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B Uranus and/or Neptune Lab ideas

  1. Sep 14, 2018 #1
    I teach high school astronomy. I have been searching the interwebz for a lab or "meaningful" activity related to uranus or neptune, and have come up empty handed. I have found several lab manuals from different universities and i'm beginning to think that such a lab or activity does not exist.

    Does anyone have any materials or ideas on what I could do for these two planets? even if its "higher level" stuff, id love to see it.
     
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  3. Sep 14, 2018 #2

    Drakkith

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    What kind of equipment do the students have access to? Do they have access to telescopes and related equipment?

    Did those lab manuals lack activities regarding Uranus, or were they too advanced/required equipment you didn't have access too/something else?
     
  4. Sep 14, 2018 #3
    I have a few small telescopes but we are in the heart of the city. also, keeping them after school is gonna be tough. i have about 130 astro students. everyone has a computer. i have a few computers that i could put software on if needed.

    the lab manuals lack activities. not a single mention of either planet.
     
  5. Sep 14, 2018 #4

    TeethWhitener

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    One of the most interesting new pieces of research (to me at least) about Uranus/Neptune is the Nice model:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nice_model
    which postulates that Uranus and Neptune actually switched positions in the early Solar System (due to orbital interactions of Jupiter and Saturn), and this instability caused the late heavy bombardment of the inner planets as well as the formation of a number of features of the outer Solar System (Jupiter Trojans, resonant trans-Neptunian objects, etc). If you could get your hands on the right software, you might have the students run some--possibly simplified--simulations related to this.
     
  6. Sep 14, 2018 #5

    Vanadium 50

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    It would be helpful if you listed the constraints you have. And, to be honest, daytime astronomy tends to be rather limited.
     
  7. Sep 15, 2018 at 12:33 PM #6
    i'm looking for something to do inside.

    anything done outside, at night is for a club. not for my regular 150 students lol
     
  8. Sep 15, 2018 at 12:36 PM #7

    Vanadium 50

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    I'm sorry, I meant "It would be helpful if you listed all the constraints you have" I don't think a million-dollar project is what you are interested in. But please don't have us guess.
     
  9. Sep 16, 2018 at 6:01 PM #8
    i dont understand what your asking. All constraints? i don't know. i can't take them outside at night. i have computers that could put some software on if i needed to.

    we have a day where we talk about the planet. then we have a day where we do an activity or a lab related to that planet. so far, i have something planned for each planet. something like comparing surface features. or mapping an orbit using a protractor and greatest elongation angle. for jupiter, we look at several mercator projections over some time period and come up with a velocity that the gsp is moving at.

    I'm looking for something like that but with uranus or neptune. all i can find online is like coloring book activities.
     
  10. Sep 16, 2018 at 6:14 PM #9

    Drakkith

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    How about having your students compare the two 'ice giants'. Have them look into the differences of these two planets. Or have them look into the trajectory of Voyager 2's journey that took it on a flyby of both planets?
     
  11. Sep 16, 2018 at 7:48 PM #10

    Tom.G

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  12. Sep 17, 2018 at 7:54 AM #11
    It may boil down to me doing that. Instead of having a talk about them make it a little research project.
     
  13. Sep 18, 2018 at 12:48 AM #12

    stefan r

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    Liquid nitrogen is always fun.
     
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