Written by: Frances Dellutri, Jr. High / Intermediate Level SpacEdge Education Team and Lynne Zielinski, Manager of EIS Education
Topic: Art, Astronomy
Title of Lesson: Orbital Debris and Albedo - Middle School
Grade (Age) Level: Grades 5-8 (Ages 10-13)
Standards:  CCCS:   6.8.3, 6.8.7: http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RST/6-8/
NGSS:  MS-ESS1-3; MS-ESS3-2,3; MS-ETS1-1,4:  see http://www.nextgenscience.org/search-standards
When we look at the moon from Earth or the Earth from space, we are seeing reflected light, albedo. Earth is reflecting the sun's light energy and the moon is reflecting light energy from the sun and second hand sun reflection from Earth. Scientists have learned to use albedo in determining the size and shape of space objects that cannot be captured by a camera. The Air Force Phillips Laboratory in Maui, Hawaii uses albedo as one source to conduct measurements to characterize the orbital debris LEO environment. The U.S. Space Surveillance network primarily tracks deep space objects (those with orbital periods greater than 225 minutes) using optical sensors that detect reflected sunlight.  The observed brightness of a space object depends on many factors besides its size, such as its orientation, its surface composition and the viewing geometry.
This experiment gives a friendly hands-on demonstration of determining and analyzing albedo and takes into account a space object in a mock revolving orientation.

Application:  STEAM: Science, Technology, the Arts and Math

Classroom grade level appropriate:  5-8

Contributors:  Janet Ivey and Frances Dellutri, and Dr. Kathy Schmidt

This lesson is an adaptation of a lesson from Janet's Planet, with permission from Janet Ivey.

Wonderful opportunities can also be found at http://janetsplanet.com/


Written By:  Frances Dellutri, Middle School/Intermediate Level EIS Education Team, April 2016

Topics: Atmosphere, Computers, Mathematics, Micro-gravity,  Orbital Mechanics, Physics, Spacecraft

Grade (Age) Level:  Grades 5-8 (Ages 10-13)

Key Topics Associated with Standards: Collecting, Analyzing and Interpreting Data;  Gravitational Interactions; Forces and Motion, Relationship between Energy and Forces

US Standards:  NGSS

MS-ESS1-2 http://www.nextgenscience.org/pe/ms-ess1-2-earths-place-universe

MS-ESS1-3  http://www.nextgenscience.org/pe/ms-ess1-3-earths-place-universe

This project will acquaint you  with the forces that affect satellites, weightlessness, and the types of satellite orbits.    Learn about tracking satellites by using the Trek-A-Sat Activity, another lesson found in the SpacEdge Academy!

Written By: Frances Dellutri, Middle School/Intermediate Level SpacEdge Education Team, June 2016 

EIS Topic: Atmosphere, Centripetal Force, Computers, Mathematics, Micro-gravity, Free-fall, Orbital Mechanics, Physics, Satellites, Spacecraft, Weightlessness 

Grade (Age) Level: Grades 5-8 (Ages 10-13) 

Key Topics Associated with Standards: Collecting, Analyzing and Interpreting Data; Gravitational Interactions; Forces and Motion, Relationship between Energy and Forces 

US Standards:  NGSS:

MS-ESS1-1 http://www.nextgenscience.org/pe/ms-ess1-1-earths-place-universe

MS-PS2-4   http://www.nextgenscience.org/pe/ms-ps2-4-motion-and-stability-forces-and-interactions

MS-PS2-5  http://www.nextgenscience.org/pe/ms-ps2-4-motion-and-stability-forces-and-interactions

With this project you can track a satellite in real time. There are hundreds of satellite orbiting our planet.  The project "Satellites -