Searching for Galaxies

Recommended for: Ages 7 and up

Badges: Ready for Space, Citizen Scientist, Maryland Skies

Download this activity as a PDF.

The Hubble Space Telescope, sometimes just called the Hubble, is an enormous telescope that looks at the universe from space, instead of from here on Earth. It was launched by NASA in 1990. The Hubble helps scientists learn about space by taking pictures of stars, planets, and galaxies.

 

In this activity, you will explore photos taken by the Hubble and help scientists identify galaxies.

 

You Will Need

  • Reliable internet access

Read/Watch

Learn about the Hubble Space Telescope and how it helps scientists learn about space:

Read this article by NASA

 

Watch this video by MocomiKids:

Explore

 

Explore photos that the Hubble has taken here.

 

Wonder

 

What do you think a galaxy is?

How many galaxies do you think there are in the Universe?

How do you think scientists learn about galaxies?

 

Practice

The Hubble help scientists find galaxies. A galaxy is a huge collection of gas, dust, and billions of stars and their solar systems, all held together by gravity.

We live on a planet called Earth. Earth is part of a solar system with other planets that orbit around our sun. Our solar system is part of a galaxy called the Milky Way.​

Galaxies come in many different sizes and shapes. They can be found alone or in larger groups called clusters. There are three basic types of galaxies.

 

  1. Spiral Galaxies, like the Milky Way, have curved arms that look like a pinwheel.

  2. Elliptical Galaxies are smooth and shaped like an oval.

  3. Irregular Galaxies are just that, irregular. They often look like blobs.

Quiz Yourself!

Galaxy A

Galaxy C

Galaxy B

Galaxy D

Take Action

 

Now it is time to put your skills into action. Look at telescope images and help scientists identify galaxies.

 

First, visit Galaxy Zoo on your computer or mobile device.

Follow the directions on the app. Look at the image and answer the questions.

 

 

Wonderlog

Want to complete this task towards collecting a Wondernaut badge? Share with the Wondernaut Community about your experience identifying galaxies.

Was it easy or was it hard?

What surprised you about the images?

Did you enjoy it?

What do you still wonder about galaxies and telescopes?

Ready to share? Head here!

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