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Transcript
Kendall
Planetarium
Secrets of the Sun
Planetarium Show – Teacher’s Guide
PROGRAM
OUTLINE
Description: Secrets of the Sun is an intimate look at the Sun’s role in the life of
our Solar System. From nuclear forces churning at the heart of the Sun, to mass
ejections of solar material into surrounding space, audiences experience the
power of the Sun and its impact on the planets - and ultimately life on Earth. The
full-dome movie traces the life cycle of the Sun, going back to its beginning and
moving forward in time to its eventual death.
Activities: Charting the sunspot cycle, exploring the properties of the Sun,
understanding the northern lights.
LEARNING
OBJECTIVES





The Sun is our closest star and the source for the light we see on Earth.
Dynamics processes such as ejections of solar material are common.
The Sun’s surface is marked by sunspots.
Fusion of hydrogen into helium takes place in the Sun’s core.
The northern lights are caused by changed particles from the Sun hitting
oxygen atoms in the Earth’s upper atmosphere.
Process Skills Focus: Inquiry, observation and communication.
Topics: Lifecycle of the Sun, parts of the Sun, sunspots, northern lights.
OREGON
STANDARDS
Scientific Inquiry Standards:

K.3S.1


K.3S.2
1.3S.2

1.3S.3

2.3S.2
Explore questions about living and non-living things and
events in the natural world.
Make observations about the natural world.
Record observations with pictures, numbers, or written
statements.
Describe why recording accurate observations is important
in science.
Make predictions about living and non-living things and
events in the environment based on observed patterns.
Engineering Design Standards:


1.4D.3
2.4D.3
Show how tools are used to complete tasks every day.
Describe an engineering design that is used to solve a
problem or address a need.
Earth and Space Science Content Standards:


K.2E.1
H.2E.3
Identify changes in things seen in the sky.
Describe how the universe, galaxies, stars, and planets
evolve over time.
Physical Science Content Standards:

