TEACHER INFORMATION:

CLICK HERE FOR VERSION TO PRINT OUT

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 essential. Demonstrate 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.

 3. Hand 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. Review latitude and longitude with students. Practice finding latitude and longitude of familiar places.

 4. Hand out photographs. Allow students to freely explore for a few minutes. Discuss 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 Africa.

 

5. Direct students to mark the following places that appear on the photograph:

continent

country

large body of water

latitude

longitude

Africa

Namibia

Atlantic Ocean

18.5 south

12 east

 

6. Direct students to examine the photo and identify the following by labeling on the photograph:

Rocky Formations

Surface Water

Fog

Drainage Patterns

Change in Elevation (draw lines)

Clouds (over land)

Sand Dunes

Evidence of Erosion

CLICK HERE FOR GUIDE TO PHOTOGRAPH

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 lesson.

 

 

TEACHER ANSWER SHEET

Lesson 3

MEASURING THE DEW POINT

 

QUESTIONS:

1. Define dew point. (The temperature at which water vapor condenses to form liquid water.)

 2. Define condensation. (The process of a substance changing from the gaseous state to a liquid state.)

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? (Yes, it 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.)

 EXTENSION: When would you expect dew to form in the Namib Desert?

(Discuss 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 Desert.)

Lesson 4

TEACHER ANSWER SHEET

Interpreting the Photo

  

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 problem.

1. Use a map to locate the exact position of the photo. Identify the following:

 

2. Examine the photo and identify the following by labeling on the picture: (NOTE: ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO USE THE HAND LENS TO SEE MORE DETAILS OF THE PHOTOS.)

  • surface water
  • fog
  • change in elevation
  • sand dunes
  • beach
  • rocky formations
  • drainage patterns
  • clouds (over land)
  • evidence of erosion
  • surf

CLICK HERE FOR GUIDE TO PHOTOGRAPH

3. Using the map, "Major World Currents", identify the current along the Namib coast . (BENGUELA 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?

(EVAPORATION OCCURS OVER WARM OCEANS)

- Where does evaporation occur?

(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?

(WATER VAPOR CONDENSES WHEN THE TEMPERATURE DROPS)

- Where does condensation occur?

(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?

(WATER 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?

(THE 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 EXAMPLES.)

 

5. What may have caused the drainage and erosion patterns in the photo?

(DRAINAGE 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 here?

(PEOPLE DO NOT LIVE HERE BECAUSE THE ENVIRONMENT IS TOO HARSH)

What are some ways that plants and animals could adapt to this environment?

(WATER 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?

(FROM WHAT 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.)

 

VOCABULARY

  • erosion
  • ecosystem
  • dew
  • desert
  • fog
  • decade
  • dormant
  • ground water
  • ocean current
  • evaporation
  • condensation

 

MATERIALS (for each group of students)

 EXTENSION ACTIVITIES

 1. 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 the Earth.

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