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De-Coding Starlight: From Pixels to Images - High School

Alignment of Performance Activity with National Standards

Author's Note: These standards are for middle school level. This page will need to be revised to reflect the middle school level. This page serves as a reminder to alter these standards as appropriate.

Specific skills and knowledge demonstrated by the activity Alignment with Project 2061 Benchmarks for Scientific Literacy Alignment with National Science Education Standards
The student will use data collected from the Chandra X-ray Observatory to calculate the average pixel intensity of X-ray emissions from a supernova remnant. 4A-The universe (9-12) #3: Increasingly sophisticated technology is used to learn about the universe. Visual, radio, and X-ray telescopes collect information from across the entire spectrum of electromagnetic waves... Content Standard B-Physical Science: Interactions of Energy and Matter #2: Electromagnetic waves result when a charged object is accelerated or decelerated. Electromagnetic waves include radio waves (the longest wavelength), microwaves, infrared radiation (radiant heat), visible light, ultraviolet radiation, X-rays, and gamma rays. The energy of electromagnetic waves is carried in packets...
The student will order average pixel intensity levels into range levels and associate image colors to each level to will create an image of a supernova remnant. 4A-The universe (9-12) #4: Mathematical models and computer simulations are used in studying evidence from many sources in order to form a scientific account of the universe. Content Standard A-Inquiry (9-12)-Use of Technology and mathematics to improve investigations and communications: A variety of technologies, such as hand tools, measuring instruments, and calculators, should be an integral component of scientific investigations. Mathematics plays an essential role in all aspects of an inquiry. For example, ...graphs are used for communicating results
The student will interpret an image formed from real data and develop explanations as to why scientists employ computers to process and analyze astronomical data. 11B-Models (9-12) #2 Computers have greatly improved the power and use of mathematical models by performing computations that are very long, very complicated, or repetitive. Therefore computers can show the consequences of applying complex rules or of changing the rules. The graphic capabilities of computers make them useful in the design and testing of devices and structures and in the simulation of complicated processes. Content Standard A-Inquiry (9-12)-Understandings About Scientific Inquiry: Scientists rely on technology to enhance gathering and manipulation of data. New techniques and tools provide new evidence to guide inquiry and new methods to gather data, thereby contributing to the advance of science.