1. Space photography is
similar to taking any picture. Good lighting, direct aim at the
subject, and a clear view of the object to be photographed are
this to the class: turn off the lights, turn your back to the class,
and leave on the lens cap and ask "Now I am going to take your
picture. Is there anything wrong with the way I am doing
this?" Discuss the
necessity of good lighting, direct aim at the subject, and a clear
view of your target.
2. After discussion of
taking pictures in the the room, relate this to taking pictures from
the space shuttle. The requirements are the same: good lighting and a
clear view of the subject. What do we need to take pictures of the
Earth from space? The area you want to photograph has to be in
daylight. The weather has to be clear or only a few clouds. The
shuttle must be directly over the target area and the cargo bay doors
must be open and facing the Earth. Demonstrate
this with the model of the shuttle.
Define remote sensing.
out orbit maps for STS 57.
An orbit map shows the paths of the orbits that a space shuttle
flies. This map shows the orbits photographed by the Can Do GeoCam
cameras from STS 57 in June, 1993. Direct students to trace one of
the orbits on the map. The space shuttle, on this mission, traveled
between 28 degrees north and 28 degrees south latitudes.
latitude and longitude with students.
Practice finding latitude and longitude of familiar
Hand out photographs. Allow students to freely explore for a few
possible locations of the photo site. Tell
students it is 18.5 degrees south and 12 degrees
east. Have students
locate the position on the orbit map and world map. These GeoCam
photos show the Namib Desert in NAMIBIA on the southwest coast of
5. Direct students to mark the
following places that appear on the photograph:
large body of
6. Direct students to examine
the photo and identify the following by labeling on the
Change in Elevation (draw lines)
Clouds (over land)
Evidence of Erosion
7. Discuss what this area
might look like if we went there. The photo shows the Skeleton Coast
of the Namib Desert on the western coast of Africa in NAMIBIA. Guess
why this is called "Skeleton"? You will find out in the next
MEASURING THE DEW
1. Define dew point.
temperature at which water vapor condenses to form liquid
2. Define condensation.
process of a substance changing from the gaseous state to a liquid
3. What caused moisture to
form on the outside of the can? (The
cold water in the can cools the surrounding air which causes the
water vapor to condense. Cool air cannot hold as much water vapor as
warm air can.)
4. Do you think the dew
point will vary under different conditions? Explain?
will depend on air temperature and humidity at the time of your data
collection. You will notice more condensation on a hot, humid day
than on a cold dry one, for example.)
5. Did everyone in the
room get the same dew point? Did you get the same dew point in each
of your 3 trials? Why would all the answers be the same? Why would
they be different? Discuss.
(You probably will get different results due to student error. There
also may be a difference in different parts of the room--closer to
the air conditioner, for example. It is important to discuss these
variables with your students.)
would you expect dew to form in the Namib Desert?
other common examples of condensation, such as on cars in the cool
mornings, on the bathroom mirror after a hot shower, on the outside
of a glass of iced tea or on the grass in the morning. Relate this to
the experiment and brainstorm ideas about the Namib
PROBLEM: Animals and
plants live in the Namib Desert where it rains only about every
decade. There is no surface water in the desert. How do plants and
animals survive without rainfall?
Use the photo and
maps to work through this sheet to help you solve the
1. Use a map to locate the
exact position of the photo. Identify the following:
- large body of
2. Examine the photo and
identify the following by labeling on the picture:
ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO USE THE HAND LENS TO SEE MORE DETAILS OF THE
3. Using the map, "Major World
Currents", identify the current along the Namib coast .
CURRENT) Where does this
current come from? (THE
ANTARCTIC CIRCUMPOLAR CURRENT)
Is it a warm or cold current? (COLD)
Identify the current to the west of this current. (SOUTH
EQUATORIAL CURRENT OR BRAZIL CURRENT)
Is it a warm or cold current? (WARM)
4. Fog - What kinds of
conditions over the ocean are needed for evaporation?
OCCURS OVER WARM OCEANS)
- Where does evaporation
(IN THIS CASE,
EVAPORATION THAT PRODUCED THE FOG OCCURRED OVER THE ATLANTIC TO THE
WEST WHERE CURRENTS ARE WARM.)
- What kinds of conditions are
needed for water vapor to condense?
CONDENSES WHEN THE TEMPERATURE DROPS)
- Where does condensation
OCCURS WHERE THE WATER VAPOR PASSES OVER THE COLD BENGUELA CURRENT
ALONG THE NAMIB COASTLINE.)
- Summarize: what causes fog
in the photo to form over the ocean?
EVAPORATES OVER THE WARM OCEAN WATER TO THE WEST OF THE PHOTO. AS THE
WINDS CARRY THE SATURATED AIR OVER THE COLD BENGUELA CURRENT NEAR THE
COAST, THE WATER VAPOR CONDENSES INTO FOG.)
In this photo, winds blow from
west to east. What effects do the winds have on the fog?
FOG IS BLOWN INLAND OVER THE DESERT. DEW FORMS IN THE DESERT IN THE
COOL OF THE NIGHT. REFER BACK TO LESSON 3.)
How does this relate to our
problem of survival without rainfall? (PLANTS
AND ANIMALS OBTAIN A MINIMUM AMOUNT OF MOISTURE FROM THE DEW THROUGH
SPECIAL ADAPTATIONS. REFER BACK TO LESSON 2 TO DISCUSS SPECIFIC
5. What may have caused the
drainage and erosion patterns in the photo?
PATTERNS FORM FROM OCCASIONAL RAINFALL TO THE EAST OR FROM ANCIENT
RIVERS. WIND STREAKS ARE ALSO PRESENT.)
6. Is there any evidence of
people living in this area? (NO)
Why do people live or not live
(PEOPLE DO NOT
LIVE HERE BECAUSE THE ENVIRONMENT IS TOO HARSH)
What are some ways that plants
and animals could adapt to this environment?
RETENTION, MINIMAL EVAPORATION, SPECIAL ADAPTIONS FOR COLLECTING THE
WATER, MOVEMENT IN AND OUT OF THE AREA, ABILITY TO BE DORMANT. REFER
TO LESSON 2.)
7. In summary, describe the
effect the fog has on the ecosystem of the Namib Desert?
STUDENTS HAVE LEARNED SO FAR, IT IS THE FOG THAT PROVIDES THE
MOISTURE NECESSARY TO SUSTAIN LIFE IN THE DESERT. AFTER FURTHER STUDY
STUDENTS MAY ADD THAT A VARIETY OF SMALL ANIMALS AND PLANTS HAVE
ADAPTED TO BE ABLE TO LIVE IN THE DESERT DURING ALL SEASONS BY
DEVELOPING UNIQUE WAYS OF COLLECTING THE DEW RESULTING FROM THE FOG.
PLANTS AND ANIMALS HAVE ALSO ADAPTED TO SURVIVE OTHER DESERT
CONDITIONS. LARGE ANIMALS MIGRATE IN AND OUT OF THIS SYSTEM DEPENDING
ON AVAILABILITY OF GROUND WATER.)
MATERIALS (for each
group of students)
- 1 Map of Namib
- 1 Can Do photo of
- 1 Hand
- 1 Washable
After completing the Namib activities, discuss with your students the
processes of learning that they experienced.
Suggested questions: Did they
use brainstorming techniques? Perhaps they expanded, compared and
contrasted new concepts with past learning to draw new conclusions.
How did the readings help them to understand the photos? Do they have
unanswered questions? How would they go about answering the new
questions? Does science always lead to a definite answer or is it
more normal to end up with new questions?
2. Use other remote sensing
photographs of the earth to see how your students can apply what they
learned to a new situation. Compare and contrast the Namib photos
with the new photo. Discuss.
Can Do is a unique and dynamic project in Charleston
County School District. With the help of MUSC, College of
Charleston, Space Grant Consortium, Westvaco, NASA and
National Geographic students and teachers have experienced
the thrill of science through space studies. In 1993, a
dream came true when cameras and student experiments soared
into space. Targets for the Earth-aimed cameras aboard STS
57 were chosen by students who ran a real mission control
room in Charleston. As a result, photographs taken of the
Earth from the Space Shuttle are available in this kit for
classroom use. It is important to know that responsibility
for these photographs lies not only with NASA but with the
students and teachers of Charleston County and Can Do. This
modular unit was created for all the students and teachers
of Charleston County who wish to learn more about space and