User login

Transit Tracks

Source Institutions


Add to listGo to activity
Transit Tracks

In this space science activity, learners explore transits and the conditions when a transit may be seen. Learners use models to investigate how a planet's size and distance from its star affects the behavior of transits. Learners also use mathematics to interpret graphs of brightness vs. time to deduce information about planet-star systems. This lesson includes educator instructions, photocopy masters for Transit Light Curves, Option Math for Transit Tracks, Kepler’s 3rd Law graphs, cube root tables, an account of Jeremiah Horrocks' 1639 observation of the transit of Venus, and an answer key for the Transit Tracks Light Curves.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

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

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model


Materials List (per group of students)


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Astronomy
      • Stars and Galaxies
      • Light and Optics
      • Size and Scale
    • Solar System
      • The Sun
      • The Planets
  • Mathematics
    • Algebra
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
    • Measurement
      • Size and Scale
      • Circles
    • Number and Operations
      • Exponents
    • Problem Solving
    • Representation
  • Physical Sciences
    • Light and Optics
    • Motion and Forces
      • Kepler's Laws
      • Rotation Motion
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, Regents of The University of California, ©2008