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ERIC Number: EJ1172025
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Mar
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Exoplanet Science in the Classroom: Learning Activities for an Introductory Physics Course
Della-Rose, Devin; Carlson, Randall; de La Harpe, Kimberly; Novotny, Steven; Polsgrove, Daniel
Physics Teacher, v56 n3 p170-173 Mar 2018
Discovery of planets outside our solar system, known as extra-solar planets or exoplanets for short, has been at the forefront of astronomical research for over 25 years. Reports of new discoveries have almost become routine; however, the excitement surrounding them has not. Amazingly, as groundbreaking as exoplanet science is, the basic physics is quite accessible to first-year physics students, as discussed in previous "TPT" articles. To further illustrate this point, we developed an iOS application that generates synthetic exoplanet data to provide students and teachers with interactive learning activities. Using introductory physics concepts, we demonstrate how to estimate exoplanet mass, radius, and density from the app output. These calculations form the basis for a diverse range of classroom activities. We conclude with a summary of exoplanet science resources for teachers.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A