


Mathematics Skill or Topic Area: Graphs and Functions 

Next Gen Science Standards ESS1: Earth’s Place in the Universe; ESS2: Earth’s Systems; ETS2: Links Among Engineering, Technology, Science, and Society Common Core ELA for Science: RST.68.2. Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions. RST.68.8. Distinguish among facts, reasoned judgment based on research findings, and speculation in a text. RST.68.9. Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic. Common Core Math Standard: CC.8.EE.5: Graph proportional relationships, interpreting the unit rate as the slope of the graph. Compare two different proportional relationships represented in different ways. For example, compare a distancetime graph to a distancetime equation to determine which of two moving objects has greater speed.


Video Engagement: Space Weather This NASA video segment looks at space weather and examines the major ramifications space weather can have on Earth (6 minutes). View Program 


Explore math connections with SpaceMath@NASA 

Problem I  Satellite Solar Electricity  The RBSP satellites use solar panels to generate electricity. Over time, the radiation in the van Allen Belts will cause the panels to produce less and less electricity. Write a linear equation that predicts the power, P, from these panels as the radiation reduces the power by 2% every year since launch, where T is the elapsed time in years from launch (T=0) and the initial power was 600 watts. [Answer: P = 600  12T] Problem II  Radiation in Space  The RBSP satellites are uncrewed and can withstand much higher radiation levels than humans can withstand before the satellites no longer work reliably. The following ordered pairs (D,S) give the amount of radiation the satellites receive as they pass through the van Allen Belts. What is the linear function, S = mD + b, that best represents the amount of radiation in Sieverts, S, the satellites receive for every day, D, that they are inside the van Allen Belts? Note that for an unshielded human, a lethal dose is about 100 Sieverts! Data: (10.0,5.0), (20.0,8.0), (50.0,17.0). [Answer: S = 0.3D +2.0] Explain your thinking: Write your own problem  Using information found in the Math Connection problems, the press release or the video program, create your own math problem. Explain why you set the problem up this way, and how you might find its answer. Evaluate your understanding: Challenge Problem: Radiation Exposure and Solar Panel Electricity  From your answers to Problems I and II above, what will be the solar panel output power when the accumulated radiation dose to the spacecraft has reached 1000 Sieverts? [ Answer: From Problem II, solve for D (in days) with S = 1000.0 to get 1000 = 2 + 0.3D therefore D = 3327 days. From Problem I, we have to convert D to years so T = 3327/365 = 9.1 years, then P = 600  12(9.1) and therefore P = 491 watts].


NASA / JPL 3D Solar System 

Extend your new knowledge  Explore Earth's magnetic field in space using the EOSS simulator and a simple function that relates the strength of Earth's magnetic field to a satellite's distance from the center of Earth. [ Open PDF ] 
