Notes for Group Leaders: Reading Satellite Images

Subject: Technology | Grades: 6-8 | Duration: one to two class periods

Students/Participants will:

  1. Understand how satellite images are made by active, passive, and remote sensing instruments.
  2. Understand that analyzing satellite images reveal features and events that would be impossible to detect with other means of analysis.

Go to Reading Satellite Images


Useful Links

Simple definition of remote sensing from NASA's Picture Dictionary

How Does a Spacecraft Take a Picture?: An educational website from NASA's Deep Space Network which explores the techniques of obtaining digital images from spacecraft.

Learning without Touching : Explains what "remote sensing" means and what we can learn from satellites in space.

Notes for Group Leaders: The Astronomer's Toolbox: Telescopes

Subject: Technology | Grades: 6-8 | Duration: one to two class periods

Students/Participants will:

  1. Explore the function and principles of a basic refracting telescope.
  2. Understand that looking farther out in the Universe means looking back in time.

Go to Reading Satellite Images

Concepts Addressed
  • Magnification
  • Light travel time
Working in small groups (perhaps 2 or 3 students per group), students assemble a simple version of one of the astronomer’s basic tools: the telescope. They experiment with their own telescopes and investigate their properties. Students then use postcard travel time to model the time it takes for information (traveling in the form of light) to reach us from distant astronomical objects.

Notes for Group Leaders: Fun with Pixels

Subject: Technology | Grades: 6-8 | Duration: one to two class periods

Students/Participants will:

  1. Understand how satellite images are made by active, passive, and remote sensing instruments.
  2. Understand that analyzing satellite images reveal features and events that would be impossible to detect with other means of analysis.

Go to Reading Satellite Images


Useful Links

Simple definition of remote sensing from NASA's Picture Dictionary

How Does a Spacecraft Take a Picture?: An educational website from NASA's Deep Space Network which explores the techniques of obtaining digital images from spacecraft.

Learning without Touching : Explains what "remote sensing" means and what we can learn from satellites in space.

Overview of Activity

Students completing this activity will learn about digital images and how satellites orbiting Earth send information and pictures to us over the Internet.

Age Level
Ages 10 and up

Materials Needed
* Digital camera or Scanner and attached computer
* Rectangular graph paper and colored markers or crayons
* An encrypted digital image of Sun in X-Rays from the Yohkoh satellite
* Hand Out for Team 1, Hand Out for Team 2, Hand Out for Team 3, Hand Out for Team 4 (print in portrait mode)
* OPTIONAL: spreadsheet program, image processing software, internet connection

Pre-requisite Knowledge Needed
None

Useful Links

Simple definition of remote sensing from NASA's Picture Dictionary

How Does a Spacecraft Take a Picture?: An educational website from NASA's Deep Space Network which explores the techniques of obtaining digital images from spacecraft.

Learning without Touching : Explains what "remote sensing" means and what we can learn from satellites in space.

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