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A Closer Look at Saturn's Rings

saturnrings.jpgThe May 11 successful launch of the space shuttle Atlantis marks NASA's fifth repair trip to the Hubble Space Telescope. This trip is listed as Atlantis's final servicing trip for Hubble, and slated repairs and upgrades include installation of the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, which will enable observation of "light put out by extremely faint, far-away quasars and see how that light changes as it passes through the intervening gas between distant galaxies."

The Hubble's wide-field camera will also be replaced as part of this mission.

According to NASA, "the new Wide Field Camera 3 will allow Hubble to take large-scale, extremely clear and detailed pictures over a very wide range of colors. At ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths the WFC3 represents a dramatic improvement in capability over all previous Hubble cameras."

High-powered telescopes and cameras like the ones that are part of the Hubble Space Telescope have enabled images that allow more fine-tuned observation of things like the composition of the rings of Saturn.

The "What Makes the Rings of Saturn?" Science Buddies science fair project idea is geared toward K-1 students and classrooms and shows photos both from the Hubble and from Voyager 2. In what becomes a hands-on project that merges art and science, young scientists get to simulate the composition of Saturn's rings and evaluate the ways in which composition affects appearance.

Science Buddies Science Activities

Science Buddies Summer Science Roundup


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School and family science weekly spotlight: experiment with tonic water and a black light to learn more about fluorescence and light energy!

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Are you a picky eater? Maybe there is a scientific reason for your reluctance to eat certain foods even if you know they are good for you. Find out with a tongue-dyeing taste-testing science project!

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Catch the annual Perseids meteor shower and tie in some fun family astronomy science with an exploration of parallax. How far away are the things we see in the sky?

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School and family science weekly spotlight: make a solar oven from household and recycled materials.

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With different kinds of dried beans, plastic cups, and water, kids can model rocks and observe the way different sized particles in rocks affect how much water a rock can hold.

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Students can experiment with the engineering design process by trying to improve the durability of a simple handheld device.



Your Science!
What will you explore for your science project this year? What is your favorite classroom science activity? Email us a short (one to three sentences) summary of your science project or teaching tip. You might end up featured in an upcoming Science Buddies newsletter!



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