Astronomy Teaching Resources

Animations and Interactives for Astronomy 101


Time of Day:

  1. Time of Day visualization (University of Nebraska-Lincoln astronomy)

Star Motions:

  1. Rotating Sky visualization (University of Nebraska-Lincoln astronomy)

Seasons:

  1. Motions of the Sun at different times of year (University of Nebraska-Lincoln astronomy)
  2. Visualizing Earth’s orbit, tilt, and the effect on sunlight we receive (University of Nebraska-Lincoln astronomy
  3. Movies of noontime shadows in Nebraska (with helpful diagram; University of Nebraska-Lincoln astronomy)
  4. Sunrise and Sunset positions (University of Nebraska-Lincoln astronomy)
  5. Motion of the Sun through the Zodiac (University of Nebraska-Lincoln astronomy)
  6. Earth’s appearance in different times of year (Prentice-Hall)
  7. Seasons Interactive Figure (allows you to change Earth’s axis tilt; McGraw-Hill)
  8. YouTube video of a Year of the Sun (SOHO satellite images – look for the slight changes in size due to Earth’s non-circular orbit)

Phases of the Moon:

  1. Lunar Phase Quizzer (University of Nebraska-Lincoln astronomy)
  2. Lunar Phase Simulator (University of Nebraska-Lincoln astronomy)
  3. Determining Moon Phases (University of Nebraska-Lincoln astronomy)
  4. Moonrise/Moonset visualization (University of Nebraska-Lincoln astronomy)
  5. Moon Phases Animation (Sumanas)
  6. Moon Phases with rotating Earth (Valdosta State University)
  7. Lunar Phases Interactive Figure (McGraw-Hill)

Eclipses:

  1. Eclipse Shadow Simulator (University of Nebraska-Lincoln astronomy)
  2. Moon Inclination (University of Nebraska-Lincoln astronomy)
  3. YouTube video of an Annular Solar Eclipse (me)

Retrograde Motion In Copernicus’ Heliocentric Model:

  1. Retrograde Motion (University of Nebraska-Lincoln astronomy)
  2. Planet Orbits Simulator (University of Nebraska-Lincoln astronomy)

Retrograde Motion In Ptolemy’s Geocentric Model:

  1. Ptolemaic Orbit of Mars (University of Nebraska-Lincoln astronomy)
  2. Retrograde Motion (with epicycles; University of Toronto)

Phases of Venus In Ptolemy’s Geocentric Model:

  1. Ptolemaic Phases of Venus (University of Nebraska-Lincoln astronomy)

Kepler’s Laws:

  1. Planetary Orbit Simulator (University of Nebraska-Lincoln astronomy)
  2. Planetary Motion (start your own; University of Virginia)
  3. Ellipse demonstration (University of Nebraska-Lincoln astronomy)

Newton’s First Law:

  1. The Car and the Wall (Physics Classroom)
  2. The Motorcyclist (Physics Classroom)
  3. The Truck and Ladder (Physics Classroom)

Newton’s Second Law:

  1. Circular Motion (Physics Classroom)

Color and Spectrums:

  1. Subtractive Color Mixing (as with paints and dyes)
  2. Additive Color Mixing (as with colored lights)
  3. YouTube Video of Absorbing from a Rainbow (me!)
  4. YouTube Video of Absorption Line Spectrum (me!)


Thermal (Blackbody) Radiation:

  1. Blackbody Curves (University of Nebraska-Lincoln astronomy)
  2. Thermal Radiation Applet (with the appearance of the color mixture)
  3. YouTube video of Light Bulb Spectrum (me!)

Atoms and Light:

  1. Hydrogen Atom Simulator (University of Nebraska-Lincoln astronomy)

Inverse-Square Law for Light:

  1. Flux Simulator (University of Nebraska-Lincoln astronomy)

Doppler Effect:

  1. Doppler Shift Demonstrator (University of Nebraska-Lincoln astronomy)

Nearby Stars:

  1. 32 Nearby Stars (3-D Map with star information)
  2. Interactive 3-D Map of the Nearest Stars (Sumanas)

The HR Diagram for Stars:

  1. HR Diagram Explorer (University of Nebraska-Lincoln astronomy)

Black Holes (Animations of light bending nearby):

  1. Circling the Black Hole (looking down)
  2. Circling the Black Hole (looking forward)
  3. Approaching the Black Hole

Rotation of the Milky Way (and its Mass):

  1. Milky Way Rotational Velocity Explorer (University of Nebraska-Lincoln astronomy)

The Expansion of the Universe:

  1. A Balloon Analogy (nice explanation; Ned Wright, UCLA)

Astrophotography:

  1. Some Information on Astrophotography
  2. Movie of the 2007/2008 Superoutburst of Comet Holmes