1) You will begin your webquest by learning
how to identify stars by their magnitude, color, and temperature, and spectral
Lights in The Sky and write out the answers to the following questions
on a sheet of white construction paper to be turned in.
2) - Name the brightest star in the known
3) - What is its magnitude?
4) - Are the brightest stars low magnitude
5) - How much does the brightness of a star
change with each change in magnitude of one?
Do a search on the internet for "brightest
stars" and make a top 10 list on your construction paper of the
names of the 10 brightest stars in the known universe and their magnitude.
6) - Finally, design a colored diagram on
your construction paper that displays the colors of the hottest stars on
the left to the coolest stars on the right.
Stars are grouped into spectral classes
based on a range of temperatures they fall into.
Label the spectral classes (O, B, A,
F, G, K, M)
appropriately under each star color in your
To complete Task #1,
come up with a clever sentence or phrase
(the first letter of each word in your phrase is one spectral class letter)
to help you remember the order of the spectral classes and write it under
your diagram on your construction paper.
Answer the following few more questions and
write on your construction paper.
7) - What color is the brightest star?
8) - What color is the coolest star?
9) -What color is our sun?
10) -What spectral class of stars is the
11) -What spectral class of stars is the
12) - What spectral class is our sun?
#2: Continue to read on to the section: A
Nuclear Furnace on the same webpage. The animation there shows how
stars fuse the deuterium and tritium forms of hydrogen to form helium.
Your task is to design a 3-D model of this nuclear reaction. You might
want to locate some red and blue styrofoam balls at an art supply store
or utilize some type of spherical object to represent the different atoms
in the reaction. Glue these on a piece of cardboard and label the names
of the atoms and draw arrows showing the progression of the reaction.
Life and Death of Stars. Read the short section on "Where are
stars born" and see pictures of the protostars of M16: The Eagle
Nebula and other nebulae (stars in formation) on this page. Continue
by reading up on Main Sequence Stars and find out how our sun compares
in mass to other stars like Sirius, and Proxima Centauri. Based on its
mass, will our sun be around for a while? approximately how long before
our sun consumes the inner planets of our solar system.
Realize that once our Sun starts to run out
of hydrogen fuel and has exhausted its ability to fuse other elements like
carbon and oxygen, it will become a red giant and expand in size to envelope
the Earth. And surprisingly, the larger the mass of the star, the quicker
it burns its fuel sources and the shorter its lifespan. Also see and read
Space Telescope pictures of a developing galactic nebula in our Milky
Way Galaxy called NGC 3603
#4: Being that stars are quite more massive than most planet
sized objects, the gravitational pull on objects close to stars is astronomically
large. Find out Your
Weight On Other Worlds like different types of stars and even planets.
#5: Now check out the All
Star Line Up and profile one of the 34 stars on this page. Organize
the info provided about your chosen or assigned star into a one page report,
a poster, or maybe a short Powerpoint slide show (get extra credit if you
design a slide show)
The life cycle of stars continues.......All
stars eventually become Red Giants or Super Giants.
As the main sequence star glows, hydrogen
in its core is converted into helium by nuclear fusion.
When the hydrogen supply in the core begins
to run out, and the star is no longer generating heat by nuclear fusion,
the core becomes unstable and contracts. The outer shell of the star, which
is still mostly hydrogen, starts to expand. As it expands, it cools and
The star has now reached the red
It is red because
it is cooler than it was in the main sequence star stage and it is a giant
because the outer shell has expanded outward.
In the core of the red
giant, helium fuses into carbon. All stars evolve the same
way up to the red giant phase.
The amount of mass a star has determines
which life cycle path it will take ...........Read more about Red
If we are to survive on Earth, approximately
how many years do we have to find a new home?
#7: See animation of a Supernova
explosion and photographs of actual supernova detected by emitted X-rays.
At this point, stars at least 5X more massive than our Sun that have gone
supernova will either die as a neutron star or a black hole.
Make a poster display of the Life Cycle
of Massive Stars on a small poster board. Label and color the star types
and progression correctly for full credit.
One neat idea you might want to try is to
use crayon to design this life cycle diagram on your white poster board
and then color over all of it in black crayon. If you can remember where
objects in your diagram are, etch off the black crayon with a penny or
other object to expose the diagram in color underneath.
#8: Time for some fun as a reward. Play the Falling
Stars Applet Game and destroy those falling stars. Email me the
game webpage with the score you earned on it. Highest score
gets a reward before Winter Break.
#9: Go to The
Space Place and play the Black Hole Board game. Get a group together,
print out the color game board and adventure cards, bring the game to school,
and have all members of your gaming group see me for extra credit.
#10: Here's a chance to model your own black hole.
Life Cycle of Stars Curriculum packet. Go to the activity
Model a Black Hole and follow all directions there. Bring in your model
to share for extra credit points. You may also do any of the other activities
there for extra credit. See me about activities or projects you paln to
#11: Finally, go take the interactive five-question
quiz below and see how much you have mastered about the Life Cycles of