K.2P.1
Examine the different ways things move.
NEXT GENERATION
SCIENCE STANDARDS
Crosscutting Concepts
1. Patterns
2. Cause and effect
4. Systems and system models
Practices
2. Developing and using models
3. Planning and carrying out investigations
4. Analyzing and interpreting data
7. Engaging in argument from evidence
DCIs
Disciplinary Core Idea
PS1
Matter and Its Interaction
PS2
Motion and Stability: Forces and
Interactions
K
1
2
Physical Science
n/a n/a
n/a
n/a
3
4
n/a
n/a
n/a
5
MS
HS
PS3
Energy
PS4
Waves and Their Applications in
Technologies for Information Transfer
LS1
From molecules to organisms:
Structures and processes
Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and
Dynamics
Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of
Traits
Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
Life Science
LS2
LS3
LS4
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
Earth & Space Science
n/a
ESS1
Earth's Place in the Universe
ESS2
Earth's Systems
n/a
ESS3
Earth and Human Activity
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
Engineering, Technology, and Applications of Science
ETS1
Engineering Design
DCI Grade Band Endpoints
ESS1.A
Patterns of the motion of the sun, moon, and stars in the sky can be observed,
described, and predicted. (By end of grade 2).
The sun is a star that appears larger and brighter than other stars because it is
closer. Stars range greatly in their distance from Earth. (By end of grade 5).
Patterns of the apparent motion of the sun, the moon, and stars in the sky can be
observed, described, predicted, and explained with models. (By end of grade 8).
Earth and its solar system are part of the Milky Way galaxy, which is one of many
galaxies in the universe. (By end of grade 8).
ESS1.B
Seasonal patterns of sunrise and sunset can be observed, described, and
predicted. (By end of grade 2).
The orbits of Earth around the sun and of the moon around Earth, together with the
rotation of Earth about an axis between its North and South poles, cause
observable patterns. These include day and night; daily changes in the length and
direction of shadows; and different positions of the sun, moon, and stars at
different times of the day, month, and year. (By end of grade 5).
The solar system consists of the sun and a collection of objects, including planets,
their moons, and asteroids that are held in orbit around the sun by its gravitational
pull on them. (By end of grade 8).
This model of the solar system can explain eclipses of the sun and the moon.
Earth’s spin axis is fixed in direction over the short-term but tilted relative to its orbit
around the sun. The seasons are a result of that tilt and are caused by the
differential intensity of sunlight on different areas of Earth across the year. (By end
of grade 8).
Performance Expectations
1-ESS1-1. Use observations of the sun, moon, and stars to describe patterns that can be
predicted.
1-ESS1-2. Make observations at different times of year to relate the amount of daylight to the
time of year.
5-ESS1-1. Support an argument that differences in the apparent brightness of the sun
compared to other stars is due to their relative distances from the Earth.
5-ESS1-2. Represent data in graphical displays to reveal patterns of daily changes in length
and direction of shadows, day and night, and the seasonal appearance of some
stars in the night sky.
MS-ESS1- Develop and use a model of the Earth-sun-moon system to describe the cyclic
1.
patterns of lunar phases, eclipses of the sun and moon, and seasons.
MS-ESS1- Develop and use a model to describe the role of gravity in the motions within
2.
galaxies and the solar system.
MS-ESS1- Analyze and interpret data to determine scale properties of objects in the solar
3.
system.
SOURCES
The information and activities presented in the Secrets of the Sun Teacher’s
Guide have been adapted for use and distribution by OMSI from the following:
National Geophysical Data Center
GLOSSARY
Aurora:
See Northern lights, below.
Chromosphere:
The layer of a star above the photosphere, but below the
corona.
Corona:
The upper atmosphere of a star, extending millions of miles
into space.
Fission:
The separation of an atom into two or more smaller atoms or
particles. The energy released from fission powers
thermonuclear weapons.
Fusion:
The joining of two or more atoms to form a heavier atom. In
the nucleus of the Sun, fusion of hydrogen into helium
releases energy.
Northern lights:
The bright displays of light in the night sky that result from
charged particles from the Sun hitting the Earth’s
atmosphere. Also known as aurora (plural = aurorae).
Photosphere:
The part of a star’s atmosphere where light is radiated.
Planetary
nebula:
Solar
prominence:
A cloud of gas and dust from the death of an average star
like our Sun.
A loop of hot gas originating from the Sun. Prominences can
be larger than Jupiter and can disrupt electronics here on
Earth.
Sunspot:
A region on a star that has a stronger magnetic field and a
cooler temperature than the surrounding part of the star.
Sunspots often appear dark in color.
Supernova:
The explosion of a massive star.
POST-VISIT QUIZ
Check your comprehension of the planetarium show!
1) What is the approximate age of our Sun?
2) Stars like our Sun formed from a huge cloud of __________ and
__________.
3) The following words all describe different levels of the Sun’s
structure. Arrange them in order from lowest level to highest level:
Corona
Photosphere
Chromosphere
4) Does our Sun rotate approximately once a day, once a month, or
once a year?
5) Are sunspots generally larger or smaller than the Earth?
6) Solar prominences are bright loops of gas that come off of the Sun.
Are solar prominences mainly due to magnetic or electric fields?
7) Choose the correct statement:
a. In the Sun’s core, fusion takes place (lighter atoms combine to
form heavier atoms).
b. In the Sun’s core, fission takes place (heaver atoms split to
form lighter atoms).
8) When charged particles from the Sun hit the Earth’s atmosphere, we
see a beautiful display of light in the sky. These lights are called
_______________.
9) When our Sun dies, it will become a cocoon of light and gas called a
planetary _______________. It will NOT explode as a supernova.
SUGGESTED
ABOUT THE
PLANETARIUM
CLASSROOM
ACTIVITIES
LABS
The Sunspot Cycle
Description: In this activity, students will learn about the periodic cycle of solar
activity.
TIME REQUIRED
Advance Preparation
15 minutes
Activity
Clean Up
60 minutes
5 minutes
SUPPLIES


Large piece of paper (approximately 3’ high x 4’ wide)
Pens
ADVANCE
Sciss
PREPARATION
Number of Sunspots

Prepare the large piece of paper to serve as a graph. Draw x and y axes,
and label the axes:
Year
The x axis should range from 1950 to 2012 while the y axis should range
from 0 to 200. Affix the paper to a wall at a level that the students can
write on it.

ACTIVITY




Discuss that the surface of the Sun shows sunspots. These sunspots
indicate areas of strong magnetic field and cooler temperature. Sunspots
appear and disappear over the course of weeks.
Show the students an image of the Sun with lots of sunspots and an
image of the Sun with few sunspots (images below).
Explain that astronomers have studied sunspots for hundreds of years and
carefully counted how many sunspots appear each year.
Using the data below, have students add dots to the paper graph to plot
the number of sunspots each year from 1950 to 2012.
1950 83.9
1951 69.4
1952 31.5
1953 13.9
1954 4.4
1955 38.0
1956 141.7
1957 190.2
1958 184.8
1959 159.0
1960 112.3
1961 53.9
1962 37.6
1963 27.9
1964 10.2
1965 15.1
1966 47.0
1967 93.8
1968 105.9
1969 105.5
1970 104.5
1971 66.6
1972 68.9
1973 38.0
1974 34.5
1975 15.5
1976 12.6
1977 27.5
1978 92.5
1979 155.4
1980 154.6
1981 140.4
1982 115.9
1983 66.6
1984 45.9
1985 17.9
1986 13.4
1987 29.4
1988 100.2
1989 157.6
1990 142.6
1991 145.7
1992 94.3
1993 54.6
1994 29.9
1995 17.5
1996 8.6
1997 21.5
1998 64.3
1999 93.3
2000 119.6
2001 111.0
2002 104.0
2003 63.7
2004 40.4
2005 29.8
2006 15.2
2007 7.5
2008 2.9
2009 3.1
2010 11.0
2011 18.7
2012 47.4




