Binary Stars Interactive

This Binary Stars Interactive interactive also includes:

A celestial body's distance from Earth makes studying its characteristics much more difficult. Learn how scientists use indirect measures to determine the size of stars. The interactive activity has individuals adjust the size of binary stars and monitor the light curves they produce as they eclipse. It also explains how to use the light intensity readings to determine the size of the stars.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Ask classes to sketch several diagrams of the stars' location and corresponding light curve graphs
Classroom Considerations

  • Requires laptops with Internet access and Flash Player capabilities
  • Expects a familiarity with distance, speed, and time calculations

  • Provides introductory information prior to the interactive element
  • Uses an engaging hands-on approach to motivate young scientists

  • None