the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
This is the home page for NASA's Dawn project, whose goal is to shed light on the early evolution of our Solar System by investigating two large protoplanets that have remained intact since their formations. Ceres and Vesta are located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Each has followed a very different evolutionary path, but both processes were governed by interactions occurring the first few million years of solar system evolution. The website provides a large array of resources for educators and learners from upper elementary grades through undergraduate education.
Please note that this resource requires
Java Applet Plug-in.
Editor's Note:Don't miss the links to the "Dawn Image of the Day", stories and games for elementary students, and interactive resources on ion propulsion engines - a newer technology for powering robotic space exploration.
JPL, Jet Propulsion Lab, asteroid belt, asteroid mapping, asteroids, exploration, ion engines, ion propulsion, missions, planets, robotic spacecraft, rovers, solar system, space exploration, space missions, spectrometry, virtual astronomy
Metadata instance created
November 2, 2012
by Caroline Hall
August 24, 2016
by Lyle Barbato
AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)
3. The Nature of Technology
3A. Technology and Science
3-5: 3A/E2. Technology enables scientists and others to observe things that are too small or too far away to be seen otherwise and to study the motion of objects that are moving very rapidly or are hardly moving at all.
6-8: 3A/M2. Technology is essential to science for such purposes as access to outer space and other remote locations, sample collection and treatment, measurement, data collection and storage, computation, and communication of information.
9-12: 3A/H1. Technological problems and advances often create a demand for new scientific knowledge, and new technologies make it possible for scientists to extend their research in new ways or to undertake entirely new lines of research. The very availability of new technology itself often sparks scientific advances.
9-12: 3A/H2. Mathematics, creativity, logic, and originality are all needed to improve technology.
9-12: 3A/H3b. One way science affects society is by stimulating and satisfying people's curiosity and enlarging or challenging their views of what the world is like.
3B. Design and Systems
6-8: 3B/M3d. In almost all modern machines, microprocessors serve as centers of performance control.
9-12: 3B/H3. Complex systems have layers of controls. Some controls operate particular parts of the system and some control other controls. Even fully automatic systems require human control at some point.
3C. Issues in Technology
6-8: 3C/M8. Scientific laws, engineering principles, properties of materials, and construction techniques must be taken into account in designing engineering solutions to problems.
9-12: 3C/H6. The human ability to influence the course of history comes from its capacity for generating knowledge and developing new technologies—and for communicating ideas to others.
4. The Physical Setting
4A. The Universe
6-8: 4A/M4. Many chunks of rock orbit the sun. Those that meet the earth glow and disintegrate from friction as they plunge through the atmosphere—and sometimes impact the ground. Other chunks of rock mixed with ice have long, off-center orbits that carry them close to the sun, where the sun's radiation (of light and particles) boils off frozen materials from their surfaces and pushes it into a long, illuminated tail.
9-12: 4A/H3. Increasingly sophisticated technology is used to learn about the universe. Visual, radio, and X-ray telescopes collect information from across the entire spectrum of electromagnetic waves; computers handle data and complicated computations to interpret them; space probes send back data and materials from remote parts of the solar system; and accelerators give subatomic particles energies that simulate conditions in the stars and in the early history of the universe before stars formed.
9-12: 4A/H6. Our solar system coalesced out of a giant cloud of gas and debris left in the wake of exploding stars about five billion years ago. Everything in and on the earth, including living organisms, is made of this material.
11. Common Themes
11C. Constancy and Change
9-12: 11C/H8. Trends that follow a pattern that can be described mathematically can be used to estimate how long a process has been going on.
6-8: 11D/M3. Natural phenomena often involve sizes, durations, and speeds that are extremely small or extremely large. These phenomena may be difficult to appreciate because they involve magnitudes far outside human experience.
%0 Electronic Source %D 2008 %T NASA Jet Propulsion Lab: Dawn %I National Aeronautics and Space Administration %V 2016 %N 3 December 2016 %9 text/html %U http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/
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