Learning about colours in astro photography

In astrophotography, colours are treated in different ways – telescopes generally do not take colour pictures, but use special filters to capture light in particular parts of the optical spectrum (e.g. red light only). This interactive app from the Faulkes Telescope project will show you how colour images are made using different filters, combining them to make various types of “colour image”.

Formation of the Moon

In this activity, pupils will learn about the formation of the Moon. They will also learn about the lunar orbit and the distance to the Moon. In groups, pupils will perform simple classroom experiments to investigate how craters are formed when a small asteroid strikes a planetary surface. They will understand that the appearance of a crater depends on the speed of the rock and to a lesser degree the angle at which it hits the ground.

Access online telescopes

Gain access to the Faulkes Telescope project, where teachers and students can access a global network of telescopes. Both live- and queue-based observations are available.

Choose what you want to observe and get your own pictures of planets, galaxies and nebulae.

Access to the Faulkes Telescope project is available for teachers and students in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Latvia through Online Observatory – do not miss out on this opportunity!

Impact calculator

This app allows you to simulate impacts on the Earth, Moon or Mars.

You can select the impactor parameters (composition, size, velocity, angle of impact) and then choose a target location. The crater that would be produced by your impactor is then displayed, along with various facts and figures about the impact.

You can compare your crater with real craters on each of the target bodies.

The sky above us

The rotation of the Earth is investigated by observing the length of a toy figure’s shadow in the course of a day.

As an extended task, you can use the Stellarium software to investigate the movements of the Sun. Alternatively, the students can make real observations of the position of the Sun in the sky in the course of a year (the analemma pattern).

This material is also available in:

Keywords: sky, diurnal motion, daily motion, shadow, Sun, analemma

Meteor camera network

Every day, several tons of material fall from space down on earth. Some of this material are rocks of sufficient size to make meteors (shooting stars) that survive the extreme heat as they are decelerated through our atmosphere. A few times every year, we see big fireballs, meteors big enough to survive all the way down onto the ground.

An artists impression of a fireball seen from space

The possibility of finding a meteorite have sent many out looking for stones that carry the signs of a space rock. Several networks of all-sky cameras exist around the globe, with the aim of doing research on meteor activity. Now, a network is being built to supply schools with unique class room material, where young students can participate in identifying meteors, calculating where their landing sites and their extra terrestial origins.

Here at the Online Observatory, we develop activities and tools that allow schools to contribute in the hunt for meteors and meteorites. The following talk was given at an event held at the Brorfelde Observatory in Denmark, June 2019.

As presented on the Multiplier Event at Brorfelde Observatory in June 2019

As presented on the Multiplier Event at Brorfelde Observatory in June 2019

Do you want to learn more about this project or have ideas on how to make these ideas even better, please contact us with your ideas and questions.

Geogebra files

Some activities require Geogebra files, where students can manipulate arrows indicating the path of given meteors. In these files, they can get acquainted with coordnates and distances of any given event. The files are still only prepared with maps of southern Norway.

Here are a few Geogebra files for download:

Jupiters moons and orbit resonance

The orbits of the planets and moons affect each other all the time, through minor gravity pulls whenever the objects are at their closest through their orbits. When these tiny pulls happen often and on a regular basis, we get something called orbit resonance. That creates simple harmonics, or ratios, where you can model the motions of e.g. Jupiters inner moons with ratios like 1:2:4.