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Overview 1919 1929 1955 1965 1993 2006
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Overview Guide of Cosmic Times

The Cosmic Times posters

The Cosmic Times newspapers tell the history of our understanding of the changing Universe through student readings tracing the major discoveries in cosmology over the past century. Each poster resembles the front page of a newspaper from a particular time in this history, with articles about the various discoveries.

Here we give a brief overview of each of the Cosmic Times issues. We also list lesson plans that can either be used as an introduction to Cosmic Times as a whole or that are appropriate to be used with any of the posters. The other sections of the Teachers' Guide give background information about the articles in each Cosmic Times issue. In addtion, those pages list lesson plans designed specifically to accompany the science topics within that particular issue of Cosmic Times.

Order your set of Cosmic Times posters through the Imagine the Universe! Request Form


Cosmic Times Issues

Issue Summary Age of the Universe Size of the Universe
1919 A solar eclipse confirms that Einstein's theory of gravity, not Newton's, correctly predicts the bending of starlight. Infinite 300,000 light years
1929 Hubble builds on his earlier discovery that the Milky Way Galaxy is but one of many galaxies in our Universe to find that the Universe is expanding. 2 billion years 280 million light years
1955 The debate rages between whether the Big Bang and Steady State correctly describes the origin of the universe. 6 billion years 4 billion ligh tyears
1965 Penzias and Wilson discover the Cosmic Microwave Background, the remnant radiation from the very early Universe, which makes the Big Bang the lead theory for the origin of the Universe. 10-25 billion years 25 billion light years
1993 The COBE mission measures fluctuations in the Cosmic Microwave Background, which explain where structure in our Universe comes from and confirming the role of inflation in the early universe. 12-20 billion years 30 billion light years
2006 The supernova distance scale leads to the discovery of dark energy, a puzzling new component of our Universe that had been undetected until 1997, and its the nature remains a mystery in 2006. 13.7 billion years 94 billion light years

Overview Lessons

Activity Summary Grade Discipline
    MS HS  
Cosmic Times Gallery Walk Students spend a few minutes at each Cosmic Times poster to answer an open-ended question about the information on that poster. This activity provides students an introduction to the material on the Cosmic Times posters. It may also be used to foster student discussion about a particular Cosmic Times subject. x x Physics, Astronomy, Multi-disciplinary
Cosmic Times Jigsaw Students work in teams to see the big picture of about how scientists have come to know what they do about the Universe using articles from the Cosmic Times posters. x x Mult-disciplinary
Century Timeline Students create a timeline of world events from 1905 through 2006, the years encompassed by the Cosmic Times posters, to get a sense of the history surrounding the discoveries over the past century. x x Multi-disciplinary
Reading Strategies Students learn several reading strategies that can be used to understand the Cosmic Times materials, and other readings that may be challenging to them. x x Multi-disciplinary

Cosmic Times is a product of the Imagine the Universe! website. Imagine the Universe is a service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan P. Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

The Cosmic Times Team
Cosmic Times Project Leaders: Dr. Jim Lochner and Dr. Barbara Mattson
Curator:Barbara Mattson
Responsible NASA Official:Phil Newman
All material on this site has been created and updated between 2007-2008.
Last Updated: Thursday, 04-Jul-2013 20:57:16 EDT