Education Technology

Year 9: Comets and Coronal Mass Ejections

by Stephen Broderick


ACMNA214 - Find the distance between two points located on a Cartesian plane using a range of strategies, including graphing software


  • Distance
  • Speed
  • Coordinates
  • Pythagoras

About the Lesson

A coronagraph is a telescopic attachment used to block out the Sun's glare so that nearby objects can be resolved. The coronagraph image overleaf was obtained from Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) located at It represents Comet McNaught as it approached the Sun in early January 2007. The comet appears to be approaching the planet Mercury (the bright object in the foreground).

In this activity, students make a series of calculations to determine the distances travelled and the speeds of the comets as they pass by the sun.