Astronomy Research Assignment

Name: ___________________________________ Per: ____
Astronomy Research Assignment (Due: Friday June 1)
“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” - Astronomer Carl Sagan
This astronomy research assignment is meant to encourage you to study some of the mysterious and wonderful
objects and concepts in the universe. You will research one topic that will be assigned to you and present your
research in PowerPoint Presentation and two-page research paper.
Read through credible websites, books, magazine articles, and encyclopedias to answer the following questions
about your topic: What is _____? What does ____ look like? What are some examples of ______ in the universe?
How does ______ work? What are the most interesting facts about ______? What do you want to teach the class
about _____? As you read through different sources, do not copy sentences or paragraphs of information from
any website or resource. Instead, paraphrase the information in your own words. Your grade will be lowered if
material seems to be copied from any source.
The greatest resource to begin with is:
Your Research Assignment must include the following requirements. Please use this page as a check-list:
I. Two-Page Paper (30 Points)
□ Your research paper should be two full pages in length, double-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman or Arial
font, and 1 inch margins.
□ Describe your topic in detail. Answer questions such as these:
What is _____? What does ____ look like? What are some examples of ______ in the universe? How does
______ work? What are the most interesting facts about ______? What do you want to teach the class
about _____?
□ If you research a topic that has been discussed in class, please find more information on the topic
beyond what was taught in class. For instance, discover other interesting facts that were not shared in
class about your topic (history, questions, phenomena, etc.).
□ You must include a simple citation list at the end of your paper. Copy and paste the addresses for
websites, book titles, encyclopedia titles, textbook titles used. You must use at least 2 outside sources
other than the classroom textbook. Credible websites have addresses that usually end in “.edu or .gov” such
as Do not use Wikipedia as a source (you may use it as a beginning for your
own understanding but do not use it as a legitimate source).
II. PowerPoint (20 points)
□ PowerPoint must include 4 slides.
□ PowerPoint must include 4 images/pictures.
□ You must cite the website used for any image next to any image/picture or on a concluding slide
at the end of the PowerPoint.
□ Bring PowerPoint on CD, save to U-drive, DO NOT EMAIL to teacher or save to Google docs.
III. Presentation of Topic to the Class (10 points)
□ Your presentation must last for 3-4 minutes.
□ You will explain your topic, photos/images interesting facts, and new research found about the topic.
Please do not read from your paper or slides.
Topics – You choose 5 topics and will be assigned ONE of them to research.
My Topic (assigned on Wed 5/23) is: ________________________________________________
1. How are images of stars, galaxies, and planets captured?
2. Galaxies - Milky Way Galaxy, Andromeda Galaxy
3. Big Bang Theory and other scientific theories about the
formation of the universe
4. Earth-like Planet, “Kepler-22b”
5. Black Holes
6. Mercury
7. Venus
8. Earth
9. Mars: Exploration of Mars - Mars Missions, Mars Rovers
10. Jupiter and its moons
11. Saturn & Cassini Spacecraft
12. Uranus
13. Neptune
14. Pluto
15. Dwarf planets in the solar system
16. The Moon (the Earth’s Moon)
17. Different Types of Stars – Red giants, brown dwarves,
white dwarves, etc.
18. Astronauts – training, education, experience, astronaut
food, etc.
19. International Space Station
20. Apollo 11 – Mission to the Moon
21. The Sun
22. Dark Matter and Dark Energy
23. Worm Holes and White Holes (and black holes)
24. The Hubble Space Telescope (please include some of
the amazing pictures that the Hubble has taken)
25. Formation of the Solar System
26. According to scientific theory, where did life on Earth
come from?
27. Alien Life - What do scientists think about life on other
28. Quasars (and black holes)
29. Supernovae
30. Life Cycles of Stars
31. Voyager Space Craft
32. NASA
33. Apollo 13 Mission
34. Neutron Stars and Pulsars
35. Albert Einstein
36. Galileo Galilei
37. Edwin Hubble
38. Comets
39. Asteroids
40. Meteoroids, Meteorites, Meteors
41. Nebula (Nebulae) – The most famous nebulae
42. String Theory
43. Eclipses – lunar eclipses and solar eclipses
44. Antimatter
45. Stars closest to the Solar System, our nearest
Extra Credit Opportunity:
If you find answers to these questions asked in class, please include them in your research paper and presentation. Include
these questions/answers ONLY IF they are relevant to your topic:
Will our solar system eventually reach the black hole (galactic center) in the middle of the Milky Way galaxy? – J.N.
Will the Sun run out of energy before it reaches the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy? – T.A.
Will our galaxy eventually collide with other galaxies? If so, when would this happen? – T.L.
Can galaxies combine when they collide? Do they always “rip” each other apart? – C.C.
How do scientists know that there is only one universe? – T. A.
Could life exist in other universes since the Big Bang “started” life in this universe? – T.A.
How did life come to exist on Earth?
What causes meteorite showers?
How do the moons of Jupiter affect Jupiter? – R.G.
Do black holes last forever? – E.N.
Can black holes collide? What happens when/if they do?
If we have never been outside of the Milky Way, how do we know what it looks like? – K.C., S.H.
Will the Milky Way ever cease to exist? – S.H.
Can all the planets in the solar system align?
Will the universe eventually STOP expanding? What will happen after that? – G.Y.
Why can’t we see the center of the Milky Way from Earth if it so much bigger than our Sun? – M.B.
Why are some planets larger than others? – C.D.