Rogue Physicist.  Free resources for physics education © 2006-2016 Dorian Pascoe.  Email: dorian@top-school.co.uk

Most resources are available under a Creative Commons Licence.  Visit our mirror at www.physicsweb.altervista.org




...stars and galaxies...


free simulations, worksheets, videos, images, animations and more.











• Know that...



• Be able to describe...



• Be able to state...



• Be able to explain...











Task 1 - Starter




Hands up!





I know the answer!




Find someone who knows:



1) The names of the planets in order.


2) Three differences between the  terrestrial planets and the gas giants.


3) A fact about a planet in our solar system.


4) The name of our nearest star.


5) The name of a moon in our solar system.


6) What a galaxy is, and the name of our galaxy.


7) What an asteroid is and where most asteroids are found.


8) What a comet is, and the shape of its orbit.


9) What causes shooting stars, and the difference between a meteor and a meteorite.


10) What satellites are, and some of their uses.




Your teacher will you which questions to discuss.










Task 2 - Different types of stars




The Pinwheel Galaxy, NGC5457.

 Credit: Image: European Space Agency & NASA




You will need to install the Stellarium software.  It is fantastic and free!




The Sun is a medium sized star, located in the Milky Way - a spiral galaxy.  It is just one of many billions of stars in the galaxy.




This is the Pinwheel Galaxy, NGC 5457.  A spiral galaxy, like the Milky Way!


Image credit: European Space Agency & NASA


http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/releases/2006/10/image/a CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36216331





Most stars are much larger than the Sun.  The video below shows you the relative sizes of some objects in our solar system, and compares them to stars of varying sizes.



Video credit: YouTube













Task 3 - Researching stars, galaxies and nebulae






You are going to find out about the different types of star, and how they are formed.



Click the image above to download this task as a word document.











Task 4 - A tour of the stars




You will need to install the Stellarium software.  It is fantastic and free!







Your teacher will give you a tour of some constellations, and show you some different types of stars, using the Stellarium planetarium software.






NOTE: look at circumpolar constellations (e.g. Ursamajor, Cassiopeia), North star, red stars (e.g. Betelgeuse), blue stars (e.g. Rigel), binary star systems (e.g. Sirius).  Teacher notes coming soon!










Task 4 - Fill in the missing words.

















Homework - Star gazing!











Try to observe some of the constellations you learned about in class.



Which constellations did you manage to observe?

Is your constellation visible all year round, or only at certain times of year?

What time did you observe?

What position was the constellation in the sky?  Draw a diagram.

Find out about the mythology associated with your constellation.



















The fantastic image of the Pinwheel Galaxy, NGC5457, is courtesy of the European Space Agency & NASA.


Credit: Image: European Space Agency & NASA. Acknowledgements: Project Investigators for the original Hubble data: K.D. Kuntz (GSFC), F. Bresolin (University of Hawaii), J. Trauger (JPL), J. Mould (NOAO), and Y.-H. Chu (University of Illinois, Urbana) Image processing: Davide De Martin (ESA/Hubble) CFHT image: Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope/J.-C. Cuillandre/Coelum NOAO image: George Jacoby, Bruce Bohannan, Mark Hanna/NOAO/AURA/NSF - direct link here at spacetelescope.org.  See also: this page at hubblesite.org , CC BY 3.0 - visit this page.