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Paper: Graphing, Gravity, and Kepler’s Laws—Activities from NASA's Kepler Mission EPO
Volume: 443, Earth and Space Science: Making Connections in Education and Public Outreach
Page: 79
Authors: Gould, A.; DeVore, E.; Harman, P.
Abstract: NASA’s Kepler Mission, launched in March 2009, is detecting extrasolar planets by the transit method. The mission is posting light curves on the website that are used in the “Transit Tracks” lesson plan. Participants in this workshop experienced three activities: “Questions of Gravity,” “Moons of Jupiter” (with a deduce-Kepler’s-Third-Law variation), and “Transit Tracks,” which promotes understanding the concept of light curves by analyzing planet transit curves. Demonstration light curves were generated by a two-planet orrery model and real time data collection using light sensor and graphic interface common to high school labs. Principles of gravity and Kepler’s Laws were applied to calculate the extrasolar planets’ orbital radii and size. Kepler Mission findings and technology overview, as well as the lesson, were presented by the Kepler Mission.
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