Overview: Groundbreaking supernova discovery

Overview
of "Tales of … Hubble's groundbreaking discovery about a distant supernova"
Description:
Tales of … Hubble's groundbreaking discovery about a distant supernova explains how scientists have discovered and confirmed a distant Type Ia supernova. Type Ia supernovae have a characteristic brightness, which allows astronomers to use them to measure distances. Confirming the distance using spectroscopy allows astronomers to better understand the effects of dark energy on the expansion rate of the universe.
Format(s) available: Printer-friendly web page
Grades: 10-12, 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 … Hubble's groundbreaking discovery about a distant supernova 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 describe how astronomers use the Hubble Space Telescope to study the effects of dark energy.

An inquiry tool. Propose a question, such as "How do astronomers use type Ia supernovae to study dark energy?" 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 describe the process of confirming the distant supernova discovery.

Related materials

Press release: "NASA's Hubble Breaks New Ground with Distant Supernova Discovery"
http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2012/02/full/

See the Stars and stellar evolution section on "Teaching tools" page.



Overview: Groundbreaking supernova discovery