From Stargazers to Starships

Lesson Plans

Astronomy of the Earth's motion in space:

The Sky Above Us
  1a.    Finding the Pole Star
2. The Path of the Sun, the Ecliptic
   2a.    Building a Sundial
3. Seasons of the Year
4. The Angle of the Sun's Rays
5. Latitude and Longitude    5a.   Navigation   
5b.    Coordinates
6. The Calendar
7. Precession
8. The Round Earth and Christopher Columbus
      Includes 8a. Distance to the Horizon
   8b.     Parallax
   8c.     How Distant is the Moon?--1
   8d.     How Distant is the Moon?--2
9.The central role of the Sun
   9a.    Aristarchus: Is Earth Revolving around the Sun?
      Includes 9b. The Earth's Shadow
   9c.    Copernicus, Galileo, and the Discovery of the Solar System
10. Kepler and his Laws
11. Graphs and Ellipses
   11a.    Ellipses and Kepler's First Law
12. Kepler's Second Law


Newtonian mechanics

13. The Way Things Fall
14. Vectors
15. Energy
16. Newton and his Laws
17. Mass       Includes:
  17a.    Mass Measurements aboard Space Station Skylab
  17b.    Comparing Masses without the Use of Gravity
18. Newton's Second Law
  18a.    Momentum
19. Motion in a Circle
20. Newton's theory of "Universal Gravitation"
21. Kepler's Third Law       Includes:
  21a.   Applying Kepler's Third Law
22. Frames of Reference: The Basics Includes:
  22a.   The Aberrations of Starlight
  22b.   Airplane Flight
23. Frames of Reference: The Centrifugal Force
24. Rotating Frames of Reference in Space and on Earth

Helpful Material

Questions and Answers by users of "Stargazers".
Hints to users.
A Glossary of Terms     (Cross-linked, keyed to the text)
Timeline          (A chronology).
Annotated Timeline   (With added dates from history). .
Of special interest to teachers:

"From Stargazers to Starships" follows an earlier site: The Exploration of the Earth's Magnetosphere. "Stargazers" deals with the world of gravity--of massive planets and stars, and the way spaceflight is achieved despite their strong pull. "Exploration" on the other hand looks at the hot (but usually rarefied) gases which fill most of space, which are ruled by magnetic and electric forces rather than by gravity. The polar aurora, the radiation belts, the solar wind, magnetic storms, "space weather", cosmic radiation--this is the site which tells you all about them.

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Author and Curator: David P. Stern
Web Design: Conway Carter
Image Editing: Eddie Welker

Last updated: 14 July, 1999