Finding Other Worldsby: Craig Freudenrich
edited by: The National Teachers Association (NSTA)

Journal ArticleDigital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.

Since 1995, astronomers have discovered over 100 known exoplanets--planets outside of our solar system--and determined their properties such as mass, orbital distance, size, and density. By using simple algebraic equations of physics, students can determine these properties as well. The activity described in this article is based on a new transit method of planet hunting that allows students to make hypotheses about the composition of extrasolar planets.

  • Middle
  • High
Publication Date

Community ActivitySaved in 128 Libraries

Reviews (2)
  • on Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:06 PM

This article describes an activity that explains how to find planets around other stars where the bright glare from a star interferes with seeing a tiny planet. Article includes both illustrations and algebra that would challenge students below a senior high school level. This is a good example of how astronomers go about finding those tiny planets.

Learning Center  (Minneola, Flordia)
Learning Center (Minneola, Flordia)

  • on Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:47 AM

I was impressed at how well the author tailored these activities for high school students (I do not think they would be very appropriate for middle school students unless they were very advanced). I haven't seen the concepts discussed here since working on my master's in geoscience - but they are very well-written and approachable for high school students. This is very encouraging to me. The science has not been watered down and that is impressive - given the topic!

Kendra Young  (Lake Stevens, WA)
Kendra Young (Lake Stevens, WA)

Free - NSTA Members

$1.29 - Nonmembers

Login or Create a Free Account to add this resource to your library.