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Resources
Solar system
Mars 2003: Closest Approach
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Contents

Photo taken by the Hubble Space Telescope

This Hubble Space Telescope image reveals two almost opposite sides of Mars at its closest approach to the Earth in nearly 60,000 years.

Facts of interest about the image

The text details the planet's visible features, including Olympus Mons, the Hellas impact basin, and the southern polar ice cap.

Classroom activity

Included is an inquiry-based classroom activity that focuses on the image and text.

Description

Get a close-up view of Olympus Mons, the Hellas impact basin and more in this Hubble image of Mars at its closest position to the Earth in 60,000 years. View two nearly opposite sides of the planet. Includes a classroom activity.

Acrobat PDF
6-8, but the material can be adapted for use in other grades at the teacher's discretion
How to use in the classroom

Teachers can use this lithograph as:

An engagement tool in an inquiry-based lesson. Have students study the image side of the lithograph. Ask them to write down any questions they have about the image. When the students are finished, their questions can be used in a variety of ways:


  • Ask students to find the answers to their questions by reading the back of the lithograph and/or the related materials listed below.

  • Have students exchange papers so that each student has someone else's questions. Then have them find the answers to the other students' questions by reading the back of the lithograph and/or the related materials listed below.

  • Gather the questions into a list by asking students to volunteer to read their questions while you or another student records them on the board or overhead. Ask students to raise their hands if they had the same or a similar question. Count the number of hands raised and record this number next to the question. Once all the student questions have been added to the list, have students search for the answers to their questions in the text on the back of the lithograph. When they complete that task, ask them to decide if each of their questions was answered completely, answered partially, or not answered at all. Go through the original list and place an "A" in front of the questions that were answered completely, a "P" for those that were partially answered, and an "N" for those that were not answered at all. Determine if the most commonly asked questions were also completely answered. Encourage students to do further research to find answers to the unanswered questions.

A content reading tool. Have students read the back of the lithograph and then write a quiz for the class.

A component in a compare/contrast activity. Have students compare the features/structure of terrestrial planets such as Mars, which is depicted in this lithograph and discussed in the text, to those of the giant planets. Use the Jovian Planets lithograph, found in the related resources listed below, as an example. A T-chart or Venn diagram would be a good organizational tool to use for this activity. Examples of Graphic Organizers are included in the related materials below.

Related materials

HubbleSite press release: "Mars: Closest Encounter"

Star Witness news: The Red Planet: Up Close and Personal

Lithograph: Jovian Planets

Amazing Space resources by type: Graphic Organizers

Amazing Space resources by topic: Solar system