Image of the Jewel Box Star Cluster

Jewels of the Night

The Jewels of the Night is a hands-on, teacher-tested activity for middle school and older students. Students measure the color and brightness of stars in the Jewelbox Cluster from a color image. They determine the age of the cluster by plotting their measurements in a color-brightness diagram. The activity develops classification and graphing skills and fosters observation, communication, and cooperative learning skills. Students are exposed to ideas about the nature of stars, temperature and color, stellar evolution, the time scales of astronomical phenomena, and how astronomers can determine the ages of objects in the universe.

The activity is designed to be printed for use in the classroom. The student instructions, student answer sheet, and graph worksheet can be printed directly from these Web pages in black and white, and reproduced for classroom use. The Jewelbox Image and StarGauge must be printed with a good quality color printer. Several image formats and resolutions are provided for convenience.

The Jewels of the Night activity was developed by NOAO astronomers working together with Tucson teachers. If you have suggestions or comments on this activity, address them to The NOAO Education Outreach Office offers further information about education programs and resources at NOAO.

National Optical Astronomy Observatories, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360

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