GSS Earth & Space Science Astronomy Lesson Plan #35 The Center of Mass, Orbital Motion and Discovery of Extrasolar Planets
This easy-to-use, turnkey lesson plan is aligned with the NGSS High School Earth and Space Science performance expectations and disciplinary core ideas in ESS1: Earth’s Place in the Universe.
The lesson plan includes a summary, a list of resources, learning outcomes, the NGSS alignment for the lesson, lesson procedures, one Science Literacy Activity. The lesson plan also includes a discussion question and sample responses, assessment questions and an answer key.
Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:
• Explain why the motion of the Sun in response to the planets’ force of gravity is very small.
• Explain why the Sun’s orbital motion is mostly around the common center of mass of the Sun and Jupiter.
• Explain why direct observations of extrasolar planets are extremely difficult to make.
• Describe the radial velocity method used to discover extrasolar planets.
• Explain how the radial velocity method depends on the mass of a planet.
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