Link to the demonstrator: in English
Age: > 16
Duration: 3 hours
Equipment: PC with internet connection
Author: Dr. Matteo Barsuglia (PCCP)
This demonstrator introduces the concept of the expansion of the Universe discovered by Edwin Hubble. Students will reproduce Hubble’s measurements in order to obtain an estimate of the age of the Universe, thanks to real sky images and data taking. They will play the role of an observational astronomer and learn about some fundamental properties of astronomical sources, such as the magnitude and the luminosity distance. They will also learn about light spectra, absorption lines, redshift, and the Doppler effect. Students will reproduce the Hubble diagram and get a measurement of the Hubble constant and the age of the Universe. Students will present their work to the class and discuss how it compare with the most accurate results that astronomers have.
- Teach students about the expansion of the Universe and the basics of Hubble observations.
- Allow students to understand the daily work of an observational astronomer.
- Introduce basic concepts of observational astronomy, cosmology, and image processing.
- Wave properties
- Basics of light spectrum
- Universe’s expansion and age
- Spectral lines analysis, Doppler effect, astronomical redshift
- Standard candles
- Cosmic Microwave Background
By the end of this demonstrator, students should be able to:
- Explain the expansion of the Universe and its observational discovery
- Remember the Doppler Effect and the interpretation of redshift.
- Describe a spectrum and interpret its absorption lines.
- Explain the idea of standard candles in astronomy.
- Interpret data evaluating signal/noise ratio.
- Videos to engage
- Data taking, analysis, and interpretation
- Final report and discussion
By the end of this demonstrator, students should be able to answer the following:
- Write a couple of sentences describing what you’ve learned about the Big Bang and the expansion of the Universe, explain the Hubble’s law
- What the Hubble constant H0 is and how to calculate it.
- Describe the basics of an observational astronomer’s work.
- Explain how different disciplines are necessary to obtain Hubble’s law and how multidisciplinarity can be crucial to solve complex problems.
- Explain how to calculate the age of the Universe using the Hubble diagram.