Auroras: Paintings In The Sky
Students go an a tour of auroral phenomena through research images and taped interviews with scientists. Diagrams and text provide background on qualitative magneto-dynamics, and explanations of locations of auroral zones on the Earth. Variations in color are used to introduce ideas about spectroscopy.
1. Where can you see auroras and what do they look like?
2. What makes them happen, and why do they have different colors?
1. Students will be familiar with auroral phenomena and where they appear on the Earth’s surface.
2. Students will connect auroras on Earth to activity on the Sun, and understand the mechanism that produces auroras.
3. Students will be familiar with the study of auroras from the Earth and from space.
Detailed Learning Objectives
General Subject Areas
Atmospheric Science, Space Physics
Author: Mish Denlinger
VIEW THE LESSON
A self-guided tour of auroras in five sections, illustrated with pictures of aurora, images from spacecraft, and diagrams. Students navigate through pages sequentially.
Browser skills, basic geography; an understanding of the basic concepts of electric charge and magnetic fields.
The site provides a page of additional links to other solar, auroral, and space weather sites for further study.
*The SUNSPOTS lesson provides an introduction to the science of solar activity, the source of auroras*
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Approximately 1-3 hours of class time for the basic lesson.
-Internet connected computer with WWW browser program.
-A world globe is useful.
Best For Grades
National Science Education Standards (NSES)
State Science Standards
Grade 5 Earth Sciences
Grade 8 Physical Science
Grades 9-12 Earth Sciences
Grades 9-12 Physics
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