Overview: Neptune's first circuit since discovery

Overview
of "Tales of … Neptune's first circuit around the Sun since its discovery"
Description:
Tales of … Neptune's first circuit around the Sun since its discovery explains how scientists have captured images of Neptune as it marked its first orbit around the Sun following its discovery in 1846. Due to its great distance from the Sun, about 30 times farther than Earth's distance, the planet travels slowly, requiring nearly 165 years to make on orbit. The story of its discovery, which was made by using Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation, also makes Neptune a unique planet.
Format(s) available: Printer-friendly web page
Grades: 8-12, 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 … Neptune's first circuit around the Sun since its discovery as:

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

An engagement activity. Have students read the selection. Ask them to how mathematics led astronomers to this new discovery.

An inquiry tool. Propose a question, such as "What role did mathematics play in the discovery of Neptune?” 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 how mathematics allowed astronomers to make this astronomical discovery.

Related materials

Press release: "Neptune Completes Its First Circuit around the Sun since Its Discovery"
http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/solar-system/2011/19/

The Star Witness news:
No Spring Picnic on Neptune

Press release: "Hubble Makes Movie of Neptune's Dynamic Atmosphere"
http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/solar-system/neptune/2005/22/image/a/

See the Solar system section on "Teaching tools" page.



Overview: Neptune's first circuit since discovery