Tutorial: Measuring the Frequency and Period of Sunspots
Analyze sunspots on NASA’s SOHO coronagraph images to make meaning of cyclical patterns using the terms period and frequency. This activity is appropriate for high school and university introductory physics and astronomy courses. It can be adapted for use in middle school.
Tutorial: Measuring the Velocity of Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs)
Use videos and still images of our sun to estimate the velocity of a coronal mass ejection and estimate the time it will take to reach Earth. This activity is appropriate for high school and university introductory physics and astronomy courses.
Tutorial: Solar Sails and Other Spacecraft Propulsion
Consider why human travel outside of the solar system is currently unrealistic. Calculate how long it would take each mission to get to the next nearest stellar system—Alpha Centauri—while learning the basics of ion thrusters, traditional rockets, and solar sails.
Tutorial: Tracking High-Energy Protons from Coronal Mass Ejections
Use image data from NASA SOHO to estimate the moment of acceleration of high-energy particles. This activity is appropriate for university calculus-based introductory physics. It includes an extension that uses relativistic kinematics that is appropriate for a modern physics course.
Download Image Set: PDF
Concept Questions: Angular Momentum
Test concepts relating factors that affect the magnitude of orbital angular momentum. These questions are appropriate for university calculus-based introductory physics if the course includes orbital motion, or for an upper-division mechanics course when discussing central forces, the Kepler problem, and orbital motion.
Tutorial: Modeling the Sun-Earth-Moon System
Help students to understand the motion of the three-body system that consists of the Sun, Earth, and Moon. This activity is appropriate for high school and university introductory physics courses.
Tutorial: Angular Momentum and Kepler's Second Law
Help students to understand angular momentum and its conservation as it applies to orbiting celestial objects. This activity is appropriate for university calculus-based introductory physics or for an upper-division mechanics course.