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written by Andrew Fraknoi
published by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
This resource guide for introductory astronomy highlights useful and accessible materials on the web and in print. It is designed to help instructors quickly compile high-quality supplementary materials to support the teaching of cosmology. It includes a sampling of non-technical materials that instructors around the U.S. are using and are likely to be readily accessible. Resources include animations and simulations, selected talks on cosmology, lab activities, and selected books. Topics addressed include history of cosmology, dark energy, dark matter, cosmological distance, cosmic microwave, and the origin of the universe. Don't miss the selected simulations, a list of well-produced visualizations that would be difficult to find through traditional web searching.

This resource guide is part of a larger set of educational materials sponsored and published by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
- Cosmology
- Stars
= Black Holes
- General Relativity
= Black Holes
- History
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Informal Education
- Professional Development
- Collection
- Instructional Material
= Annotation
= Curriculum support
= Simulation
= Tutorial
- Reference Material
= Bibliography
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Lesson Plan
- Activity
- Laboratory
- New teachers
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Intended Users:
General Public
Access Rights:
Free access
© 2010 Andrew Fraknoi
Can be freely used for any educational nonprofit purpose, as long as full author credit is given in all copies.
astronomy bibliography, bibliographies, big bang, black holes, cosmic microwave, dark energy, dark matter, expanding universe, general relativity, inflationary universe, modeling the universe, origin of the universe, quantum black holes, reading lists, resource guide, supernova
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created December 5, 2012 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
August 27, 2013 by Lyle Barbato

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

4. The Physical Setting

4A. The Universe
  • 9-12: 4A/H2ab. On the basis of scientific evidence, the universe is estimated to be over ten billion years old. The current theory is that its entire contents expanded explosively from a hot, dense, chaotic mass.
  • 9-12: 4A/H2cd. Stars condensed by gravity out of clouds of molecules of the lightest elements until nuclear fusion of the light elements into heavier ones began to occur. Fusion released great amounts of energy over millions of years.
  • 9-12: 4A/H3. Increasingly sophisticated technology is used to learn about the universe. Visual, radio, and X-ray telescopes collect information from across the entire spectrum of electromagnetic waves; computers handle data and complicated computations to interpret them; space probes send back data and materials from remote parts of the solar system; and accelerators give subatomic particles energies that simulate conditions in the stars and in the early history of the universe before stars formed.
  • 9-12: 4A/H4. Mathematical models and computer simulations are used in studying evidence from many sources in order to form a scientific account of the universe.
4G. Forces of Nature
  • 9-12: 4G/H1. Gravitational force is an attraction between masses. The strength of the force is proportional to the masses and weakens rapidly with increasing distance between them.

11. Common Themes

11B. Models
  • 6-8: 11B/M4. Simulations are often useful in modeling events and processes.
  • 9-12: 11B/H3. The usefulness of a model can be tested by comparing its predictions to actual observations in the real world. But a close match does not necessarily mean that other models would not work equally well or better.
  • 9-12: 11B/H5. The behavior of a physical model cannot ever be expected to represent the full-scale phenomenon with complete accuracy, not even in the limited set of characteristics being studied. The inappropriateness of a model may be related to differences between the model and what is being modeled.
11D. Scale
  • 6-8: 11D/M3. Natural phenomena often involve sizes, durations, and speeds that are extremely small or extremely large. These phenomena may be difficult to appreciate because they involve magnitudes far outside human experience.
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
A. Fraknoi, (Astronomical Society of the Pacific, San Francisco, 2010), WWW Document, (http://www.astrosociety.org/education/astronomy-resource-guides/cosmology-the-origin-evolution-ultimate-fate-of-the-universe/).
A. Fraknoi, Cosmology: An Introductory Resource Guide for Instructors (Astronomical Society of the Pacific, San Francisco, 2010), <http://www.astrosociety.org/education/astronomy-resource-guides/cosmology-the-origin-evolution-ultimate-fate-of-the-universe/>.
APA Format
Fraknoi, A. (2010). Cosmology: An Introductory Resource Guide for Instructors. Retrieved April 17, 2014, from Astronomical Society of the Pacific: http://www.astrosociety.org/education/astronomy-resource-guides/cosmology-the-origin-evolution-ultimate-fate-of-the-universe/
Chicago Format
Fraknoi, Andrew. Cosmology: An Introductory Resource Guide for Instructors. San Francisco: Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 2010. http://www.astrosociety.org/education/astronomy-resource-guides/cosmology-the-origin-evolution-ultimate-fate-of-the-universe/ (accessed 17 April 2014).
MLA Format
Fraknoi, Andrew. Cosmology: An Introductory Resource Guide for Instructors. San Francisco: Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 2010. 17 Apr. 2014 <http://www.astrosociety.org/education/astronomy-resource-guides/cosmology-the-origin-evolution-ultimate-fate-of-the-universe/>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Andrew Fraknoi", Title = {Cosmology: An Introductory Resource Guide for Instructors}, Publisher = {Astronomical Society of the Pacific}, Volume = {2014}, Number = {17 April 2014}, Year = {2010} }
Refer Export Format

%A Andrew Fraknoi
%T Cosmology:  An Introductory Resource Guide for Instructors
%D 2010
%I Astronomical Society of the Pacific
%C San Francisco
%U http://www.astrosociety.org/education/astronomy-resource-guides/cosmology-the-origin-evolution-ultimate-fate-of-the-universe/
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%A Fraknoi, Andrew
%D 2010
%T Cosmology:  An Introductory Resource Guide for Instructors
%I Astronomical Society of the Pacific
%V 2014
%N 17 April 2014
%9 text/html
%U http://www.astrosociety.org/education/astronomy-resource-guides/cosmology-the-origin-evolution-ultimate-fate-of-the-universe/

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