Overview: Supernova 1987A history

of "Tales of … Key events in the history of Supernova 1987A"
Tales of … Key events in the history of Supernova 1987A presents a timeline of the discovery and subsequent observations of the nearest supernova in 400 years. This selection originally appeared as background information for a press release on the supernova.
Format(s) available: Printer-friendly web page
Grades: 9-12, but the material can be adapted for use in other grades at the teacher's discretion
How to use it in the classroom

Teachers can use Tales of … Key events in the history of Supernova 1987A as:

A content reading selection. Teachers should discuss the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary prior to having students read this selection.

An engagement activity. Have students read the selection. Ask them to explain how each telescope and/or detector has contributed to our study of the supernova.

An inquiry tool. Propose a question, such as "What would you do if you found a new star?" Have students read the selection and write down as many questions as they can about the information in the text.

A source of information. Students can use this as a tool to begin studying the evolution of massive stars, which end their lives as supernovae.

Related materials

Press release: "Onset of Titanic Collision Lights Up Supernova Ring"

Hubble image: SN1987A in the Large Magellanic Cloud

Press release: "Shock Wave Sheds New Light on Fading Supernova"

Overview: Supernova 1987A history