Discovering exoplanets is one of the most exciting fields in astronomy today. We have found thousand of planets besides the ones that circle our Sun now, and planet hunting has reached a fever pitch. What are these other planets like? How do we find them? Are any other planets like the Earth?
This Course Includes a Great Bonus Lesson: What on Earth is Astronomy?
Exoplanets – Planets Beyond our Solar System
1. Objective & Warm-up activity
2. Meaning, origin and uses of the word “exo”
3. Old and new understandings of solar systems and galaxies
4. History of the search for exoplanets
5. Space-based telescopes and the search for exoplanets: Hubble, Kepler and Spitzer
6. Searching for exoplanets with different lights
Methods of exoplanet searching:
· Explanation of orbital brightness modulation
· Explanation of radial velocity
· Explanation of direct imaging
Types of exoplanets:
· Hot Jupiters
· Rogue planets
9. Brown dwarfs
10. Future exoplanet search tools and missions
11. Description of a scientific model
12. Habitable zones in solar systems
13. Types of stars
14. Binary stars and their planets
15. Naming exoplanets
16. Test questions
17. Cross-curricular activities
My name is Tony Ceraso and I will be your instructor. I sometimes run the planetarium and have written curriculum for the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. I have also written curriculum for NASA’s school visitation program and teach on the college level in NJ.
My goal is for you to thoroughly enjoy this lesson. I love astronomy and I want nothing more out of our time together than for you to have a greater appreciation for the universe through the understanding of this material. Besides the lesson I’m going to preview for you now, the course includes warm up activities, test questions, and cross-curricular activities for you to download as a supplement.