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A Website Review of Cool Cosmos - Astronomy for High School Students

Learn about Infrared Astronomy Online for Grades 8 - 12

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The Bottom Line:

Cool Cosmos is a free, high quality e-learning website about astronomy for high school students (and smart 8th graders). The site’s goal is to teach about science, in general, and infrared astronomy, in particular. Cool Cosmos was developed by The Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology. This is the science center which processes, analyses, and archives NASA's infrared astronomy and astrophysics missions! As you might imagine, this website is a space geek’s dream come true. Topics include Spectroscopy, infrared radiation, astronomical imaging, photometry, the electromagnetic spectrum, and multiwavelength astronomy. Cool Cosmos also offers an archive of web tutorials and an impressive image gallery taken from numerous NASA space projects.

Description:

  • Cool Cosmos is a free website
  • Site is best for kids between 14 and 18
  • Site provides astronomy related information and images
  • Site is well designed for navigation
  • Site offers astronomy videos
  • Site offers a section for younger kids

Pros:

  • Cool Cosmos contains a great deal of educational material
  • The site’s intelligent content expands upon astronomy foundations
  • The site covers its specialized topic well
  • Material was developed by a NASA Science Center
  • The site provides resources for educators
  • Excellent design and graphics
  • A Spanish version of the site is available


Cons:

  • Site’s games are too childish for its primary audience

 

Review of Cool Cosmos:

With its stylish steampunk design, Cool Cosmos grabs hold of its visitors immediately.  Once you are engaged in this website you are in for some cosmic fun and a lot of learning. Its topic, infrared astronomy, is a pretty specialized subject so even if you have seen many astronomy websites, you’ll find Cool Cosmos to be quite unique. Although the material is presented in a very intelligent fashion, enough background is provided so the average student won’t feel like they are lost in space. Cool Cosmos demonstrates how much useful data scientists get from infrared images. For instance, the website features an infrared zoo, which shows the heat radiated by various creatures. There is also a lot of information about the facts provided by infrared space telescopes.  The website offers the opportunity to download Cool Cosmos posters, pictures, bookmarks, postcards, and brochures for people (like me) who feel strongly that electromagnetic spectrum/ infrared astronomy data ROCKS! 

 

 

 

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