Little Big Pictures
The modules provided here are termed "little big pictures" since they focus on a central concept in astronomy, yet are small enough to run on a smartphone. They consist of a simulator, background information, and exercises to be completed in the simulator. The content here will likely be in a state of flux for a while as it is being fine-tuned. We would appreciate feedback.
- The Luminosity of Stars – A simple simulator for exploring the range of stellar luminosities and their dependence upon stars radii and surface temperatures.
- The Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram – A full-featured simulator for exploring the axes of the HR Diagram and the sizes of stars at various locations. It allows the user to plot the locations of the brightest stars in the sky as well as the nearest stars and answer the questions "Why are bright stars bright?" and "What is the most common type of star?".
- Hubble's Law – A simple simulator for visualizing the expansion of the universe. Users can see vectors describing the velocities of galaxies and note that all galaxies are moving away from us. They can then change their perspective to another galaxy and note that Hubble's Law is seen from there as well.
Coming Soon: more expansion of the universe, lunar phases.
This work is supported by the National Science Foundation under grant #1044658.