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Age dating star clusters

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Overview:
Students explore how classification and graphing are used by astronomers to determine the age of star clusters. They will measure the color and brightness of stars, as proxies for temperature and luminosity

Author/Source:
Whitfield, Lisť

Grade:
9-12

Discipline:
Space science

Time:
~ one hour

Concepts:
Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.

  • Science is both a body of knowledge and the process for building that knowledge. (NOS5)

  • Science aims to build explanations of the natural world. (P3, P6)

  • Science focuses on natural phenomena and processes.

  • Scientific knowledge is open to question and revision as new ideas surface and new evidence is discovered. (P4, P6, NOS3)

  • Scientific ideas cannot be absolutely proven.

  • The process of science involves observation, exploration, testing, communication, and application.

  • Scientific observations can be made directly with our own senses or may be made indirectly through the use of tools.

  • Scientists can test ideas about events and processes long past, very distant, and not directly observable.

  • Scientists test their ideas using multiple lines of evidence. (P6, NOS2)

  • Scientists look for patterns in their observations and data. (P4, P5, NOS2)

  • Raw data must be analyzed and interpreted before we can tell whether a scientific idea is likely to be accurate or inaccurate. (P4, P5)

  • Analysis of data usually involves putting data into a more easily accessible format (visualization, tabulation, or quantification of qualitative data). (P4, P5)

  • Scientists usually work collaboratively. (NOS7)

  • Science relies on the accumulated knowledge of the scientific community to move forward. (NOS5)

Teacher background:

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