Overview: RS Puppis litho

of "Lithograph: Cepheid Variable Star RS Puppis"
Lithograph: Cepheid Variable Star RS Puppis (PDF)
(3.9MB; Adobe Reader required)
This image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows the variable star RS Puppis. RS Puppis is an example of a special class of variable stars called Cepheid variables, which have a link between the period and intrinsic brightness of the star. This link allows astronomers to determine the distance to the star. The text explains the historic importance of Cepheid variable stars as mile markers. The lithograph includes a classroom activity.
Format(s) available: PDF
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 Lithograph: Cepheid Variable Star RS Puppis as:

An example of a variable star. Use the inquiry-based classroom activity called "In Search of … Cepheid Variable Stars" that is included with the PDF lithograph.

An engagement tool in an inquiry-based lesson. Have students study the images on the lithograph. Ask them to write down any questions they have about the images. When the students are finished, their questions can be used in a variety of ways:

• Ask students to find the answers to their questions by reading the text on the lithograph and/or the related materials listed below.

• Have students exchange papers so that each student has someone else's questions. Then have them find the answers to the other students' questions by reading the text on the lithograph and/or the related materials listed below.

• Gather the questions into a list by asking students to volunteer to read their questions while you or another student records them. Ask students to raise their hands if they had the same or a similar question. Count the number of hands raised and record this number next to the question. Once all the student questions have been added to the list, have students search for the answers to their questions in the text on the back of the lithograph. When they complete that task, ask them to decide if each of their questions was answered completely, answered partially, or not answered at all. Go through the original list and place an "A" in front of the questions that were answered completely, a "P" for those that were partially answered, and an "N" for those that were not answered at all. Determine if the most commonly asked questions were also answered completely. Encourage students to do further research to find answers to the unanswered questions.

A content reading tool. Have students read the text on the lithograph and then write a quiz for the class.

Related materials

Press release: "Hubble Watches Super Star Create Holiday Light Show"

Tales of ... The star that changed the universe

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

Overview: RS Puppis litho