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Hunting the Edge of Space
Learn the Science
EXPLORE THE MYSTERY OF THE MILKY WAY
In 1781, William Herschel built a 20-foot-long reflecting telescope and saw what no one else had seen before—the vast collection of stars in which our solar system lies—the Milky Way. Explore the Milky Way galaxy with your students.
Hunting the Edge of Space: The Mystery of the Milky Way (Video)
Hear how William Herschel discovered the galaxy we live in—and why it's called the Milky Way. (Chapter 5, approx. 12 min.; Program available after broadcast)


Anatomy of the Rings (Interactive)
Explore how the Cassini spacecraft is helping to shed light on Saturn's rings, and marvel at close-up imagery that Galileo could never have imagined when he discovered the planet with his primitive telescope in 1610.


Black Holes Explained (Audio Interview)
Learn how a stunning discovery at the far reaches of our solar system raises questions about what makes a planet a planet.


The Search for ET (Multimedia)
Learn about astronomers who have their radio telescopes tuned to receive signals from alien worlds.


Monster of the Milky Way (Lesson)
Explore changes in density vs. volume as a massive star evolves into a black hole, then use calculations to discover the implications of increasing density with decreasing size.

Curriculum Connections
Milky Way, density, mass, volume, models, star, black hole, calculations, energy, red giants, supernova, singularity, event horizon, fusion, gravitational force, neutron star, Schwarzschild radius

Standards
Grades 5-8
Standard A: Science as Inquiry: Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry, Understanding about scientific inquiry
Standard B: Physical Science: Properties and changes of properties of matter, Motions and forces

Grades 9-12
Standard A: Science as Inquiry: Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry, Understanding about scientific inquiry
Standard B: Physical Science: Conservation of energy and increase in disorder, Structure of atoms, Motions and forces
Standard D: Earth and Space Science: The origin and evolution of the universe



EXTENSION ACTIVITY
Galileo's Battle for the Heavens (Lesson)
Construct and evaluate graphs of the current sunspot cycle.

Curriculum Connections
Galileo, sunspot cycles, graphing, plotting, calculating averages, solar maximum, solar minimum, analyzing results

Standards
Grades 5-8
Standard A: Science as Inquiry: Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry, Understanding about scientific inquiry
Standard D: Earth and Space Science: Earth in the solar system
Math Standards (Grades 6-8): Data Analysis and Probability

Grades 9-12
Standard A: Science as Inquiry: Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry, Understanding about scientific inquiry
Standard D: Earth and Space Science: Energy in the earth system
Math Standards: Data Analysis and Probability



   

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