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Stars and stellar evolution
NGC 346 in the Small Magellanic Cloud
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Contents

Photo taken by the Hubble Space Telescope

This image from the Hubble Space Telescope illustrates the rite of passage for clusters of developing stars: from their sheltered growth in a dark cloud of dust and gas, to their powerful debut as a grouping of young stars, to their settlement into adulthood.

Facts of interest about the image

The text includes information about the process of star formation illustrated in the image.

Classroom activity

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

Description

This Hubble Space Telescope image of NGC 346 in the Small Magellanic Cloud illustrates the rite of passage for a cluster of developing stars: from its sheltered growth in a dark cloud of dust and gas, to its powerful debut as a grouping of young stars, to its settlement into adulthood. The text explains this process of star formation. Includes a classroom activity.

PDF
10-14, 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.

An example of a variety of stellar populations. Use the inquiry-based classroom activity called "In Search of Stellar Populations" that is included with the PDF lithograph..

Related materials

HubbleSite press release: "Young Stars Sculpt Gas with Powerful Outflows"

Amazing Space resources by topic: Stars and Stellar Evolution