Astro Excelets:  Interactive Excel Spreadsheets for Introductory Astronomy


These interactive animated spreadsheets (aka - simulations) are used in introductory astronomy lecture and laboratory.  Through the use of numerical experimentation and "what if" scenarios, we have a powerful discovery learning tool for students using readily available off-the-shelf software.


Atomic Spectroscopy            ASP 2012 Paper in Proceedings – click here (pdf)


Laboratory activity using gas discharge tubes and diffraction glasses (pdf):


          Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star: How Astronomers Know What You Are



Interactive Excel Spreadsheets (all as xls files unless noted otherwise):


          Generating Atomic Line Spectra (good for follow-up discussion after lab)


          Spectroscopy in Motion:  A Method to Measure Velocity (pdf activity)


          Spectroscopy in Motion II:  A Method for Finding Exoplanets (forthcoming pdf activity)


          Atomic Spectra and Magnetic Fields:  The Zeeman Effect



Absorption and emission spectra of the elements on the periodic table – click here (Java applet)



Blackbody Spectrum


        Blackbody Radiation (includes estimating stellar temperature and solar spectra)


        Estimating Planetary Temperatures via the Stefan-Boltzmann Law  - right click and Save Target as...



Other stuff


        The Solar System (pdf activity)                            Gnomon                          Orbital Motion


        How small an impactor can reach the surface of a planet? (pdf activity)


        Classifying Stars (H-R Diagram)                           Roche Limit


        Exploring Kepler's Third Law                                Escape Velocity              The Expanding Universe

            Exploring the Drake Equation   (Google Sheets)
                     (in Google Sheets, go to File > Make a copy... to have an interactive spreadsheet)


For information on designing Excelets and links to mathematical modeling of data support materials, see Developer's Guide to ExceletsFor more Excelets in general chemistry, see the Chemical Excelets page and for materials science, see the MatSci Excelets page.


            Scott A. Sinex             Prince George’s Community College                   6/2018