Investigation 4: Supernova Remnants - Activity 6

Investigation Summary: Mini Poster Session

Overview: Students create a poster based on their exploration of different parts of a SNR, or different SNR, and share these with others in order to spark the generation of interesting questions which can be observed and answered by participants for their independent investigations.

  • Each group uses a whiteboard and some printed material to post on it (i.e. spectrum plots and overplots of sub regions, and 3 color X-ray images) to create their "poster."
  • Each group chooses two different regions (red and blue) or two different SNR (if completed in activity 5) to compare.
  • Each group reports on and compares "standard properties" 
    • Angular size / linear size / distance / age or velocity estimate.
    • True color X-ray image.
    • Spectrum comparison (overplot) of different parts of the remnant (or different remnants).
    • Chart of comparison, including identification of elemental lines in each part (i.e. composition).
    • Tell the story of how light is produced in each region, using a diagram.
    • Develop a model for what is different about the matter in each region, which explains your observations 
      • For these explanations, use the following words: atom, electron, energy level, energy level "jump" or "fall", photon, photon energy, interstellar dust, luminosity, intensity, spectrum, detector.
    • "Example mini-poster" given to students as a template: (instructor example poster).
  • Students then roam to other posters, and ask clarifying questions about the comparisons of other groups
  • If students have examined more than just Cas A, structured discussion at the poster session can result from the following task that each student must complete.
  • Identify one difference between your own group's SNR and another group's SNR, and give a basic model (explanation) to explain that difference, in writing.
  • As a result of their discussions, students generate questions about SNR, which are shared, and saved as ideas for the SNR investigation project that will be undertaken by groups later.


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