14 December Science 8 Spectra; Letters from the Earth; SETI; The Golden Record; Contact

Today we will examine the spectra of other elements and compounds.

Sketch the spectra. Take pictures:

Upper = hydrogen–bright lines ( air is probably a contaminant–the continuous spectrum)

Middle 1 and Middle 2= helium–bright lines (Middle 2 photo by E. Rubin)

Lower = Neon (Photo by S. Wasu)


































While you are waiting your turn to observe,

  1. Write a “letter” to an alien telling them what you think is most important about our earth:

Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life?

Imagine that you are charged with the task of preparing information to be sent out to a newly discovered planet in a far away star-planet system. What would you tell them about the earth? Include and justify your list in a google document linked to a science portfolio subpage due at the beginning of the next class.

You are limited to 1 gigabyte in terms of the information you include. Be specific. (books, films, music, images, works of art, instructions to make things, chemical equations, scientific formulae ????). But remember that they will not speak any Earth languages and may even process sound and light differently from the way we do. Are there universal (literally in the Universe) ways of communicating?

  • Nature
  • Geology
  • History
  • Culture
  • Human knowledge
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Art
  • Music
  • Society
  • Other?

2. Review the work of SETI–The search for extraterrestrial intelligence


3. Find out more about the Golden Record–where scientists decided what would be worth communicating to an extraterrestrial intelligence:


4. Find out more about Carl Sagan, Astronomer, and popularizer of science.

Find out about his famous TV documentary Series Cosmos.

  • Carl Sagan
  • http://www.carlsagan.com/
  • Cosmos: A personal voyage (episodes online)
  • Episode 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FT_nzxtgXEw
  • Episode 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SL_ThCJCOOk
  • Episode 3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgIBuRMIN8c
  • Episode 4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CxAeRkBkxM
  • Episode 5 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgDlb2itvoc
  • Episode 6 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGQtdYVwDC8
  • Episode 7 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJMVKz9D3WU
  • Episode 8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDo2D6iImsA
  • Episode 9 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZY4nUv3kyI
  • Episode 10 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1gglKsFZYQ
  • Episode 11 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOcwj3pSAdc
  • Episode 12 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGZVhWwBs2M
  • Episode 13 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxhUQLDbLtE
  • Pale Blue Dot https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wZauL04R9s

The original Cosmos was the inspiration for a new version by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Find out about Sagan’s novel Contact and the movie adaptation:

This is really good–connecting our study of matter and astronomy to our upcoming study of earth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfOuBx6XW3Q

About rfrazier

AES profile = http://aes.ac.in/viewprofile.php?u=6946
This entry was posted in Science 8. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *