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Phil Plait: How to Defend Earth from Asteroids

  1. What happened on the “dinosaurs’ bad day”? What was the effect of this?
  2. Does an asteroid need to hit the Earth to do damage? Why or why not?
  3. Many science fiction movies and TV shows have depicted using a nuclear weapon to destroy asteroids. What problem does Plait see with this plan?
  4. What is one way that we could defend Earth from asteroids? What are the drawbacks of the method?
  5. Is the Earth prepared to ward off a potential asteroid hit? Why or why not?

The Hubble Deep Field Academy

Follow through the activity and answer the following questions with at least one paragraph each. (You don’t need to complete the log questions mentioned in the activity.)

  1. How do scientists estimate the number of objects in the image that they receive from the Hubble Deep Field?
  2. What are some of the ways that scientists classify the objects that they see in the Hubble Deep Field images? What are some of the challenges scientists face when doing this?
  3. When measuring distances, astronomers sometimes find that a small object in the sky is closer to Earth than a larger object. How can this be?
  4. Once you get to the “Identify the HDF object” page of the activity, use the information you’ve learned to classify the object. What is the object shown? How did you determine this?


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