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
NASA’s 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.

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
galaxiB?~²hat 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.

The lesson also includes a teacher guide that helps prepare educators
to present the lesson in the classroom. In the guide, teachers will
find “science background” information, which explains the galaxy
types, the galaxy classification system, and how astronomers selected
the Hubble deep fields. The lesson also adheres to the National
Education Standards for grades 9 to 12.

When students are finished hunting for galaxies, they can try
unscrambling the schedule for a Hubble telescope servicing mission.
Although the Hubble telescope’s Servicing Mission 3B is over, students
can still play the role of a NASA scientist who plans the Hubble
servicing missions. In “Be the Mastermind Behind the Mission,” another
online, interactive activity, students attempt to fix a mixed up order
of events for the Hubble servicing mission. Their job is to place the
schedule of servicing mission events, which includes spacewalks and
the launch of the space shuttle, in proper order. The interdisciplinary
lesson focuses on reading and technology skills, and is aimed at
sixth-through eighth-graders.

“Galaxy Hunter” and “Be the Mastermind Behind the Mission” are
available on the Amazing Space website at:

The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) is operated by the
Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA),
for NASA, under contract with the Goddard Space Flight Center,
Greenbelt, MD. The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of
international cooperation between NASA and the European Space
Agency (ESA).