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Exploring the Sun! A WebQuest Activity created by Ellen Osborn.

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1 Exploring the Sun! A WebQuest Activity created by Ellen Osborn

2 Introduction You have just received an urgent message from NASA. The computers at the NASA Space Center have crashed, and all of the information that the scientists and astronomers have collected about the Sun is lost. You have been chosen to go into space to find the missing information about the Sun. You must leave immediately for your mission into space to research the Sun and report your findings back to the NASA scientists.

3 The Task Working in groups of 2 to 4 you will search several web sites and use the information discussed in class to answer a series of questions about the Sun. At the end of three sessions, you and your partner will write a report that includes 2 or 3 pictures of the Sun, informing the NASA scientists about your findings from your trip to the Sun. You will use the research information that you found during these sessions as the content of your report. The pictures of the Sun should be printed from the computer or drawn by hand.

4 Note: This WebQuest is set up for three class periods. If (after working diligently) at the end of the second class period you and your partner(s) find there will not be enough time to complete this WebQuest, please see the instructor. Then and only then, will you receive directions on your next step.

5 These are the questions that the NASA scientists would like to have answered: oWhat is the distance to the Sun from the Earth in miles? oWhat type of Star is the Sun? oHow do astronomers measure the temperature of the Sun without going there? oWhat is the chemical make-up of the Sun (include percentages)? oWhat is the history of the Sun? oWhat is the Sun’s surface temperature? Q uestions

6 Q uestions (con’t ) oHow old is the Sun? oHow many days does it take the Sun to complete it’s rotational period? oWhat is the Sun’s mass? oHow does the Earth receive heat from the Sun? oWhat are the layers that make-up the Sun? oDefine the following terms: support, solar flare, auroras, and solar wind? You may include any additional interesting facts that you find about the Sun in your report.

7 Resources Here are some world Wide Web sites that will help you find answers to some of your questions Click on the colored words to go that link. oTake a trip “through the Sun” on this Virtual TourVirtual Tour oThe Sun can be a very dangerous place to visit. Visit this site to find out why.dangerous oThe sun is made up of different gases and chemicals. Discover how these gases created the Sun.gases and chemicalscreated the Sun. oIt may look close, but the specific type of star that gives off energy.specific type of star

8 Resources (con’t) oUse these sites for interesting Sun facts and more interesting Sun facts. These sites will provide you with information you may have difficulty finding in any of the above mentioned sites.interesting Sun facts more interesting Sun factsinformation You may also find your Applied Technology notebook and textbook helpful in answering some of the questions.

9 The Process 1.Read over the entire assignment so that you understand what will be expected of you. 2.Look at the questions that you are required to answer. Make sure that you and your partner have a good idea of the type of information that you will be searching for. 3.Use the resources listed on this page to search for answers to the questions. Your AT textbook and notebook can also be used. 4.After all of the questions have been answered, you and your partner will write a report to the NASA scientists that describes your research of the Sun. Remember that you must include at least 2 or 3 pictures of the Sun. 5.Type your report on the computer, and include any pictures that you are using. Your finished product will be ed to a “NASA scientist” (Mrs. Osborn). The address that you will use is

10 Some Advice to You! Make sure to always work with your partner(s). You could divide up the questions that need to be answered, and then work together to see where you might need to search for more information to give appropriate answers to the questions. Keep in mind that your purpose in doing this assignment is to inform someone else about your research. Do not write about something that you may not understand. It might be a good idea to use some type of chart to organize the information that you will be collecting.

11 Conclusion When you have finished writing your report to the NASA scientists, you will be an expert on the Sun in our solar system, Thin about everything that you have learned about the Sun, and about how much more there is to learn about our solar system. Congratulations….and NASA thanks you!!


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