Exploring Exoplanets with Kepler

This Exploring Exoplanets with Kepler activity also includes:

Calculate the movement and properties of planets like professional astronomers! Scholars use Kepler's third law to find Mercury and Venus's distance from the sun. Using changes in brightness of distant stars and Kepler's third law, scholars finish the activity by calculating different properties of exoplanets, including orbital period and distance to its parent star. 

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CCSS: Designed
NGSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • Using the provided background information and YouTube video, explain transits and planetary motion to astronomers
  • Allow investigators to work as teams to facilitate a collaborative learning opportunity
Classroom Considerations
  • Calculators are optional, but the worksheet uses mathematical formulas; plan accordingly to accommodate all learners
  • Assumes knowledge of exoplanets and basic astronomy
  • Provides extension activities to further engage young minds
  • Interdisciplinary lesson also includes CCSS for Mathematics
  • None