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SkyServer Projects - Teacher's Guides

Our projects are designed to teach astronomy interactively, using the tools that professional astronomers use. All examples in these projects are taken from real stars and galaxies as seen by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, the most detailed survey in the history of astronomy.

These pages give information on how to use SkyServer's projects as interactive labs in your science class. The projects can be done individually or by teams of 2-5. Each individual or team will need a computer with Web access.

The table below gives an overview of each project. Click on the project's name for more detailed information.

Hubble Diagram

Students retrace the steps of astronomer Edwin Hubble, who in 1929 shocked the world when he discovered that the universe was expanding.

Estimated time: 15 hours. Shorter versions available.

Color

Students learn why stars come in such an amazing variety of colors.

Estimated time: 9 hours. Shorter versions available.

Spectral Types

Students learn how astronomers make sense of the millions of stars they see.

Estimated time: 3 hours

Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram

Students learn how astronomers study the lives and times of stars, which live for millions or billions of years.

Estimated time: 8 hours

Galaxies

Students learn how do astronomers study galaxies, which can be millions or billions of light-years away.

Estimated time: 9 hours. This project requires knowledge from the Colors and Spectral Types projects.

Sky Surveys

Students learn about how astronomers map the sky, from ancient times to today's cutting edge technology.

Estimated time: 3 hours

Quasars

Students learn about quasars, the most distant and mysterious objects in the universe.

Estimated time: 5 hours. This project requires knowledge from the Colors and Hubble Diagram projects.

Image Processing

Students learn what happens to an astronomical image from the raw image taken by the camera to the final product stored on SkyServer.

Estimated time: 4 hours