To get started:

  1. Look over the brief descriptions of the available activities below and decide how much class time you will spend on asteroids. The activities are flexible, designed to last one day, one week, or longer if you use Asteroid Colors as a student research project.
  2. You will need to arrange for observing time on a telescope with a CCD camera, perhaps at a local private observatory. If you do not have access to a telescope, we will provide you time on a remote-controlled telescope at the New Mexico skies observatory near Cloudcroft, NM. To sign up, just email a request to: spompea@noao.edu. You will be provided with the additional information you need to observe.
  3. Download the pdf’s of the Teachers Notes for each activity you wish to use from the links below, and the pdfs of the student versions from Student Pages/Activities. The supporting curriculum materials are at Student Pages/All About Asteroids. They may be printed out or read online.

Teacher’s Notes

  1. Adopt an Asteroid [59 KB pdf]. This is the basic introduction to asteroids, taking about one hour of class time and a one-hour asteroid-discovery observing experience for your students.
  2. Asteroid Spectra [57 KB pdf]. This is one version of a more complete introduction to asteroids, tying them to meteorites and earth geologic processes. This version takes about one week of classroom time. The activity is paper/computer-based and introduces one of the most important areas of asteroid research today.
  3. Asteroid Colors [62 KB pdf]. This is another version of a more complete introduction to asteroids, again tying them to meteorites and earth geologic processes. This version takes about one week of classroom time. The activity includes observation and analysis of asteroid colors. It is more challenging than simple asteroid discovery, and involves mathematics and graphing. It also introduces another of the most important areas of asteroid research today.
  4. Science Standards