# Other astronomy activities

## The Solar System as a MathLab

This is a computer-based tool (instead of a hands-on tool like a telescope) to learn and understand some basic mathematics (and physics) behind space travel. The application is splitted into two:

**Sailing the Solar System:**

Motivated by the recent space experiments to develop Space-Sail Ships as COSMOS-I, this application trains students in geometry, conical functions (ellipses) and iterative processes/converging series. The application is designed for various levels of expertise:

** 1st level **is the direct use of the tool, e.g., training the mathematics contents in a straightforward manner

*is to use it as a means to teach high level concepts related to geometry (which is the optimum manner to fill a circle with regular poligons), space navigation (what is, and why there are launching windows for space missions) and even numerical method, as the Newton Method, to solve equations.*

**2nd. level****The Efficient Space Traveller**:

Motivated by travelling among the known extra-solar planetary systems, this application trains students in coordinate systems (spherical versus cartessian), vectorial algebra, permutations and the concept of heuristics through well-known "traveller problem" . The application again is designed for various levels of expertise:

** 1st level** is the direct use of the tool, e.g. training the mathematics contents in a straightforward manner

* 2nd. level* is to use it to motivate students to think and apply other heuristics methods.

**Theer are three manuals attached to the application to familiarise teachers with the concepts behind the tool (astronomical coordinates, radiation pressure, 2-bodies problem ...) . **