A global family of giant telescopes - on the ground and in space - provides an inspirational context for STEM learning. This collection of resources linked in to astronomy cover the following topics within the curriculum: telescopes, the electromagnetic spectrum, infra-red, redshift and Doppler shift, image processing, supernovae, Hubble’s Law, measuring distances in the Universe, H-R diagrams, galaxies and exoplanets.
Telescopes such as the Gaia Spacecraft, which was launched in December 2013, can be highly topical science news stories. Others, such as the European Extremely Large Telescope which will see “First Light” in 2022, are huge long-term international endeavours. The telescopes are complementary, operating at different wavelengths and with different fields of view.
In addition to the stunning images they produce, they offer three main contexts for teaching physics, chemistry, computing and even the biology of alien life:
• The science of astronomy, ranging from the movements of the night sky to the lifecycle of stars and the study of exoplanets.
• The technological challenges of giant telescopes and their instruments.
• The demands of their extreme locations including rocket launches and operating in space or on high-altitude mountaintops.
This collection of resources has been recommended by ESERO UK Space Ambassadors.