Launched on April 28, 2006, CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation) studies the role that clouds and aerosols play in regulating Earth's weather, climate and air quality. 3D Model created by Christopher M. Garcia at NASA/JPL-Caltech. Learn more about CALIPSO here
Launched in April 2006, CloudSat monitors the state of the Earth's atmosphere and weather with a sophisticated radar system. The instrument, jointly developed with the Canadian Space Agency, can predict which clouds produce rain, observe snowfall, and monitor the moisture content of clouds. 3D Model created by Kevin Lane at NASA/JPL-Caltech. Learn more about CloudSat here.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope was the first astronomical observatory to be placed into orbit around Earth with the ability to record images in wavelengths of light spanning from ultraviolet to near-infrared. Launched on April 24, 1990, aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery, Hubble is currently located about 340 miles above Earth's surface where it completes 15 orbits per day approximately one every 95 minutes. 3D model by DigitalSpace Corporation for NASA. Learn more about Hubble Space Telescope here.
The space station orbits low Earth orbit. It was first launched in 1998, and is now the largest artificial body in orbit and can be seen from Earth with the naked eye. The ISS consists of pressurized modules, external trusses, solar arrays and other components. The ISS serves as a space environment research laboratory where crew members conduct experiments in biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology, etc. The ISS maintains an orbit with an altitude between 330 and 435 km and completes 15.54 orbits per day. Learn more about the International Space Station here.
Landsat 7 was successfully launched on April 15, 1999, from the Western Test Range of Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, on a Delta-II expendable launch vehicle. This joint NASA/USGS program provides the longest continuous space-based record of Earth’s land in existence. Every day, Landsat satellites provide essential information to help land managers and policy makers make wise decisions about our resources and our environment. 3D model created by Christopher M. Garcia at NASA/JPL-Caltech. Learn more about Landsat here.
Launched on October 28, 2011, Suomi NPP carries five science instruments and test key technologies for the JPSS missions. Suomi NPP is the first satellite mission to address the challenge of acquiring a wide range of land, ocean, and atmospheric measurements for Earth system science while simultaneously preparing to address operational requirements for weather forecasting. 3D Model created by Brian Kumanchik and Christian Lopez at NASA/JPL-Caltech. Learn more about Suomi NPP here.
Launched on June 20, 2008, the Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM)/Jason-2 is an international satellite mission collects sea surface height measurements. Jason-2 high-precision ocean altimetry measures the distance between a satellite and the ocean surface to within a few centimeters. Accurate observations of variations in sea surface height-also known as ocean topography-provide scientists with information about the speed and direction of ocean cur-rents and heat stored in the ocean. This information, in turn, reveals global climate variations. 3D Model created by Kevin Lane at NASA/JPL-Caltech. Learn more about Jason-2 here.
Launched on July 2, 2014, Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)-2 is dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide from Space. OCO-2 collects space-based global measurements of atmospheric CO2 with the precision, resolution, and coverage needed to characterize sources and sinks on regional scales. 3D Model created by Chris Meaney at NASA. Learn more about OCO2 here.
C4 Systems and System Models. Students understand that a system is a group of related parts that make up a whole and can carry out functions its individual parts cannot. They can also describe a system in terms of its components and their interactions.
C6 Structures and Functions. Students learn different materials have different substructures, which can sometimes be observed; and substructures have shapes and parts that serve functions.
C4 Systems and System Models. Students can understand that systems may interact with other systems; they may have sub-systems and be a part of larger complex systems. They can use models to represent systems and their interactions—such as inputs, processes and outputs—and energy, matter, and information flows within systems. They can also learn that models are limited in that they only represent certain aspects of the system under study.
C6 Structures and Functions. Students model complex and microscopic structures and systems and visualize how their function depends on the shapes, composition, and relationships among its parts. They analyze many complex natural and designed structures and systems to determine how they function. They design structures to serve particular functions by taking into account properties of different materials, and how materials can be shaped and used.
C4 Systems and System Models. Students can investigate or analyze a system by defining its boundaries and initial conditions, as well as its inputs and outputs. They can use models (e.g., physical, mathematical, computer models) to simulate the flow of energy, matter, and interactions within and between systems at different scales. They can also use models and simulations to predict the behavior of a system, and recognize that these predictions have limited precision and reliability due to the assumptions and approximations inherent in the models. They can also design systems to do specific tasks.
