**Table of Contents **

*The Instructor’s Notes available from Pearson contain an equipment list and detailed narrative for each lab.*

*Labs marked with ** are most readily adaptable as shorter activities for larger lecture classes.*

**Quantitative Reasoning** (Two labs & four mini-labs, no equipment necessary)

*Students review the relevant mathematics used in the labs and have the opportunity to practice and apply their quantitative reasoning skills.*

**Quantitative Reasoning: A Trip to Mars****

*Students apply quantitative reasoning skills by considering a human spaceflight mission to Mars.*

**Quantitative Reasoning: Exploring Nearby Stars****

*Students apply quantitative reasoning skills by considering a human spaceflight mission to Alpha Centauri.*

**Exponents and Scientific Notation****

*Students practice using exponents and scientific notation to understand the Universe.*

**Ratios, Proportionalities, and Units****

*Students use ratios, proportionalities, and unit analysis to simplify equations and solve problems.*

**Creating and Interpreting Plots****

*Students practice creating and interpreting plots in the context of understanding the Solar System.*

**Estimation and Uncertainty****

*Students practice quantitative skills related to estimation and uncertainty.*

**Earth’s Perspective** (Six labs)

Students explore the geometry and motion of the Solar System and determine their effect on observations from Earth.

**Phases of the Moon****

*Students investigate how the observed phase of the Moon depends on the orientation of Earth and Sun.*

**The North Star and Precession****

*Students explore the astronomical significance of the North Star.*

**What Causes the Seasons: Earth’s Tilted Axis**

*Students explore how the motions of Earth relative to the Sun cause seasonal variations on Earth.*

**What’s in a Day: Solar and Sidereal Rotation****

*Students explore timekeeping based on Earth’s rotation and revolution and compare to Mercury.*

**Planetary Motions and the Night Sky****

*Students infer the structure of the Solar System based on simple observations.*

**Observatories Around the World****

*Students investigate the criteria used to select observatory locations on Earth.*

**Tools for Astronomical Observations** (Four labs)

Students investigate physical phenomena and observational techniques that are the essential tools for understanding astronomical objects.

**Light, Color, and Filters**

*Students investigate the nature of colored light and the function of filters.*

**Spectroscopy**

*Students investigate the dispersion of light and interpret spectra to determine the composition of an object.*

**Atoms and Electrons: Absorption and Emission****

*Students explore the link between atomic energy levels and the observed spectrum of a star.*

**Images and Telescopes**

*Students investigate the structure of a modern research telescope and the functions of its optical parts.*

**Solar System and Exoplanets** (Seven labs)

Students explore the motions and physical properties of the Sun and planets in our Solar System and investigate the detection of exoplanetary systems.

**Rotation of the Sun****

*Students investigate the rotation of the Sun and how it is observed from Earth.*

**Solar Energy and the Habitable Zone****

*Students explore how solar energy determines the location and size of the habitable zone around the Sun.*

**Bulk Density and Planet Composition****

*Students investigate how to infer the interior composition a planet based on its bulk density.*

**Gravity and Orbital Motion**

*Students use a gravity simulator to investigate orbital motion and Kepler’s Laws.*

**Gravitational Interactions in the Solar System**

*Students explore the gravitational influence of Jupiter on smaller objects in our planetary system.*

**Radial Velocity and Exoplanets: The Doppler Technique**

*Students investigate the indirect detection of exoplanets using the observed reflex motion of their host stars.*

**Photometry and Exoplanets: The Transit Technique**

*Students explore the indirect detection of exoplanets using photometric observations of stars.*

**Stars** (Six labs)

Students examine the implications of thermal radiation and nuclear fusion on the properties of stars and stellar evolution and investigate the remnants of high mass stars: pulsars and black holes.

**Colors of Stars**

*Students investigate what the color of a star reveals about its physical properties.*

**Stars and the H-R Diagram****

*Students investigate the radius, luminosity and temperature of stars using the H-R diagram.*

**Star Clusters and the Ages of Stars****

*Students apply stellar evolution and the H-R diagram to determine the ages of stars in clusters.*

**Nuclear Fusion and Energy in Stars****

*Students explore the creation of energy and heavy elements in stars.*

**Pulsars: Beams and Rotation**

*Students create a model of a pulsar and use it to understand observations of pulsars over time.*

**Gravity and Black Holes****

*Students investigate the exotic phenomena caused by the enormous gravity near a black hole.*

**Galaxies** (Five labs)

Students investigate the properties of the Milky Way and other galaxies by applying concepts introduced in previous activities, including light, colors, spectra, mass, gravity, and motion.

**The Effects of Interstellar Dust on Starlight**

*Students explore how dust affects starlight passing through interstellar space.*

**Mapping the Milky Way Galaxy****

*Students interpret observations to infer the structure of the Milky Way Galaxy and our location in it.*

**Spiral Arms and Star Formation****

*Students explore how the properties and motions of stars create the observed patterns in spiral galaxies.*

**Spiral Galaxies and Dark Matter****

*Students investigate how the motions of spiral galaxies provide evidence for dark matter.*

**Evolution of Galaxies****

*Students investigate the observational evidence for our understanding of galaxy evolution.*

**Cosmology** (Six labs)

Students analyze the formation, structure, expansion and early history of the Universe and explore the advantages and limitations of light-based astronomical observations.

**The Hubble Law and Expansion of the Universe****

*Students investigate the concept of expansion and consider how we can determine the age of the Universe.*

**Expansion and the Age of the Universe****

*Students apply the Hubble Law to determine the age of the Universe.*

**Accelerating Expansion of the Universe****

*Students explore the history of expansion using the Hubble Law and distances to far-away supernovae.*

**Lookback Time and the Evolving Universe****

*Students explore implications of the finite speed of light and interpret observations of the distant Universe.*

**The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation****

*Students examine the background radiation and what it implies about conditions in the early Universe.*

**First Three Minutes****

*Students explore what the relative proportions of H and He reveal about the first moments in the Universe.*