Older Kids Astronomy Outline (Steve)
Updated January 2, 2005

 

Contents (clickable):

Contents (clickable): 1

Purpose of this outline: 1

Special note to parents. READ THIS PLEASE: 1

Goals. 2

Objectives. 2

Important discoveries. 5

Software. 7

Online resources. 7

Observation Log. 7

Binoculars and Scopes. 8

Younger kids Outline (Cathy) 8

 

Purpose of this outline:

This is my reference outline. It describes the topics I hope to cover but is not intended to be used directly by the students. Most of this will be translated into age appropriate conversation and activities. Some of the kid appropriate web links below will be suggested or assigned for the students. The overview of astronomy link is excellent because there is a beginner thru advanced option on each page so that a user can choose the level of detail they wish to access.

We will make actual observations during visits or potentially sleepovers in our observatory at “the rock” so that we can spend time observing and recording after dark (evening or early morning). Observatory visits are intended to be fun and educational.

The approach is to learn astronomy as humans did, by first making naked eye observations and assumptions, then moving on to how we learned more, understanding what has been learned, and making observations today.

Special note to parents. READ THIS PLEASE:

Astrology: (source) 31% of the public believes in astrology including 36% of women and 43% of those aged 25 to 29 but only 17% of people aged 65 and over, and 25% of men.

Creationism: (sources 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) Only about a third of Americans believe that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution is a scientific theory that has been well supported by the evidence. Forty-five percent of Americans also believe that God created human beings pretty much in their present form about 10,000 years ago when the earth was created.

As the polls above indicate, very substantial numbers of people believe in astrology and creationism. In my presentation, I do NOT support these beliefs. I do NOT attack them. I mention them only in passing. They will NOT be major discussion points, but I want to be sure that parents know in advance how I will represent these beliefs.

I bring this up now, in advance, because there is no other way for me to teach astronomy. The science of astronomy is based on these premises and that is how I much teach it. I respect the beliefs of others, that is why I mention the positions I will take in advance so that you as a parent can make responsible choices. Comments or suggestions to me are very welcome.

Goals

Develop an overview of astronomy, its history and importance through time

Develop concepts, skills and vocabulary necessary to understand the science of astronomy and differentiate astronomy from celestial non-sciences

Create a personal timeline log of astronomical events, people and discoveries

Use online research resources effectively

Make basic (but still amazing) astronomical observations using available binoculars, telescopes, computer simulations, online resources

Post our progress and pictures online (Waller homeschool website) for examination and commentary by family and friends

Objectives

The list below is not in session order. These topics will be introduced as appropriate, starting from basic naked-eye observations and early human historical assumptions, then moving forward through the history of astronomy to today’s understandings, but all of the topics will be covered eventually.

The exception will be the opening exercise of viewing Comet Machholz which will not wait. It must be observed and discussed in early January.

Describe

Age of universe

Expanding universe

Produce

Astronomical Timeline spanning astronomical prehistory

Human Astronomical timeline

Combine the two above to illustrate scale of modern astronomy

Planisphere

Define Terms

Millimeter, Centimeter, Meter

Thousand/Million/Billion

Ecliptic

Constellations

How formed

3D book
Create your own
Paper
Light

How many constellations?

Finding them

How they move

Each night
By season

Northern vs. southern names

Astrology

What is it?

How does it differ from astronomy

Zodiac (what and where are they?)

Mythology

Astronomical Unit

Light year (as measurement of distance)

Meridian/Zenith/Nadir

Degrees/Hours/Minutes (as geometric measurements)

Magnitude (brightness of objects)

Right Ascension/Declination

Ecliptic

Retrograde motion

Galaxy

Galactic Plane

Messier Objects

Nebulae

Clusters

Observe

Major constellations

Polaris

Circumpolar

Navigational

Zodiacal

Other critical

Sky and Telescope FREE Interactive Sky Chart

Download Java Virtual Machine if necessary

Click the yellow flashing square in the top right corner to download the free Java virtual machine.

Sky Calendar

Comet Machholz

How he found it

The comet is predicted to come closest to Earth on the night of Jan. 5-6, 2005, when it will be just 32 million miles (51 million kilometers) away. On the evening of Jan. 7, it will conveniently pass just a couple of degrees to the west of the famous Pleiades star cluster.

Comet Machholz will reach perihelion -- its point closest to the Sun -- on Jan. 24, when it will be just under 112 million miles (179 million kilometers) from that blazing furnace. The comet will be more or less opposite the Sun all during this "flyby", and thus should be easily visible in a dark sky from Earth.

Saturn rings

Jupiter moons

Messier Objects

Clickable photos of objects

Determine which are visible from our observing site

Make and record observations

Post images online

Space station?

Iridium Flares

Important discoveries

Famous Astronomers

Timelines

Chronology of time

Astronomy Timeline

Another

More

Big Bang

Graphic
Description
Another
Description

Earth and moon

Earliest man

Human ancestry
Age of humans
Chart

Stonehenge

Aristotle

Aristarchus

Hipparchus

Ptolemy

Geocentricity
Clearer image
Another

Historical records of supernovae

Supernova 1054 - Creation of the Crab Nebula
M1

Nicholas Copernicus

Astronomy vs astrology
Heliocentricity
Circular orbits

Bruno, Giordano

Tycho Brahe

SN 1572, Tycho's Supernova
Pictures

Galileo Galilei

Heliocentricity

Johan Kepler

Ellipitical orbits
SN 1604, Kepler’s Supernova
Information

Isaac Newton

Gravity
Planetary motion

Photography

Hubble Space Telescope (HST)

Software

Starry night?

Others?

Online resources

Kids Astronomy.com

The sky this month

Night Sky by Starry Night

Marquette satellite observations

Iridium Flare Details

Observation Log

Sketches

Constellations

Satellites

Milky Way

What and where is it?

How does it move?

Where are we in it?

Which stars are in it?

What is the closest star?

What is the farthest star?

The center of the galaxy is in which constellation?

What is outside the MW?

Aliens?

Other worlds?

Binoculars and Scopes

Different Scopes

Power

Quality

Younger kids Outline (Cathy)

Earth

How things work in solar system naked eye

Sun as a star

Sunrise

Seasons

Sizes

Moon

Make moon

Phases

Eclipses

Record Phases

Galileo

Gravity

Tides

Planets

Name

Describe

Report

Locations / orbits

Winter constellations

Zodiac

Stories

Planisphere

Planetarium