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Location, Location, Location

Mauna Kea thirty meter telescope artist sketchThe clear skies above Hawaii’s Mauna Kea make the site ideal for a giant telescope. That’s assuming engineers can shield it from earthquakes, fierce winds, and extreme temperatures.

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Build a Cereal Box Eclipse Viewer

boy viewing eclipse using cereal box pinhole projectorTurn an empty cereal box into a pinhole projector or choose another DIY project for safely viewing the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. Don’t forget to look around, too, as your shadow sharpens, the horizon colors with sunset hues, and birds roost!

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Eclipse 101: What, Where, How?

eclipse illustrationOn August 21, 2017, all of North America will be treated to a solar eclipse, including a 90-mile swath of totality stretching from Oregon’s coast to Charleston, S.C. NASA has assembled a helpful guide for where, when, and how to experience the eclipse, including tips for safe viewing.

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Carpe Noctem: Dark Sky Movement

NASA image of USA lights from spaceIs light pollution affecting health and the environment? The world’s first academic center dedicated to studying the quality of night skies hopes to find out. Learn about the dark-sky movement and find resources for “seizing the night” – including marking International Dark Sky Week on April 22 – 28, 2017.

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Resource: Classroom on the Moon

GRAILNASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission will launch twin spacecraft in tandem orbits around the Moon to measure its gravity in unprecedented detail and create a gravitational map. GRAIL MoonKAM will allow classrooms to request pictures of the lunar surface from cameras on the twin satellites.

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Contest: Scientist for a Day

scientist for a dayNASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory recently announced the new Fall 2011 Cassini Scientist for a Day essay contest for students in grades 5-12. Winners are invited to a teleconference with Cassini scientists and engineers from the lab. The contest deadline is Oct. 26, 2011.

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As The World Turns

EquinoxSince ancient times, seasons have played a powerful role in shaping human life. They affect what crops we grow, what customs we follow, even our moods. The science behind those changes in the day’s length, however, took centuries to unravel.

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Lesson: Mayan Calendar

800px-Chichen-Itza-Castillo-Seen-From-EastIn this lesson combining math, engineering, and history, students in grades 6-12 learn about the ancient calendar system used by the Maya of Central America. Students construct a simple model of a calendar round, learning about prime numbers and the mechanics of these ancient devices.

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Website: NASA’s Ancient Observatories

gal_010NASA’s Website Ancient Observatories, Timeless Knowledge contains a rich bank of material to help students, educators, and others explore the astronomical activities of pre-modern cultures. With separate sections for students and educators, the site contains lesson plans, web resources and links, interactive games, a timeline, and a photo gallery, as well as a showcase of Native Americans involved with NASA.

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