Form a small team comprised of children and adults, design a robot, solve the challenge, and be part of the Google Lunar X PRIZE race to the Moon with LEGO® MINDSTORMS®
Target Age Group
Students will understand what can be seen with telescopes outside Earth’s atmosphere by using Google Sky to “see” deep into Space.
You will need
Computer with Internet service
What to do
1. Want to soar through the universe without leaving your seat? First, load the newest version of Google Earth. Now go to the View Menu and pull down “Switch to Sky”.
2. Then, for an excellent tour of Hubble images prepared by the Space Telescope Science Institute , click here
3. The Layers Controls on the lower left sidebar of the screen determine the level of information shown. Check and uncheck the layers to learn how they work.
4. To find an object in the sky, enter it in the “Search the Sky” box on the upper part of the left sidebar. For example, the central star in Orion’s belt is called Alnilam. After Google Sky takes you there, pull out until you can see the entire Orion Constellation. While you’re in the neighborhood enjoy the beautiful nebulae in Orion. Search for Andromeda to see a beautiful spiral galaxy.
5. What advances in technology have made it possible for us to see so clearly, so far away? What are the advantages of placing a telescope outside Earth’s atmosphere?
What's Going On?
Many astronomers are interested in using the Moon as a base for viewing the sky or as a source of construction materials for future space-based optical and radio telescopes. For example, NASA is planning a variety of astronomy tools for use on the Moon. In the future it will be possible to build an optical telescope on the Moon that would use a spinning pool of fluid to make a 100-meter wide reflector that would be thousands of times more powerful than the Hubble Space Telescope. See a recent article about this concept by clicking here.
Want to Learn More?
Click here for a short video showing how to use Google Sky. Go to the Google Earth Gallery to find other tours and features to explore here. Visit the Google LatLong Blogspot: here. Visit The Google Earth Blog here, an independent site by astronomer Frank Taylor with excellent information on Google Earth’s many features. See a video of the new Sky features here.
Lunar liquid mirror telescope illustration courtesy of Dr. Roger Angel and Thomas Connors of the University of Arizona.
Download complete guide as [PDF ]