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News Release 629 of 1051

March 21, 2002 12:00 AM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2002-08

Test Your Skills as a 'Galaxy Hunter'

March 21, 2002: Journey to the deepest regions of space and wrestle with the cosmic giants called galaxies. In "Galaxy Hunter," students can go online and use actual data from the Hubble Space Telescope to study galaxies in deep space. Produced by the formal education team at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md., the interdisciplinary, Web-based lesson blends astronomy and math skills. A team of scientists, teachers, artists, and Web programmers developed the interactive lesson to bring the results of cutting-edge astronomical observations into the classroom. "Galaxy Hunter" is on the Amazing Space Website, Amazing Space is a group of Web-based, interactive activities primarily designed for classroom use, from kindergarten through twelfth grade.

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Q & A: Understanding the Discovery

  1. 1. What will students learn by studying distant galaxies in "Galaxy Hunter"?

  2. The galaxies that students examine in "Galaxy Hunter" are part of the Hubble "Deep Fields," the Hubble telescope's clearest, most distant views of the universe ever obtained. Gazing billions of years back in time, the Earth-orbiting observatory uncovered a bewildering assortment of galaxies in various stages of evolution.

    Scientists used mathematics to unlock many galactic secrets hidden in the two deep fields. Now students can analyze the same faraway galaxies that dazzled astronomers and sample the types of galaxies found in the deep views. Then they can compare their samples with those of astronomers to determine whether the galaxies in the two deep fields are similar. Along the way, they'll learn about bias in sampling techniques and the role of sample variability in determining the optimal sample size. Based on their sample analysis, students will try to answer the same question as the astronomers who observed the deep fields: Does the universe look the same in the two Hubble deep fields? Scientists believe that the universe generally looks the same in all directions.

  3. 2. What is Amazing Space?

  4. Amazing Space is a set of Web-based, interactive activities primarily designed for classroom use, from kindergarten through twelfth grade. All lessons include spectacular images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and many high-quality graphics, videos, and animations designed to enhance a student's understanding of science, math, and technology. Each lesson includes extensive information to prepare teachers to lead the lessons.

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