Protecting the Earth from Killer Asteroids

Description:  Asteroids have the potential to cause catastrophic loss of life on our planet upon impact. In 2013, the Chelyabinsk meteor injured 1500 people when it exploded over Russia. If researchers could identify potential asteroids early enough they could change their orbit to eliminate the threat to Earth. This phenomenon could be used to explore the motion of orbiting objects in the solar system or to gain a better understanding of gravitational forces and fields.

Web Resource:  Asteroid Impact Avoidance - Wikipedia


Woman Hit by Meteorite

Description:  Ann Hodges has the distinction of being the only human to have been hit by a meteorite. While Mrs. Hodges was napping on the couch the meteorite impacted her house, bounced off a table and hit her in the hip. She was able to walk away from the incident. Scientists can learn about the composition of the early solar system and the formation of the Earth by studying these primordial objects orbiting in space.

Web Resource:  Sylacauga (meteorite) - Wikipedia


Felix Baumgartner Space Jump World Record

Description:  In 2012 Felix Baumgartner set the World Record for skydiving from a height of 24 miles. The freefall lasted over four minutes and Felix broke the speed of sound. This phenomenon can be used to introduce the gravitational force being directed down in elementary school. This definition can be expanded upon through middle school and high school to include gravitational fields and application of Newton's Second Law of Motion.

Web Resource:  Red Bull Stratos - Wikipedia