have been targeted by robotic spacecraft.
Launch interactive >
Kids' Website: NASA Solar System 101 for Kids
Designed especially for kids, this intro to the solar system includes mini games and homework help.
Direct links to topics related to the small worlds:
Mobile app: Comet Quest
An informative game app for iOS mobile devices developed by NASA Space Place. The Rosetta spacecraft approaches Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Using its thrusters, Rosetta goes into orbit around the comet nucleus. Now you, the player, get to take over the spacecraft in its mission to learn about the mysterious comet. First, you must drop a lander on the nucleus. To land it in an optimum location, your timing must be excellent!
Visit the iTunes App Store to download Comet Quest >
Images: NASA Photojournal - Small Bodies Images
Views of comets, asteroids and more taken by a variety of space missions such as:
- Deep Impact
- NEAR Shoemaker
- Hubble Space Telescope
View Photojournal small bodies images >
Download: Solar System Lithograph Set
This lithograph set features images of the planets, the sun, asteroids, comets, meteors and meteorites, the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud, and moons of the solar system. General information, significant dates, interesting facts and brief descriptions of the images are included. It was last updated in July 2013. 42 pages. Best when printed on 8 1/2 x 11 paper.
Visit the download page for this resource >
Educator Resources: NASA Wavelength - Comets & Asteroids
NASA Wavelength is your pathway into a digital collection of Earth and space science resources for educators of all levels - from elementary to college, to out-of-school programs. These resources have undergone a peer-review process through which educators and scientists ensure the content is accurate and useful in an educational setting.
View comet & asteroids resources on the NASA Wavelength website >
Desktop Widget: Asteroid Watch
JPL's Asteroid Watch Widget tracks asteroids and comets that will make relatively close approaches to Earth. The Widget displays the date of closest approach, approximate object diameter, relative size and distance from Earth for each encounter.
Visit the widget download page >