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The Cosmic Distance Scale DLESE Reviewed Collection
This resource gives an impression of how immense our Universe is by employing a method used many times in "Power of 10" films - that is, starting with an image of the Earth and then zooming out towards the furthest visible reaches of our Universe. This is not, however, an exercise in "powers of 10" - on the contrary, the goal is to show astronomical distances without scientific notation. It focuses on the large number of zeros that are in astronomical distances which are then measured with a familiar unit like the kilometer. The number of zeros increase with each zoom, though not at a constant rate. This resource was written because many people do not realize how spectacularly far away the "nearest" astronomical objects are.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
  • College (13-14)
  • Informal
Type of resource:
  • Visual:
    • Illustration - scientific
  • Text:
    • Ref. material
Subject:
  • Space science
  • Other
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Available on website.
DLESE Catalog ID: NASA-ESERevProd-000-000-000-561
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 5-8:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Change, constancy, and measurement
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Earth in the solar system
    • 9-12:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Change, constancy, and measurement
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
      • G - History and nature of science:
        • Nature of scientific knowledge
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Author: Maggie Masetti
NASA GSFC