The History and Discovery of Asteroids

Explore scientific discoveries and the technologies as a sequence of events that led eventually to the Dawn mission.


Journey to the Beginning of the Solar System
Provides student with background information on the Dawn mission.


Where the Journey Began
Eight short reading trace the history of asteroid discovery and characterization from the time of Ptolemy (85-150 AD) to the present time.


Modeling Asteroids
Hands-on activities help students share astronomers’ experiences as they study asteroids from Earth.

Patterns in the Sky
Patterns in the Sky
Algebra uncovers gap between Mars and Jupiter
In search Of
In search Of ...
Star charts track down missing planet
How Bright Are You?
How Bright Are You?
Math informs discovery history
Seeing Circles
Seeing Circles
How does reflectivity impact data collection?
Where Are You?
Where Are You?
Solar System scale understood—with fruit!
Modeling in 3-D
Modeling in 3-D
Models help us grasp the abstract


Communicating Connections
Learners make sense of what they have learned about the interrelatedness of science, technology, and relevant historical/political events through scientific discourse.


Mystery Asteroid
Apply new knowledge and skills by investigating a "mystery asteroid." A Hubble Space Telescope image is the inspiration.


  • These documents allow learners to type within the gold brackets and save their work.
  • NSES standards-aligned, this module is organized around a learning cycle. Experiences
    • activate students' prior knowledge
    • assess student conceptual understanding

Developed by educators associated with Dawn Education and Communications and McREL International.