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Properties of Dust

Source Institutions

    The University of Texas McDonald Observatory

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Properties of Dust

In this activity, learners carry out a scientific investigation of dust in their classroom. Learners produce an analysis on graph paper of the dust they collect over the course of a few days. Then, learners extend their experience to examining the properties of dust in space and the Spitzer Space Telescope, which astronomers use to investigate interstellar dust.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 7 days

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Astronomy
      • Origins of Universe
      • Stars and Galaxies
      • Probes, Satellites and Spacecraft
      • Size and Scale
    • Solar System
      • Origin of Solar System
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Aerospace Engineering
    • Technology
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
      • Size and Scale
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
    • Science as a Career
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Impacts of Technology


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

Includes assesments for student learning

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • The University of Texas McDonald Observatory


  • All Rights Reserved, The University of Texas McDonald Observatory, ©2004


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