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Speaking Volumes About Dust

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Grade Levels

Grades 5-8, Grades 9-12


Mathematics, Physical Science, Space Science, Measurement and Data Analysis, Matter and Its Properties, Solar System and Planets


Lesson Plans / Activities

The Student Dust Counter is an instrument aboard the NASA New Horizons mission to Pluto, launched in 2006. As it travels to Pluto and beyond, SDC will provide information on the dust that strikes the spacecraft during its 14-year journey across the solar system. These observations will advance our understanding of the origin and evolution of our own solar system, as well as help scientists study planet formation in dust disks around other stars.
In this lesson, students explore the concept of density before using the online Student Dust Counter interface to determine the density of dust grains in a volume of space in the solar system.
Speaking Volumes About Dust Teacher and Student Pages [6MB PDF file]
Speaking Volumes About Dust Student Pages [2MB PDF file]
More Student Dust Counter lessons:
A Dusty Dilemma
The White Glove Test: Discovering Dust in the Solar System