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Science Fair Projects
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Are you interested in working on an astronomy-related science fair project, but can’t figure out what to do? Well you’ve come to the right place! There are lots of great projects that can be done in the field of astronomy. Here are a few examples, with some tips and links to help you get started:
Project Idea How to get started Links
How do craters form on the Moon and other planets?
Create a model of crater formation. Test different variables like impact speed and angle.
Impact Craters on the Moon
Does the apparent size of the Moon change over time?
Make observations of the angular size of the Moon over a period of time.
How large are the features (like mountains and craters) that we observe on the Moon?
Use geometry and angular size to measure the diameter of the craters. Shadows may be used to calculate their height.
How to Calculate the Height of Craters
Craters on the Moon
How and why do planets move with respect to the the stars?
Make observations of the position of a planet (such as Mars, Saturn, or Jupiter) with respect to the background stars.
The Planets Today
All About Mars
Does the brightness of a planet vary over time and if so, why?
Make observations of the brightness of a planet (such as Mars, Saturn, or Jupiter) over time.
Apparent Magnitude (Wikipedia)
How to Measure Apparent Brightness
Does the Sun rotate and if so, how fast?
Use observations of the Sun available on the Internet to monitor features on its surface and calculate its rotation rate.
Solar Science (NASA)
Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO)
Do stars vary in brightness over time and if so, how?
Do some research on this topic and then select a star to monitor. Plot its brightness over a period of time.
American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
How does the position of the Sun change over the course of a year?
Monitor the position of the Sun over a period of time (ideally, over a whole year).
Solar Movement Model
SunCalc: Find the Position of the Sun at Any Time
How are colour astronomical images produced? Are the colours real?
Do some research on this topic and try to make an image of your own using data available on the Internet.
How does NASA Process Images?
What is a True Colour Image?
How are distances measured for objects in space?
There are several distance determination methods available to astronomers. Invesigate these methods and use one of the methods to measure the distance to a building or another object on the Earth.
Distance Ladder (Wikipedia)
How to Measure Distances in Space
How can we measure the diameter of the Earth, the Sun, or another planet/moon?
Investigate the methods and try to do a measurement of your own.
Determining Planet Properties
Other Science Fair Ideas
Sloan Sky Survey
Find astronomy projects at all grade levels
Tuesday, May 3, 2011 – 7:37am