About This Chapter
Below is a sample breakdown of the Star Qualities chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.
|Day||Topics||Key Terms and Concepts Covered|
|Monday||Star Spectra||Kirchhoff's Laws, photon absorption and emission, spectral lines representation, visual wavelengths, electrons transition, and the Doppler effect|
|Tuesday||Distance and brightness||Astronomer's method, surveyor's method, luminosity, inverse square law, intrinsic brightness, magnitudes, and apparent brightness|
|Wednesday||Temperature and classifications||Blackbody curves, Wien's laws, blackbody, spectral sequence in relation to temperature, H-R diagrams, stellar classifications, brown dwarfs, and star size|
|Thursday||Spectroscopy: Part I||Balmer thermometers, the uses of spectroscopy, and spectroscopic parallax|
|Friday||Spectroscopy: Part II||Characteristics of light, photons, and how astronomers use the visible light color spectrum to determine the chemical composition of stars|
1. Kirchhoff's Laws and Star Spectra
This lesson will define for you three laws associated with spectra and how they relate to the composition of stars, as well as how they relate to atoms and wavelengths.
2. Electron Transitions & Spectral Lines
This lesson discusses how electrons transition between energy levels, why they do this, how photons are involved, how absorption and emission spectra come into play, and what the Lyman, Balmer, and Paschen series are.
3. The Doppler Effect and Star Spectra
This lesson will outline what the Doppler effect is using a very familiar example, then parlay that knowledge into understanding how the Doppler effect is used in astronomy.
4. Measuring The Distance to a Star
This lesson will tell you how astronomers can measure the distance to a star and how it relates to the way surveyors measure distances to landmarks right here on Earth.
5. The Brightness Of Stars
This lesson will define and describe important terms related to a star's brightness, including luminosity, intrinsic brightness, apparent brightness, and more.
6. Relating a Star's Brightness to Luminosity
This lesson will explore how luminosity, apparent brightness, and distance are related to one another using the inverse square law. You'll also learn how luminosity can be gauged based on distance and apparent brightness.
7. Using the Magnitude Scale to Compare Star Brightness
This lesson will describe the magnitude scale, apparent brightness, and apparent visual magnitude. It will also teach you how to compare the brightness of stars.
8. Determining the Temperature of a Star
This lesson will explain to you the concepts of a spectrum, electromagnetic radiation, the temperature of a faraway star and how that relates to something known as a blackbody curve and Wien's law.
9. The Spectral Sequence and Temperature
This lesson will talk about spectral classes, spectral types, and the spectral sequence. We will break down each spectral class and point out some important characteristics of each.
10. Stars' Luminosity Classes & Stellar Classifications
Astronomers have a neat trick up their sleeves when it comes to approximating the size of a star. This lesson will tell you how they do it and how the sizes are grouped.
11. How to Find the Size of a Star
This lesson will tell you how astronomers figure out the size of stars. You'll learn it has to do with a star's temperature, luminosity, and a cool thing known as the H-R diagram.
12. Spectroscopy and the Chemical Characteristics of Stars
This lesson will explain how astronomers find out the chemical composition of a distant star using spectral lines and spectroscopy, and how this relates to atoms, electrons, and photons.
13. Uses of the Balmer Thermometer in Astronomy
This lesson will outline for you how the temperature of a star can be determined using spectroscopy as discovered by none other than Cecilia Payne. It's a method of determining stellar temperatures called the Balmer Thermometer.
14. Spectroscopic Parallax: Definition & Uses
How can you find the distance to a star? One way is to use the spectroscopic parallax to approximate the distance to a star using two key concepts in astronomy: apparent and absolute magnitude.
15. Relationship Between a Star's Mass, Luminosity, & Density
In this lesson, you will learn the important relationship between a main sequence star's mass and its luminosity as well as the relationship between a star's density and volume.
16. Brown Dwarfs: L, T, & Y Dwarfs
This lesson will explain to you what a brown dwarf is and how one is classified based on the spectral sequence (and thus temperature). You'll learn how big brown dwarfs are and whether they're truly stars or not.
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Other chapters within the Astronomy 101 Syllabus Resource & Lesson Plans course
- The History of Astronomy Lesson Plans
- How Scientists Think & Work Lesson Plans
- Matter in Astronomy Lesson Plans
- Light in Astronomy Lesson Plans
- Newton's Laws in Astronomy Lesson Plans
- Momentum & Energy Lesson Plans
- Rotational Motion & Momentum Lesson Plans
- Earth's Spheres Lesson Plans
- Climate Influences Lesson Plans
- Orbits, Gravity & Orbital Motion Lesson Plans
- The Earth, Sky & Moon Lesson Plans
- The Formation & Phases of the Moon Lesson Plans
- Earth & Planet Atmospheres Lesson Plans
- The Sun & Energy Lesson Plans
- The Solar System Formation Lesson Plans
- The Solar System Characteristics Lesson Plans
- The Solar System's Smaller Objects & Satellites Lesson Plans
- Star Types Lesson Plans
- The Birth & Life of Stars Lesson Plans
- Star Death & Stellar Remnants Lesson Plans
- The Milky Way Galaxy Lesson Plans
- Properties of Galaxies Lesson Plans
- Universe Theories Lesson Plans
- Life in the Universe Lesson Plans
- Celestial Time & Navigation Lesson Plans
- Relativity in Time & Space Lesson Plans
- Telescopes Lesson Plans