Leave it to NASA to teach us something about science during the Olympics.
Inspired by the athletes at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has released six posters that explain basic physics concepts like rotation, density and acceleration, using examples from the Olympics, space and every day life.
To illustrate the concept of distance, for example, NASA shows a ski jumper, the Bullet Cluster and a silhouette of the Brooklyn Bridge. Each example comes with a quick fact and then how it pertains to the topic of distance. So it has the measurements of the Brooklyn Bridge from end to end (5,989 feet, or 1,797 meters), the distance of the Bullet Cluster to Earth (3.4 billion light-years) and one of the longest ski jumps (830 feet, or 253 meters). A quick paragraph describes the overall concept and then includes a number of units of measurement that are used for distance.
If you need one more sample, NASA smartly merged something people love all the time (dogs) with something many Americans get obsessed with every four years (curling) to explain the concept of mass.
Sagittarius A* is there as well, but, meh, who cares about a star that has a solar mass of 4 million — that's about 4 million suns — when there's also curling (a curling stone has a mass between 17.24 and 19.96 kilograms) and a dog (a golden retriever clocks in at about 80 pounds) yawning on the poster! Science can be both informative and adorable.
The project has its own dedicated website, where you can download the full versions of the posters for free. If you're a science educator, you can contact NASA through the website for a small number of physical copies. Copies will also be available from International Astronomical Union networks.
And if for some reason the Winter Olympics aren't your thing, don't worry. There are versions of all the posters featuring sports from the Summer Olympics, too.