Subjects & Disciplines
- list and find patterns in the conditions required for weather events to occur
- describe the similarities and differences between weather and climate
- define and describe weather-measuring instruments
- describe units of measure for different types of weather measurement instruments
- determine which instruments would not be helpful on other planets
- identify atmospheric conditions of the planets in our solar system
- determine which weather conditions may be possible given the atmospheric conditions on other planets
- describe different types of probes and their usefulness in exploring other planets
- discuss instruments that probes use and identify the information probes are able to gather and report
- design a space probe to measure weather on another planet
- sketch and/or build a space probe
- give and get feedback from peer reviewers
- label and provide measurements for the space probe and instruments
- Cooperative learning
- Hands-on learning
- Multimedia instruction
- Simulations and games
- Visual instruction
Connections to National Standards, Principles, and Practices
What You’ll Need
The resources are also available at the top of the page.
- Internet Access: Required
- Internet access: Required
- Tech Setup: 1 computer per classroom, Projector, Speakers
- Plug-Ins: Flash
- Large-group instruction
- Small-group instruction
In 2006, the status of Pluto was changed from a planet to a dwarf planet. A dwarf planet is not gravitationally dominant. It shares orbital space with other bodies of similar sizes.
- extreme weather conditions
- the function of space probes
- tools used to measure weather
Recommended Prior Lessons
a large volume of air that is mostly consistent, horizontally, in temperature and humidity.
force pressed on an object by air or atmosphere.
a device that measures wind speed.
layers of gases surrounding a planet or other celestial body.
an instrument that measures atmospheric pressure.
storm with high winds, intense cold, heavy snow, and little rain.
all weather conditions for a given location over a period of time.
weather pattern of wind blowing dust over large regions of land.
person who plans the building of things, such as structures (construction engineer) or substances (chemical engineer).
imaginary line around the Earth, another planet, or star running east-west, 0 degrees latitude.
rare and severe events in the Earth's atmosphere, such as heat waves or powerful cyclones.
overflow of a body of water onto land.
boundary between air masses of different temperatures and humidities.
precipitation that falls as ice.
tropical storm with wind speeds of at least 119 kilometers (74 miles) per hour. Hurricanes are the same thing as typhoons, but usually located in the Atlantic Ocean region.
device for measuring humidity, or the amount of water vapor in the air.
winds speeding through the upper atmosphere.
middle layer of the Earth, made of mostly solid rock.
mathematical value between the two extremes of a set of numbers. Also called the average.
image or impression of an object used to represent the object or system.
natural satellite of a planet.
something that is learned from watching and measuring an object or pattern.
to move in a circular pattern around a more massive object.
path of one object around a more massive object.
large, spherical celestial body that regularly rotates around a star.
all forms in which water falls to Earth from the atmosphere.
device for measuring rain or other forms of liquid precipitation, usually in millimeters. Also called a rain gauge, udometer, pluviometer, or ombrometer.
device for measuring the amount of sunlight reaching a planet's surface. Also called a solarimeter.
device for measuring humidity that uses two thermometers: one measures the air temperature while the bulb of the other is kept cool and moist. The sling psychrometer is whirled around until moisture from the wet bulb evaporates.
light and heat from the sun.
the sun and the planets, asteroids, comets, and other bodies that orbit around it.
set of scientific instruments and tools launched from Earth to study the atmosphere and composition of space and other planets, moons, or celestial bodies.
degree of hotness or coldness measured by a thermometer with a numerical scale.
topographic features of an area.
device that measures temperature.
to pass along information or communicate.
lacking the physical presence of a person.
the ability to see or be seen with the unaided eye. Also called visual range.
state of the atmosphere, including temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind, humidity, precipitation, and cloudiness.
instrument that orbits the Earth to track weather and patterns in the atmosphere.
device that rotates to show the direction the wind is blowing. Also called a weather vane.
For Further Exploration
Articles & Profiles
- National Geographic Education: Profile—Real-World Geography: Dr. Randall Cerveny
- National Geographic Education: Article—Meteorological Sleuth
- NASA: Welcome to the Planets
- Windows to the Universe: Space Weather
- NASA: Phoenix Mars Lander
- NASA: About the SOHO Mission
- NASA: Cassini Solstice Mission
- NASA: New Horizons
- American Meteorological Society: Glossary of Meteorology
- NOAA: Satellite and Information Service—Extreme Weather and Climate Events
- Nat Geo Movies: Wildest Weather in the Solar System
- NASA: Solar System Exploration