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PENCIL & PAPER

If you have middle school/high school visitors SpaceMath@NASA introduces students to the use of mathematics in today's scientific discoveries. Through press releases and articles, Space Math explores how many kinds of mathematics skills come together in exploring the Universe. If you have a math club, the following problems might be fun for them to try in connection with the HTE exhibit:

ACTIVITY #1: THE CRAB NEBULA - EXPLORING A PULSAR UP CLOSE!
(PROBLEM #398)

Core concept: Students work with a photograph to determine its scale and the time taken by light and matter to reach a specified distance.

[Grade: 6-8 | Topics: Scale drawings; unit conversion; distance = speed x time]

PDF. Press Release.

ACTIVITY #2: THE HAND OF CHANDRA (PROBLEM #234)

Core concept: Students use an image from the Chandra Observatory to measure a pulsar ejecting a cloud of gas.

[Grade: 6-8 | Topics: Scientific Notation; proportions; angle measure]

PDF. Press Release.

ACTIVITY #3: CHANDRA OBSERVATORY SEES THE ATMOSPHERE OF A NEUTRON STAR (PROBLEM #283)

Core concept: Students determine the mass of the carbon atmosphere of the neutron star Cassiopeia A.

[Grade: 8-10 | Topics: Volume of spherical shell; mass = density x volume]

PDF. Press Release.

ACTIVITY #4: CHANDRA STUDIES AN EXPANDING SUPERNOVA SHELL (PROBLEM #314)

Core concept: Using a millimeter ruler and a sequence of images of a gaseous shell between 2000 and 2005, students calculate the speed of the material ejected by Supernova 1987A.

[Grade: 6-9 | Topics: Measuring; Metric Units; speed=distance/time]

PDF. Press Release.

ACTIVITY #5: CHANDRA SPIES THE LONGEST SOUND WAVE IN THE UNIVERSE (PROBLEM #289)

Core concept: Students use an image of sound waves produced by a massive black hole to determine wavelength, and comparisons with musical scale to find how many octaves this sound wave is below the wavelength of middle-C.

[Grade: 6-8 | Topics: metric measurement; scaling; Scientific Notation; exponents]

PDF. Press Release.

ACTIVITY #6: GIANT GAS CLOUD IN SYSTEM NGC 6240 (PROBLEM #511)

Core concept: Students use scientific notation and volume of sphere to estimate the density of the gas cloud, and the number of hydrogen atoms per cubic meter.

[Grade: 8-10 | Topics:Volume of a sphere; scientific notation; unit conversion ]

PDF. Press Release.

More information at HTTP://SPACEMATH.GSFC.NASA.GOV