Astronomy is science that will challenge your imagination. How many stars in a galaxy? How many galaxies in the known universe? How many strange worlds are out there on other planets, orbiting other stars, and what are they like? Is there life on planets besides Earth? The distances are mind-boggling; the numbers are immense. Explore more of the universe with these astronomy science and engineering projects.
Do you wake up at the crack of dawn, or do you need an alarm clock to wake you up each morning? It may surprise you that the two are not always in synch. Nowadays, we use Standard Time to set our watches instead of Solar Time. Which method of timekeeping is the most accurate? Get ready to synchronize your watches!
Timekeeping is the science of how to keep time with precision and accuracy. People have been finding ways of measuring time for thousands of years, usually based on the movements…
Let's suppose you can take advantage of the Internet and get a 'pen pal' located a 1000 miles away in another city. On the same night, and at EXACTLY the same time 'Universal Time', make a CAREFUL observation of where the Moon is located with respect to the background stars. You should be able to discern a slight (about 1/2 the Moon's diameter) shift in position due to parallax. Then, with a little geometry, you could estimate the distance of the Moon during the full lunar cycle (Odenwald,…
Have you ever wanted to analyze data from a NASA spacecraft? In this science project you will use data from NASA's MESSENGER mission to measure the diameter and calculate the depth of impact craters on Mercury. You will then analyze that data for relationships between a crater's depth and diameter. This is your chance to
perform a science project as a NASA researcher would!
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Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Geometry: familiarity using sine, cosine, and tangent to solve right triangles
This is a great project for someone 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. In this astronomy science project, you will calibrate a digital camera to measure the skyglow in different locations. This can be a great tool to comparing the quality of different star viewing locations.
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Long (2-4 weeks)
You should have already taken an algebra class and understand what a function is.
A digital camera with full manual control is essential for this project. If you cannot manually control the ISO, shutter speed, focus, and lens aperture of your camera, then your camera will not work for this project. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Very Low (under $20)
Take an adult with you when you take skyglow photos at night.
For an advanced science fair project, you can build your own telescope and learn how to use it to make observations of the night sky. Can you make your own observations to determine the orbital period of Jupiter's major moons? Complete instructions for building a Dobsonian telescope are available here: http://www.cdcc.sc.usp.br/cda/telescopios/tie-jpl-nasa/.