Overview: Dawn Will Go Asteroid-Hopping

Overview
of Star Witness news story: Dawn Spacecraft Will Go Asteroid-Hopping
Description:
Star Witness news story: Dawn Spacecraft Will Go Asteroid-Hopping describes how the Hubble Space telescope has supported NASA’s Dawn mission to Vesta and Ceres, two asteroids located in the asteroid belt. The mission, launched in late September 2007, will travel four years before reaching and orbiting Vesta. It will then travel to Ceres, arriving there in 2015. Astronomers are studying these two diverse asteroids to glean new clues about how our solar system formed.
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 story: Dawn Spacecraft Will Go Asteroid-Hopping 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 have learned about asteroids and the Dawn mission as a result of their reading.

An inquiry tool. Propose a question, such as "What can scientists learn about the solar system from studying asteroids?” Have students read the selection and write down questions they would like answered as a result of the reading.

A source of information for class discussion. Have students read the selection. Then conduct a class discussion using the questions that accompany the reading to clarify students’ understanding and expand on the information in the text.

Related materials

HubbleSite press release: Hubble Images of Asteroids Help Astronomers Prepare for Spacecraft



Overview: Dawn Will Go Asteroid-Hopping