Astronomy and Cosmology

Since ancient times, humans have gazed at the stars and tried to understand the night sky. This process continues today with observations still made by the naked eye but also with sophisticated telescopes and instruments that look at infra-red, ultraviolet, microwave and other wavelengths. This collection contains images and classroom activities that help to bring astronomy and cosmology to life.


Life of a Star: Planetary Nebula Lithograph

This resource from NASA describes how low-mass stars expand in size and become red giants at the end of their lives. Then they shed their outer layers and become planetary nebulae.

The image of NGC 2440, a planetary nebula, is on the first page of the lithograph. Background information about the life cycle...

Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope

NASA's Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope, or GLAST, is a space-based telescope that looks at the universe in the gamma ray wavelengths. This telescope will study known sources of gamma rays in detail but will also discover thousands of new gamma-ray sources in its five-year mission. This resource has an image of...

Infra-red: More Than Your Eyes Can See

From NASA, this short video looks at how infra-red cameras see the world and are used to explore space. It describes the electromagnetic spectrum and how infra-red is a measure of heat radiation. The video concludes by showing how infra-red can be used in astronomy to observe distant stars and galaxies. The...

Space-based Astronomy Educator Guide

These resources from NASA look at why telescopes are put into space. Students build simple spectroscopes and telescopes to learn the answer to this question. This educator guide is divided into units of study that include science demonstrations, lesson plans and student sheets so that students may learn about Earth...


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