SOLAR ACTIVITY TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES – DE


MEASURING SOLAR ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION


Subject(s):
  • Astronomy, Physics, Statistics, Computing, Image processing
Resource Type:
  • Document explaining how solar activity can be measured using the ‘Wolf number’.
Weblink: Activity reference document.
Language(s):
  • English, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Czech, Russian
Grade Level(s):
  • Secondary Education (12-15 years old), Secondary Education (15-18 years old).

Description:
Solar activity varies with an 11 year cycle that can affect us in many ways. For example, the atmospheric drag on satellites in low Earth orbit can increase during these periods of increased activity, shortening the lifetime of these valuable commercial and scientific instruments.
There is also some evidence for a connection between Earth’s climate and solar activity.
The Wolf number, derived by counting groups of sunspots on the sun’s surface and their multiplicity, is an important measure of solar activity.


WOLF NUMBER EXPERIMENT


Subject(s):
  • Astronomy, Physics, Statistics, Computing, Image processing
Resource Type:
  • Analysis tool: Web-based experiment to measure solar activity using the ‘Wolf number’.
Weblink: Android app or web-based tool.
Language(s):
  • English, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Czech, Russian
Grade Level(s):
  • Secondary Education (12-15 years old), Secondary Education (15-18 years old).

Description:
Students can contribute to scientific research by using the web tool or the Android app to analyse images of the sun taken by the TAD solar telescope in order to determine the Wolf number. Being at the maximum of the current solar cycle makes this the perfect time to study solar activity through observations of sunspots. Results from students and citizen scientists will be stored in the project data base and will form the basis for future scientific research.


SOLAR MATHS

Subject(s):
  • Astronomy, Physics, Mathematics, History
Resource Type:
  • NASA SpaceMath ‘Solar Math’ document develops the study of the Sun by exploring many aspects of the Sun’s behaviour (e.g. appearance in X-rays, solar activity cycle) using lots of practical mathematical exercises.
Weblink: Solar Math
Language(s):
  • English
Grade Level(s):
  • Secondary Education (12-15 years old), Secondary Education (15-18 years old).

Description:
This collection of activities is based on a series of space science problems related to the Sun intended for students looking for additional challenges in the mathematics and physical sciences curriculum in secondary school. They are also suitable for use in first year university Introductory Astronomy courses. The problems present aspects of modern science and engineering, often involving actual research data. The problems and solutions are presented in a popular compact form.