AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 12 Undergraduate Astronomy Curriculum
Poster, Monday, May 31, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Ballroom

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[12.07] The Astronomy Workshop

D.P. Hamilton, M.L. Malayeri, K.M.A. Pahlevan, W.C. Jacobson (U. Maryland)

The Astronomy Workshop (http://janus.astro.umd.edu) is a collection of interactive online educational tools developed for use by students, educators, and the general public. The more than 20 tools in the Astronomy Workshop are rated for ease-of-use, and have been extensively tested in large university survey courses, classes for undergraduate majors, and High Schools. Here we briefly describe a few of the more popular tools.

The Life of the Sun (New!): The history of the Sun is animated as a movie, showing students how the size and color of our star has evolved and will evolve in time.

Animated Orbits of Planets and Moons: The orbital motions of planets, moons, asteroids, and comets are animated at their correct relative speeds in accurate to-scale drawings.

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 of impact (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.).

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.

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