For Grades 9-12
Classroom Activities, Grades 9-12
Orbits of Jupiter's Moons and Kepler's 3rd Law (PDF, 300 KB) and Kepler's 3rd Law (grades 8-12) — Students use a series of 31 images of Jupiter’s 4 Galilean moons to find their orbit periods and orbit radii. They compare their results with known data for those moons. Finally they test various mathematical expressions to find a “constant” relationship between orbit period (T) and orbit radius (R) to arrive at Kepler’s 3rd Law.
Hands-On Universe Activities (require image processing software):
- Tracking Jupiter's Moons is an investigation from the Hands-On Universe project in which students use image processing software to analyze observatory images of Jupiter and its moons. Students determine the relationship of orbital radius and period, then use Newton's and Kepler's laws to compute the mass of Jupiter. Requires Image Processing software, such as HOU IP 2.0.
- Exoplanet Transits — Students use telescope images, image processing software, and data from the Internet to determine the size and orbital period of an exoplanet.
Search for Extrasolar Planets - An Introduction-to-Kepler-Mission exercise created by Zo Webster and implemented at 2010 GEARS (Georgians Experience Astronomy Research in Schools) workshop.
Nifty things to put on your computer to stay up-to-date on exoplanet discoveries: