Astronomy Labs: A Concept Oriented Approach
©2014 |Pearson |
©2014 |Pearson |
Astronomy Labs: A Concept Oriented Approach is a modular collection of 40 conceptually oriented introductory astronomy labs housed in the Pearson Custom Library, allowing for easy creation of a customized lab manual. The labs focus on the mid to higher levels of Blooms taxonomy: application, synthesis, and analysis. All of the labs are written to minimize equipment requirements, and are largely created to maximize the use of inexpensive everyday objects, such as flashlights, construction paper, theatre gels, etc.
The breadth of scope of the 40 labs covers all subject areas relevant to modern astronomical research including extragalactic topics and cosmology.
Designed as a custom library, instructors can select only those labs that they wish to include in their custom lab manual and the final price will be based on the number of labs selected (note: 60 page minimum for any custom product).
Each exercise is carefully developed to address the key goals of the introductory astronomy course:
1. The roles of observation, experiment and models in the scientific process
2. Analysis of evidence and hypothesis testing
3. Quantitative reasoning and the ability to make reasonable estimates
4. How to make and use spatial, geometric models
5. Teamwork and communication
The Pearson Custom Library allows for this content to be used to create a customized lab manual including as many or as few modules as are needed.
Students review the relevant mathematics used in the labs and have the opportunity to practice and apply their quantitative reasoning skills.
Quantitative Reasoning: A Trip to Mars
Students apply quantitative reasoning skills by considering a human spaceflight mission to Mars.
Quantitative Reasoning: Exploring Nearby Stars
Students apply quantitative reasoning skills by considering a human spaceflight mission to Alpha Centauri.
Exponents and Scientific Notation
Students practice using exponents and scientific notation to understand the Universe.
Ratios, Proportionalities, and Units
Students use ratios, proportionalities, and unit analysis to simplify equations and solve problems.
Creating and Interpreting Plots
Students practice creating and interpreting plots in the context of understanding the Solar System.
Estimation and Uncertainty
Students practice quantitative skills related to estimation and uncertainty.
Students explore the geometry and motion of the Solar System and determine their effect on observations from Earth.
Phases of the Moon
Students investigate how the observed phase of the Moon depends on the orientation of Earth and Sun.
The North Star and Precession
Students explore the astronomical significance of the North Star.
What Causes the Seasons: Earth’s Tilted Axis
Students explore how the motions of Earth relative to the Sun cause seasonal variations on Earth.
What’s in a Day: Solar and Sidereal Rotation
Students explore timekeeping based on Earth’s rotation and revolution and compare to Mercury.
Planetary Motions and the Night Sky
Students infer the structure of the Solar System based on simple observations.
Observatories Around the World
Students investigate the criteria used to select observatory locations on Earth.
Tools for Astronomical Observations
Students investigate physical phenomena and observational techniques that are the essential tools for understanding astronomical objects.
Light, Color, and Filters
Students investigate the nature of colored light and the function of filters.
Students investigate the dispersion of light and interpret spectra to determine the composition of an object.
Atoms and Electrons: Absorption and Emission
Students explore the link between atomic energy levels and the observed spectrum of a star.
Images and Telescopes
Students investigate the structure of a modern research telescope and the functions of its optical parts.
Solar System and Exoplanets
Students explore the motions and physical properties of the Sun and planets in our Solar System and investigate the detection of exoplanetary systems.
Rotation of the Sun
Students investigate the rotation of the Sun and how it is observed from Earth.
Solar Energy and the Habitable Zone
Students explore how solar energy determines the location and size of the habitable zone around the Sun.
Bulk Density and Planet Composition
Students investigate how to infer the interior composition a planet based on its bulk density.
Gravity and Orbital Motion
Students use a gravity simulator to investigate orbital motion and Kepler’s Laws.
Gravitational Interactions in the Solar System
Students explore the gravitational influence of Jupiter on smaller objects in our planetary system.
Radial Velocity and Exoplanets: The Doppler Technique
Students investigate the indirect detection of exoplanets using the observed reflex motion of their host stars.
Photometry and Exoplanets: The Transit Technique
Students explore the indirect detection of exoplanets using photometric observations of stars.
Students examine the implications of thermal radiation and nuclear fusion on the properties of stars and stellar evolution and investigate the remnants.
Colors of Stars
Students investigate what the color of a star reveals about its physical properties.
Stars and the H-R Diagram
Students investigate the radius, luminosity and temperature of stars using the H-R diagram.
Star Clusters and the Ages of Stars
Students apply stellar evolution and the H-R diagram to determine the ages of stars in clusters.
Nuclear Fusion and Energy in Stars
Students explore the creation of energy and heavy elements in stars.
Pulsars: Beams and Rotation
Students create a model of a pulsar and use it to understand observations of pulsars over time.
Gravity and Black Holes
Students investigate the exotic phenomena caused by the enormous gravity near a black hole.
Students investigate the properties of the Milky Way and other galaxies by applying concepts introduced in previous activities, including light, colors, spectra, mass, gravity, and motion.
The Effects of Interstellar Dust on Starlight
Students explore how dust affects starlight passing through interstellar space.
Mapping the Milky Way Galaxy
Students interpret observations to infer the structure of the Milky Way Galaxy and our location in it.
Spiral Arms and Star Formation
Students explore how the properties and motions of stars create the observed patterns in spiral galaxies.
Spiral Galaxies and Dark Matter
Students investigate how the motions of spiral galaxies provide evidence for dark matter.
Evolution of Galaxies
Students investigate the observational evidence for our understanding of galaxy evolution.
Students analyze the formation, structure, expansion and early history of the Universe and explore the advantages and limitations of light-based astronomical observations.
The Hubble Law and Expansion of the Universe
Students investigate the concept of expansion and consider how we can determine the age of the Universe.
Expansion and the Age of the Universe
Students apply the Hubble Law to determine the age of the Universe.
Accelerating Expansion and of the Universe
Students explore the history of expansion using the Hubble Law and distances to far-away supernovae.
Lookback Time and the Evolving Universe
Students explore implications of the finite speed of light and interpret observations of the distant Universe.
The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation
Students examine the background radiation and what it implies about conditions in the early Universe.
First Three Minutes
Students explore what the relative proportions of H and He reveal about the first moments in the Universe.
Instructor's Review Copy for Astronomy Labs: A Concept Oriented Approach
McCrady & Rice
Edmund Scientific Star and Planet Locator
Sky and Telescope, Special Student Supplement
CourseConnect: Introductory Astronomy
Pearson Learning Solutions
Edmund Scientific Star and Planet Locator
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|Format||Pearson Custom Library Content|
|Online purchase price||$113.73|
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Nate McCrady is an Associate Professor at University of Montana. Many of these labs are an outgrowth of the award winning labs he designed while at UCLA.
Emily Rice is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Science and Physics at College of Staten Island and Research Associate at the American Museum of Natural History. She and Nate McCrady conducted these labs together at UCLA.
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