Finding Extrasolar Planets and Selection Effects

Discipline:

Extrasolar planets discovered up to 2006.

In this activity, students will collaborate to discern methods of detecting extrasolar planets. Students will consider the nature of evidence and the limitations in each of these methods.

Discovery of the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram

Discipline:

Hertzprung-Russell diagrams for nearby clusters.

In this class activity, students will be given "data" in the form of cutout paper stars from different stellar clusters. By making scatter plots of these data, they will look for correlations and ultimately discover the Hertzsprung-Russell (HR) diagram. Templates for the paper stars are provided in accompanying documents.

Blackbody

Discipline:

Intensity of light versus wavelength of the Sun and a blackbody.

This activity helps students understand blackbodies and the role of photons in emitted and reflected electromagnetic waves. Students will also analyze graphical displays of data, calculate peak wavelength, and apply their understanding to novel scenarios.