Connect the dots that the students have plotted. You should recover a plot
that looks roughly like:
Discuss with the students that the number of sunspots is periodic – i.e.,
varying regularly with time. The peaks in the graph are called “solar
maximums” while the troughs in the graph are called “solar minimums”.
Instruct the students to calculate the time between solar minimums. They
should recover roughly 11 years. This time period corresponds to the
length of the solar cycle.
Based on the period of the solar cycle, will the Sun be in a solar maximum
or solar minimum (or somewhere in between) when the students graduate
from college? How about when they turn 50?
Properties of the Sun
Description: Students will explore the properties of the Sun, including its size and
its chemical composition.
TIME REQUIRED
Advance Preparation
5 minutes
Activity
Clean Up
30 minutes
5 minutes
SUPPLIES



Large piece of yellow poster board
Small bag of lentils
Hot glue
ADVANCE
Sciss
PREPARATION


Draw a circle with a diameter of 27 inches on the posterboard. Draw a
straight line through the diameter of the circle.
Heat the hot glue gun.

ACTIVITY

Discuss with the students that our Sun is much, much larger than our
Earth. Introduce the analogy that the circle on the yellow poster board
represents the Sun and that one lentil represents the Earth. Have the
students estimate how many Earths could fit across the surface of the
Sun.

Hand approximately five lentils to each student and help them use hot
glue to affix their lentils to the line on the yellow poster board. In reality,
109 Earths fit across the surface of the Sun, though you’ll probably
recover a slightly different number due to variations in the size of lentils.

As different students are affixing their lentils, write on a whiteboard the
names of various elements that compose the Sun: hydrogen, helium,
oxygen, carbon, iron, neon, nitrogen, silicon, magnesium, and sulfur. Ask
the students to think of different uses for these elements on Earth (i.e.,
helium in balloons, etc.).

After the Sun’s diameter has been glued with lentils, write the chemical
symbols for the Sun’s atoms on the poster board (H, He, O, C, Fe, Ne, N,
Si, Mg, and S). Discuss with the students that hydrogen and helium form
the bulk of the Sun while the other elements contribute only trace
amounts.
Exploring the Northern Lights
Description: Students investigate the northern lights and understand how these
dynamic light shows arise.
TIME REQUIRED
Advance Preparation
5 minutes
Activity
Clean Up
30 minutes
5 minutes
SUPPLIES


Projector for showing computer images or images on printed pages
Aurora worksheets (the worksheet is shown at the end of this activity).
ADVANCE
Sciss
PREPARATION

Print an aurora worksheet for each student.

ACTIVITY

Show the image of the aurora copied at the end of this exercise. Ask the
students who has seen the aurora. Discuss with the students other names
that the aurora is called (“northern lights”, “aurora borealis”, “polar lights”).

Explain that the aurora happens in the Earth’s atmosphere – it’s not
something that is far away like other planets or other stars.

Show the image of the Sun and the Earth and explain to the students that
little particles from the Sun (smaller than atoms) hit the Earth’s
atmosphere and cause the atmosphere to glow. Based on where the lines
appear in the image, ask the students to guess where the most glowing
light is seen. They should correctly answer that the light will be most
visible at the Earth’s poles.

The aurora can appear different colors because different atoms in the
Earth’s atmosphere glow different colors. Hand out an aurora worksheet to
each student.

After the students complete the worksheet, emphasize that oxygen atoms
in the Earth’s atmosphere are primarily responsible for the beautiful
displays of light that we called an aurora.
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Travel/Pix/gallery/2010/11/11/1289495137452/Northern-lights-in-Canada-006.jpg
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_6FVHI8tYYg/T1iinXduX6I/AAAAAAAASOk/aS7LJoU97SU/s1600/SolarWind.jpg
Aurora Worksheet
This image below shows how different elements emit light. The bright vertical lines
indicate colors in which that element shines. For instance, hydrogen shines red and blue.
What colors does lithium emit? ______________________________________
An aurora commonly looks green, like the picture that your teacher showed you earlier.
Which two elements emit green light? _________________ and ________________
Remember that Earth’s atmosphere is composed mostly of nitrogen and oxygen. Since an
aurora forms in the Earth’s atmosphere, which element must be responsible for the green
light in an aurora? __________________________
RESOURCES

NASA Education
http://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/about/index.html
Stanford Solar Center
http://solar-center.stanford.edu/compare/
Solar and Heliospheric Observatory
http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/sunspots/
Exploratorium - Sunspots
http://www.exploratorium.edu/sunspots/
The Aurora Page
http://www.geo.mtu.edu/weather/aurora/