Science
Strand V
Use Scientific Knowledge from the Earth and Space Sciences in Real-World Contexts

 

Science/Strand V
Content Standard 4
All students will compare and contrast our planet and Sun to other planets and star systems; describe and explain how objects in the solar system move; explain scientific theories as to the origin of the solar system; and explain how we learn about the universe. (Solar System, Galaxy, and Universe)

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 4
High School

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 4/High School
Benchmark 1
Compare our sun to other stars.

Benchmark Clarification

Our Sun is just a small star in space. Scientists measure characteristics of stars: temperature, color, size, apparent brightness, and absolute brightness.

Students will:

  • Explain why the Sun is a star
  • Compare and contrast the Sun with other stars
  • Deduce that the Sun is not an unusual star based on common star characteristics

Key Concept / Real World Context / Instructional Example / Assessment Example / Resources

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 4/High School/Benchmark 1
Key Concept
Temperatures

Colors and sizes

Apparent and absolute brightness

Double stars

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 4/High School/Benchmark 1
Real World Context
Observing color and brightness of stars

Observing double stars

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 4/High School/Benchmark 1
Instructional Example

Benchmark Question: How does our Sun rate as a star?

Focus Question: How are stars compared to each other?

The teacher should review with students the ideas of measuring a star's magnitude (brightness) and the relationship between temperature and a star’s color. The teacher should provide students with a data table listing a minimum of twenty different stars of different types, with their brightness and temperature.

Each student should plot each star on a graph. There are many different ways to make such a graph, and students should have the opportunity to set it up their own way. Hertzsprung-Russell diagrams are commonly set up with magnitude (brightness) on the vertical axis and temperature on the horizontal with highest on the left. The Sun’s position on the graph compared to other stars should be observed and discussed.

Constructing: (SCI.I.1HS.3), (SCI.I.1.HS.4).

Reflecting: (SCI.II.1.HS.1), (SCI.II.1.HS.4).

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 4/High School/Benchmark 1
Assessment Example

The teacher will give each student a list of characteristics for five unnamed stars. The student will plot the position of each star on the H-R (Hertzsprung-Russell) diagram. The student will construct a data table and classify each according to size (dwarf, average, giant, supergiant) and color (white, yellow, red.) based on their location on the H-R diagram.

The student will write a prediction that answers the question, “Which of the stars is most likely to be the Sun?”

(Give students rubric before activity.)

Scoring Rubric

Criteria

Apprentice

Basic

Meets

Exceeds

Correctness of diagram

Plots one to two stars correctly.

Plots three stars correctly.

Plots four stars correctly.

Plots five stars correctly.

Correctness of classification

Classifies one to two stars.

Classifies three stars.

Classifies four stars.

Classifies five stars.

Correctness of prediction

Does not locate Sun on main sequence.

Locates Sun on main sequence with proper magnitude or temperature.

Locates Sun on main sequence with proper magnitude and temperature.

Locates Sun on main sequence with proper magnitude and temperature and compares its size and temperature to other stars on the diagram.

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 4/High School/Benchmark 1
Resources

Webliography.
http://mtn.merit.edu/mcf/SCI.V.4.HS.1.html

Your Sky: a useful resource for obtaining sky maps for “any time and date, viewpoint, and observing location. Each map is accompanied by an ephemeris for the Sun, Moon, planets, and any tracked asteroid or comet. A control panel permits customization of for magnitudes, color, image size, and other parameters.”
http://www.fourmilab.to/yoursky/

NASA's Photo Gallery: a valuable site attempting to bring all of NASA's still imagery into one site.
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/archivepix.html

Stanford Solar Center. MESTA, 98.2.
http://solar-center.stanford.edu/

Virtual Sun.
http://www.michielb.nl/sun/