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Summer SAVY 2018: Session 5, Day 5 – Stellar Astronomy (Rising 5th/6th)

Posted by on Friday, July 20, 2018 in Grade 5, Grade 6, SAVY.

What a great final day!

To start, we went to the computer lab to engage in some real science using the Zooniverse citizen science project aggregator.  The project we looked at was the Milky Way Project where we were learning about stellar birthplaces and death-places.  Students found bubbles, bow shocks, yellowballs, and more!  This site is definitely worth looking at more – there are lots of ways to spend time helping science go further, not just in astronomy.

After lunch, we talked about how students saw the process of science and how scientists do things using the Milky Way Project as a jumping off point.  Then we came up with research questions and fake conclusions they could test using the Milky Way Project – hopefully you saw some during the Open House!

Before we could get ready for the Open House, we first had to look at one last thing with spacetime curvature – gravitational lensing! (One-Minute Astronomer article; Wikipedia article)  Here are some images of what it looks like: almost-ring, various Einstein rings, multiple images of a background galaxy, lots of galaxy cluster lensing
It happens when there’s something producing light that is behind a massive object – the massive object bends spacetime so bends the straight line light travels on.
We also looked at the spectral types of stars and how the hydrogen lines are stronger or weaker depending on the temperature of the star.

Otherwise, we all decided which stations we’d have for open house and the students were very excited to get things set up!
– Spacetime curvature (with black hole information!)
– Spectroscopy
– A Galaxy of Information (slideshow of stellar evolution, charts thereof, drawings of nebulae, spectral type mnemonics)
– Milky Way Project (on iPads)
– Research and being a scientist
– Scientific Notation
It was great seeing how your students lit up talking about their favorite things.  Thank you for sharing them with me this week!

Keep looking up!
– Dr. Grundstrom


Photos From Open House