Since the distances to the stars cannot be measured directly, astronomers use a variety of techniques including triangulation and parallax, comparison of absolute and apparent magnitude, and Cepheid variables. Triangulation is an indirect method of measuring the distance to an object by imagining a triangle between the observer at two positions and the object (see Fig.1). Parallax, as used in this activity, is the apparent motion of a relatively close object when viewed by the observer from two different positions. In this activity, students learn how parallax and triangulation can be used to indirectly measure the distance to stars. Students will also consider the limitations of using parallax to measure the distance to objects that are further away.
Students are guided through a case study used to introduce the IOU inquiry process (making Inferences from Observations based on Understanding) used in Problem Based Learning (PBL). Opportunity for... read more
Categories: Lab/Student Activity
Author: Matthew Cole, Don Galbraith Award winner, Nipissing University The focus of this lesson plan is to allow the students to discover the effects of the centripetal force through an inquiry... read more