CME Science: Measuring the Velocity of a Coronal Mass Ejection
This lesson for high school physics blends kinematics and space science as students analyze authentic data from the NASA SOHO space observatory to determine the speed of a coronal mass ejection (CME). Learners will closely examine and measure coronagraph images of CME events to construct graphs of position vs. time and velocity vs. time. The lesson is designed to promote understanding of three key ideas: 1. Relationships between p-t and v-t graphs; 2. The laws of classical physics are consistent throughout the universe; and 3. Earth's sun is an ever-changing star that produces phenomena which can be observed, imaged, and accurately measured.