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D.P. Hamilton, M.L. Asbury (U. Maryland)
The Astronomy Workshop (http://janus.astro.umd.edu) is an interactive online astronomy resource developed and maintained at the University of Maryland for use by students, educators and the general public. The Astronomy Workshop has been extensively tested in large university survey courses, as well as smaller classes for undergraduate majors and graduate students. It has also been used in High School and Junior High School science classes. Below are some tools in the Astronomy Workshop.
Animated Orbits of Planets and Moons: The orbits of the nine planets and 63 known planetary satellites are shown in animated, to-scale drawings. The orbiting bodies move at their correct relative speeds about their parent, which is rendered as an attractive, to-scale gif image.
Planetary Calculators (New!): Calculate a simple formula, e.g. the escape velocity, simultaneously for all planets and moons in the Solar System.
Solar System Collisions: This most popular of our applications shows what happens when an asteroid or comet with user-defined size and speed impacts a given planet. The program calculates many effects, including the country impacted (if Earth is the target), energy of explosion, crater size, and magnitude of the ``planetquake'' generated. It also displays a relevant image (e.g. terrestrial crater, lunar crater, etc.).
Build Your Own Solar System (New!): Choose the masses of up to four planets, and their orbital sizes and shapes, and explore the prospects for life in your creation.
Astronomical Distances: Travel away from the Earth at a chosen speed and see how long it takes to reach other planets, stars and galaxies. This tool helps students visualize astronomical distances in an intuitive way.
Funding for the Astronomy Workshop is provided by NSF.
If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://janus.astro.umd.edu/. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.