Please Note: These lessons were originally written in 1999, but were expanded and upgraded in 2004, and a few were added then. These are not scripts for lessons, but outlines and suggested discussions, questions and examples, often going beyond what can be comfortably covered. Teachers should always select parts which are appropriate to the needs of their particular class.
Astronomy of the Earth's motion in space:
1. Stargazers and Skywatchers
1a. The Celestial Sphere
1b. Finding the Pole Star
2. The Path of the Sun, the Ecliptic
2a. Building a Sundial
3. Seasons of the Year
4. The Angle of the Sun's Rays
5. Latitude and Longitude
6. The Calendar
8. The Round Earth and Christopher Columbus
Includes 8a. Distance to the Horizon
8c. How Distant is the Moon?--1
8d. How Distant is the Moon?--2
The central role of the Sun
9a. Aristarchus: Is Earth Revolving around the Sun?
Includes 9b. The Earth's Shadow
9c. Copernicus, Galileo, and the Discovery of the Solar System
10. Kepler and his Laws
11. Graphs and Ellipses
11a. Ellipses and Kepler's First Law
12. Kepler's Second Law
13. The Way Things Fall
16. Newton and his Laws
17. Mass Includes:
17a. Mass Measurements aboard Space Station Skylab
17b. Comparing Masses without the Use of Gravity
18. Newton's Second Law
18a. Newton's 3rd Law
19. Motion in a Circle
20. "Newton's theory of "Universal Gravitation"
21. Kepler's Third Law Includes:
21a. Applying Kepler's Third Law
22. Frames of Reference: The Basics
22a Airplane Flight
23. Frames of Reference: The Centrifugal Force
24. Rotating Frames of Reference in Space and on Earth
S-1. Sunlight and the Earth
S-1A. Weather and the Atmosphere
S-1B. Global Climate, Global Wind Flow
S-2. Our View of the Sun
S-3. The Magnetic Sun
S-4. The Many Colors of Sunlight
S-5. Waves and Photons
S-6. Seeing the Sun in a New Light
S-7. The Energy of the Sun
S-7A. The Discovery of Atoms and Nuclei
(appendix to the preceding lesson plan)
Questions and Answers by users of "Stargazers".
Hints to users.
A Glossary of Terms (Cross-linked, keyed to the text)
Timeline (A chronology).
Annotated Timeline (With added dates from history).
Of special interest to teachers:
"From Stargazers to Starships" follows an earlier site "The Exploration of the Earth's Magnetosphere". "Stargazers" deals with the world of gravity--of massive planets and stars, and the way spaceflight is achieved despite their strong pull. "Exploration" on the other hand looks at the hot (but usually rarefied) gases which fill most of space, which are ruled by magnetic and electric forces rather than by gravity. The polar aurora, the radiation belts, the solar wind, magnetic storms, "space weather", cosmic radiation--this is the site which tells you all about them.