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SAVY 2019: Session 6, Day 3 – Stellar Astronomy (Rising 5th/6th)

Posted by on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 in Grade 5, Grade 6, SAVY.

Another mind-blowing day!

We began our day in the computer lab to work on our stellar evolution computer simulations again.  Students enjoyed their movies and also learning about how astronomers speak and use evidence.  Most students were able to design and complete data acquisition and analysis by the time lunch rolled around 🙂  After lunch we talked about some students questions and learned a bit about energy transport in stars!

During the afternoon, we were going to talk about the awesomeness of light but we really needed to discuss black holes.  Thus, we had a lively interlude talking about why black holes are the way they are.  We also talked about aliens 😉

Video helping describe a bit about black holes
– The UCLA Galactic Center Group Animations page that has observational evidence of the supermassive black hole in the center of our galaxy using orbiting stars (ask your student how the mass is found!)
– the recent silhouette image of the M87 black hole from the Event Horizon Telescope

Some more fun stuff to look at regarding black holes:
Supercomputer simulation of black hole merger
– The LIGO page (merging black holes and neutron stars and gravitational waves)

We ended the day starting to talk about the awesomeness of light after all by discussing the different types of light (ask your student the types and to tell you which type is the fastest 😉 ) and by using diffraction gratings to split the light into different colors.  If you’re interested, here are some double-axis (and glasses and some single-axis ones.  We also started looking at absorption (using filters) and then some emission tubes.  Light is everything to astronomers!