"To The Max"

Here are some questions to focus attention while viewing-though we hope to hear from YOU about provocative brainteasers you may have posed to your students when using segments of "TO THE MAX" in class.


1. Apart from nuclear fusion, what is the most important force which shapes the Sun?

2. What makes researchers on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory go "batty"?

3. How much does it cost to launch one pound of water into space?

4. Which civilization left the first historical record of observing sunspots?

5. There's an old saying: how do you get to Carnegie Hall? "Practise, practise, practise" Looking at the tour of NASA Marshall, how do you get spacecraft to work up above Earth?

6. Which two scientists first demonstrated the relationship of electricity and magnetism?

7. In space-as we know from the movie ALIEN-no-one can hear you scream: but the WIND spacecraft can "hear" CMEs coming. How?

8.Can you see auroras during the day?

9. How close can you get to the Sun?

10. What 2 sports metaphors do the SERTS researchers use to bring rocket science down to Earth?

11. Who is "rocket science" for?

Answer Key

1. magnetism

2. They have a detector known as BATSE-the "Burst And Transient Source Experiment"-as well as bat decorations in one of their control rooms!

3. $80,000

4. The Chinese

5. "Test, test, test!"-this is a subjective issue: your students may think of some other prescriptions for success.

6. Hans Christian Oersted and Michael Faraday.

7.Radio waves

8. Yes, by using UV detectors, like those on the POLAR spacecraft: see BARCODE OF THE COSMOS activity online.

9. One researcher describes how the SOLAR PROBE is being designed to get within 4 solar radii!

10.Spinning rockets go more straight, like a spiraling football: ice-skaters speed up and slow down by moving arms away from the body-and sounding rockets use a similar mechanism to lose spin once observations begin.

11. For anyone with an interest in science and engineering-as young as 6th graders, and as mature as engineers such as "70-something" Marvin Swartz.