Overview: Tales of… Cosmic magnifying glass

Overview
of "Tales of … Finding the distance to a galaxy through a cosmic magnifying glass"
Description:
Tales of … Finding the distance to a galaxy through a cosmic magnifying glass explains how scientists found one of the farthest, faintest, and smallest galaxies ever seen. The story explains the two methods used to estimate the distance to the galaxy, which was detected in the Frontier Fields image of galaxy cluster Abell 2744.
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 … Finding the distance to a galaxy through a cosmic magnifying glass 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 identify the “cosmic magnifying glass” and why it has this name.

An inquiry tool. Propose a question, such as "What role did gravitational lensing play in the estimation of the distance?" 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 explain what scientists were able to determine about the galaxy from the galaxy cluster Abell 2744 image, and/or describe how scientists estimated the distance to the galaxy.

Related materials

HubbleSite press release: "Hubble Finds Extremely Distant Galaxy through Cosmic Magnifying Glass"
http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2014/39/full/

Lithograph: "Galaxy Cluster Abell 2744"
http://amazing-space.stsci.edu/capture/galaxies/preview-abell2744.php

The Star Witness news: "Frontier Fields: Hubble Goes Deep"
http://amazing-space.stsci.edu/news/archive/2014/01/

See the Galaxies page in the "Teaching tools" section of Amazing Space.



Overview: Tales of… Cosmic magnifying glass