Here are some astronomical resources which can be used in schools or with other groups. Feel free to use them, but please don't modify them without asking me first. Please let me know if you have any comments / problems (or successes!) by sending email to megan at rigel dot org dot uk.

LIVE Radio Meteors (05 August 2008)

A web-interface to display live results from the meteor detector set up at Jodrell Bank Observatory (hardware built by Eddie Blackhurst, software and setup by me) back in 2006. It's been running quite well for a while now and the results are being archived.

This display, put together for open day, gives some background information on meteors, how you can detect them using radio waves, and then shows live results from the system at Jodrell. It should be used on a screen running a browser in full-screen mode. It cycles through a set of pages, changing automatically every 90 seconds (although it is based on the design for the multi-wavelength viewer so can also be used interactively with a touchscreen).

Annular eclipse handout (03 October 2005)

A one-page handout describing eclipses, put together for school groups invited to view the annular eclipse on 3rd October 2005 at Jodrell Bank.

Astronomy Quiz

A short quiz put together originally for kids at Harry Potter night and adapted for the Brownies. This is a general version that is probably best used with secondary school children.

Constellation drawings (27 September 2005)

These are some images showing the stars from some of the more well-known constellations in the Northern sky. The dots are representative of the positions and brightnesses of the stars (although they are not that accurate) so that the general shape of the constellation can be seen. They were put together and used with a group of Rainbows (5 to 7 year old girls) and Brownies (7 to 10 year olds) in a normal evening meeting. After a brief introduction explaining what constellations are, they drew their own patterns around the dots.

Hubble's Law (21 May 2005)

This activity uses data provided by Ian Smail (Durham) to demonstrate the expansion of the Universe. The aim is to prove Hubble's Law that the velocity of a galaxy, v, increases with distance from the observer, d, as v = Ho x d where Ho is the Hubble constant. This is done by measuring the redshifts of fifteen galaxies using the spectra provided and then plotting a graph of redshift against distance. The Hubble constant can then be determined by finding the gradient of the line of best fit.

Build a Martian rover (June 2005)

This is a fun hands-on activity based around sending a rover to Mars. The idea is to get the students thinking about what kind of things they might want to know about the Martian surface and atmosphere, and what kind of sensors they might need in order to find out. There are two sheets: one with some background information for the teacher which includes some information about the instruments on board recent rovers and some suggested materials, and a one page handout for the students.

Multi-wavelength viewer (26 June 2005)

This is a web resource which lets the user investigate what different astronomical objects look like when observed in different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. The interface lets you chose from a variety of objects using a menu on the right, and from a variety of wavelengths using a menu along the top. Each wavelength also has an information page which explains a bit about the kind of telescopes used to make observations in that part of the spectrum. This can be accessed from the front page which you can get back to at any time by clicking the "home" button. It was designed to work on a touchscreen in the visitor centre but can be used on an ordinary display just as easily.

Last updated: Friday, 31-Jul-2009 11:02:34 BST