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Others Like “Similar Triangles: Using Parallax to Measure Distance”

Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Do you enjoy going stargazing? In a good location on a clear night, you can see a huge number of stars twinkling in the night's sky. Have you ever wondered how far those stars are from us? Ancient astronomers actually discovered a way figure this out, measuring the distance from Earth to faraway stars. How did they do it without modern technologies? In this astronomy science project you will find out by exploring the link between the distance of an object and perspective (also known as… Read more
Astro_p006
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No hazards
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail How big a ruler would you need to measure the circumference of the Earth? Did you know that you can do it with a yardstick? (And you won't have to travel all the way around the world!) Read more
Astro_p018
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites You will need to understand some basic principles of geometry for this project. You will need a friend or relative in a distant city to make a shadow measurement for you on the same day you make yours. Both of you will need clear weather.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail This is a great project for someone that is interested in both stargazing and photography. Bright city lights and even the light of the full moon obscure the dimmest stars, which can make identifying constellations more difficult. This project shows you a way to measure the amount of background light (skyglow) in the night sky. It can be a great way for you to quickly compare the star viewing quality for different locations, or for the same location at different times of the year. Read more
Astro_p022
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites You'll need a digital camera that take pictures in manual mode with exposure times of up to 15 seconds. You will need to know how to change the shutter speed, lens aperture, and ISO setting. A tripod for the camera is nice to have, but not absolutely essential. You will also need a computer.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision required for night photography.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail The sun sometimes releases huge bursts of electrified gases into space. These bursts are called coronal mass ejections (or CMEs). When CMEs are directed towards Earth they can generate auroras, the spectacular atmospheric displays also known as "northern lights" (photo by Chris VenHaus, 2001). In this project you'll use images from the SOHO satellite to measure how fast CMEs move. Read more
Astro_p020
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Everyone loves looking at the full moon, but are these nights the best time to go stargazing? Can the moon interfere with certain astronomical observations? Read more
Astro_p014
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Use safety measures when in dark areas and use a flashlight when walking in the dark.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever seen amazing, colored images of objects in space, like stars or even entire galaxies? Some of these images were originally taken with forms of radiation that the human eye cannot actually see, like x-rays. In order to create the beautiful pictures you see in the news or online, scientists have to use an image-editing program to add color to them. In this astronomy science project, you will use raw x-ray data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory telescope to create amazing… Read more
Astro_p040
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires a computer with internet access.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Globular clusters, compact groups of about a million stars that move around together in galaxies, are among the oldest objects found in the universe. Since they are found in most galaxies and since they've been around for so long, globular clusters have a lot to tell us about what the universe looks like now and how it got that way. Is our Milky Way Galaxy just like all the other galaxies out there? What are galaxies made of? What can we learn about the universe from looking at galaxies? … Read more
Astro_p016
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Computer skills, including basic spreadsheet skills (Excel for example)
Material Availability You will need a spreadsheet program which can open Excel files to do this science fair project.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Scientists have known for hundreds of years that sunspot activity waxes and wanes over a cycle that lasts approximately 11 years. In the 1970's, scientists discovered that the sun periodically blasts electrified gases into space, in huge outbursts called 'coronal mass ejections,' or CMEs. This project asks the question: do CMEs follow the solar sunspot cycle? Read more
Astro_p021
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail When an earthquake occurs, seismic shock waves travel out through the earth from the source of the event. The shock waves travel through the earth or along the Earth's surface, and can be recorded at remote monitoring stations. Some of the waves that travel through the earth are blocked or refracted by the Earth's liquid core, which means that monitoring stations located certain distances from the earthquake do not detect these waves. This creates a "seismic shadow" that you can use to… Read more
Geo_p022
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites This project uses the Global Earthquake Explorer program to download and analyze data from a global seismic network. In order to do this project you will need to be comfortable installing and working with a new program on your computer. This project requires a computer with high speed Internet access. You will also need to understand some basic trigonometry. You should be comfortable with determining the lengths of the sides of right triangles when given an angle and the length of one side. Experience looking at seismograms is useful but not required.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever looked up at the stars at night and wondered how fast they were moving or how far away they were? By studying how the brightness of a star changes with distance, you can answer those questions. In this astronomy science project, you'll create a model of starlight and use a light meter to discover the key relationship between brightness and distance. Read more
Astro_p034
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
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