Student Internet investigation that further explores the planet Mars. The activity is divided into two parts. The first topic gives the student a good overview of Mars' physical characteristics. Part two investigates the history of the Red Planet in Earth mythology as well as the past/current/future missions to Mars. The latest images and data are presented as well for this topic. I use this computer lab activity for my astronomy class as part of the Unit IV "The Inner Planets" review but it can also be used at an 8th grade level Earth/Space activity. (Some students will finish the activity within one class period but generally it will take about an hour to complete.)
Topics/terms in this activity include:
Part I "Mars Overview" - land area, Earth/Mars/Moon comparison, surface features, mass, gravity, structure/interior, distance from Sun, orbital speed, Martian day/year, seasons, atmospheric composition, surface temperature, average temperature, volcanoes, Olympus Mons, loss of atmosphere, Martian soil
Part II "Mars History and Exploration" - night sky observations, telescopic observations, retrograde motion, Phobos, Deimos, Asaph Hall, Martian canals, "Face" on Mars, Mariner 4, Viking spacecraft, Curiosity rover, water on Mars, polar ice caps, life on Mars, future robotic missions
Astronomy Internet Activity: "Planet Mars"
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