Astronomy & Astrophysics Classroom Resources
This collection of lessons and web resources is aimed at classroom teachers, their students, and students' families.
Understanding NSF Research: Astronomy & Astrophysics
Resource: All Audiences
For more than 60 years, NSF has significantly advanced the understanding of the universe as the federal steward for ground-based astronomy. From its first contract to build the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, NSF has funded construction and operation of some of the world's most renowned telescopes, providing scientists with world-class instrumentation and facilities. Those investments have positioned the U.S. as a global leader in ground-based astronomy.
Exploring Black Holes
Black holes are extremely dense pockets of matter, objects of such incredible mass and miniscule volume that they drastically warp the fabric of space-time. Anything that passes too close, from a wandering star to a photon of light, gets captured. Most black holes are the condensed remnants of a massive star, the collapsed core that remains following an explosive supernova. However, the black hole family tree has several branches, from tiny structures on par with a human cell to enormous giants billions of times more massive than our sun.
Solar Science: Exploring the power of our closest star
More than a million Earths could fit inside the sun, yet by star standards, our sun is only considered a "yellow dwarf." Its impact on our planet is irrefutable. Solar winds spark the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis in Earth's atmosphere. The sun's magnetic fields and atmostphere-specifically its corona-fuel space weather that affects Earth's power grids and communications systems. And the sun's undeniable power increasingly has become a power source for this planet as well. NSF funds a broad array of research connected to the sun, our nearest star, and is building what will be the biggest, most powerful soalr telescope in the world. The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) will go online in early 2020.