C6 Structures and Functions. Students investigate systems by examining the properties of different materials, the structures of different components, and their interconnections to reveal the system’s function and/or solve a problem. They infer the functions and properties of natural and designed objects and systems from their overall structure, the way their components are shaped and used, and the molecular substructures of their various materials.
ESS1.A The Universe and its Stars. Stars range greatly in size and distance from Earth and this can explain their relative brightness.
ESS1.B Earth and the Solar System. The Earth’s orbit and rotation, and the orbit of the moon around the Earth cause observable patterns.
PS2.A Forces and Motion. The effect of unbalanced forces on an object results in a change of motion. Patterns of motion can be used to predict future motion. Some forces act through contact, some forces act even when the objects are not in contact. The gravitational force of Earth acting on an object near Earth’s surface pulls that object toward the planet’s center
PS3.A Definitions of Energy. Moving objects contain energy. The faster the object moves, the more energy it has. Energy can be moved from place to place by moving objects, or through sound, light, or electrical currents. Energy can be converted from one form to another form.
PS4.C Information Technologies and Instrumentation. Patterns can encode, send, receive and decode information.
ESS1.A The Universe and its Stars. The universe began with a period of extreme and rapid expansion known as the Big Bang. Earth and its solar system are part of the Milky Way galaxy, which is one of many galaxies in the universe.
ESS1.B Earth and the Solar System. The solar system contains many varied objects held together by gravity. Solar system models explain and predict eclipses, tides, lunar phases, and seasons.
PS2.A Forces and Motion. The role of the mass of an object must be qualitatively accounted for in any change of motion due to the application of a force.
PS2.B Types of Interactions. Forces that act at a distance involve fields that can be mapped by their relative strength and effect on an object.
PS3.A Definitions of Energy. Kinetic energy can be distinguished from the various forms of potential energy. Energy changes to and from each type can be tracked through physical or chemical interactions. The relationship between the temperature and the total energy of a system depends on the types, states, and amounts of matter.
PS3.C Relationship between energy and forces. When two objects interact, each one exerts a force on the other, and these forces can transfer energy between them.
PS4.C Information Technologies and Instrumentation. Waves can be used to transmit digital information. Digitized information is comprised of a pattern of 1s and 0s.
ESS1.A The Universe and its Stars. The sun is just one of more than 200 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, and the Milky Way is just one of hundreds of billions of galaxies in the universe. The study of stars’ light spectra and brightness is used to identify compositional elements of stars, their movements, and their distances from Earth.
ESS1.B Earth and the Solar System. Kepler’s laws describe common features of the motions of orbiting objects. Observations from astronomy and space probes provide evidence for explanations of solar system formation. Changes in Earth’s tilt and orbit cause climate changes such as Ice Ages
PS2.A Forces and Motion. Newton’s 2nd law (F=ma) and the conservation of momentum can be used to predict changes in the motion of macroscopic objects.
PS2.B Types of Interactions. Forces at a distance are explained by fields that can transfer energy and can be described in terms of the arrangement and properties of the interacting objects and the distance between them. These forces can be used to describe the relationship between electrical and magnetic fields.
PS2.C Stability & Instability in Physical Systems. Systems often change in predictable ways; understanding the forces that drive the transformations and cycles within a system, as well as the forces imposed on the system from the outside, helps predict its behavior under a variety of conditions. When a system has a great number of component pieces, one may not be able to predict much about its precise future. For such systems (e.g., with very many colliding molecules), one can often predict average but not detailed properties and behaviors (e.g., average temperature, motion, and rates of chemical change but not the trajectories or other changes of particular molecules). Systems may evolve in unpredictable ways when the outcome depends sensitively on the starting condition and the starting condition cannot be specified precisely enough to distinguish between different possible outcomes.
PS3.A Definitions of Energy. The total energy within a system is conserved. Energy transfer within and between systems can be described and predicted in terms of energy associated with the motion or configuration of particles (objects).
PS3.C Relationship between energy and forces. Fields contain energy that depends on the arrangement of the objects in the field.
PS4.A Wave Properties. The wavelength and frequency of a wave are related to one another by the speed of the wave, which depends on the type of wave and the medium through which it is passing. Waves can be used to transmit information and energy.
PS4.C Information Technologies and Instrumentation. Large amounts of information can be stored and shipped around as a result of being digitized.