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Phases of the Moon

This resource, from the Royal Observatory Greenwich, challenges students to explain the phases of the Moon by linking the movement of the Moon around the Earth with our perspective from Earth of light and shadow on the Moon.

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Drawing Orbits

This activity, from the Royal Observatory Greenwich, allows students to visualise the orbits of planets as ellipses, rather than circles, and allows for the further study of the geometry of these orbits through basic algebra, using terms derived from the drawing...

Celestia Navigation

Celestia is a spaceflight simulator that allows you to explore real astronomical data as you fly through space. The majority of content is related to our Solar System.

This resource, from the Royal Observatory Greenwich, acts as a basic guide and explores the potential of the program with a sample Key Stage...

Stellar Sat Nav

In these two activities, from the Royal Observatory Greenwich, students use bearings to plot constellations. They are then asked to think about what they represent.

The Higher Level file has more complex...

Colour and Wavelength in Space

In this activity, from the Royal Observatory Greenwich, students look at the Sun and the Milky Way in different wavelengths. They apply their understanding of the electromagnetic spectrum to astrophysical objects and look at why it is important to use the whole spectrum in astronomy. The images of the Sun are...

Galaxy Zoo and the Universe

These two activities, from the Royal Observatory Greenwich, involve using the website Galaxy Zoo to classify five samples of ten galaxies. The results are recorded in a table and presented in the form of a bar chart for each sample. These can be drawn on paper or plotted using...

Kepler's Third Law

This activity, from the Royal Observatory Greenwich, illustrates Kepler’s Third Law for our own Solar System using graphical methods, with a further look at how the same law can be used to derive information about the orbits of exoplanets around their parent stars....

Radius and Volume of Exoplanets

This activity, from the Royal Observatory Greenwich, uses data from NASA’s Kepler space probe to determine the size of an exoplanet, and provides students with an insight into the advantages and disadvantages of the transit method of exoplanet detection.

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The Rotational Period of the Sun

This activity, from the Royal Observatory Greenwich, introduces students to ways of combining errors (uncertainties) from two independent measured quantities. Using the equation for Doppler shift, the error in the rotational velocity and time period are calculated....

Plotting the Rotation Curve of M31

In this activity, from the Royal Observatory Greenwich, students use real data, taken from a scientific paper, to plot the rotational curve of M31 (Andromeda), our neighbouring spiral galaxy. They will look at Kepler’s third law to predict the motion of stars around the centre of M31. They will then measure the...

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