Overview: Close Encounters of the Galactic Kind

Overview
of Star Witness news story: "Close Encounters of the Galactic Kind"
Description:
Star Witness news story: "Close Encounters of the Galactic Kind" explains the Hubble Space Telescope observation of 59 galaxies in the act of colliding. These images show a remarkable variety of intricate structures in never-before-seen detail. Astronomers study colliding galaxies because they believe that the big galaxies we see today grew through such interactions.
Format(s) available: Printer-friendly web page; also, downloadable PDF including story and images
Grades: 5-8, but the material can be adapted for use in other grades at the teacher’s discretion
How to use it in the classroom

Teachers can use Star Witness news: "Close Encounters of the Galactic Kind" as:

A content reading selection. Teachers should discuss the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary prior to having students read this selection.

An engagement activity. Have students read the selection. Ask them to explain what they know about galaxies.

An inquiry tool. Propose a question, such as "Why do you think astronomers study colliding galaxies?" Have students read the selection and write down questions they want answered as a result of the reading.

A source of information for class discussion. Have students read the selection. Conduct a class discussion using the questions associated with the reading.

Related materials

HubbleSite press release: Cosmic Collisions Galore!



Overview: Close Encounters of the Galactic Kind