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Tracking a Solar Storm - NASA

Grades
4 to 12
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Enrich an astronomy unit with this impressive resource that examines the sun and its ever-changing surface and atmosphere. The site is organized into four sections: Sunspotters, Radio...more
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Enrich an astronomy unit with this impressive resource that examines the sun and its ever-changing surface and atmosphere. The site is organized into four sections: Sunspotters, Radio Waves, Magnetosphere, and Auroral Friends. Each section presents an essential question, provides live images and data from satellites or observatories, and includes extensive downloadable teacher notes, lesson plans, and activities. An assessment tool and connections to national standards are also provided.

tag(s): radio (26), sun (73), waves (24)

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Transit of Venus - Exploratorium

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5 to 12
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Astronomical history is about to happen! On June 8, 2004 the planet Venus will cross the face of the sun, an event that has not occurred since 1882. Tune into ...more
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Astronomical history is about to happen! On June 8, 2004 the planet Venus will cross the face of the sun, an event that has not occurred since 1882. Tune into this site to view a live Internet webcast of the transit and an interactive timeline detailing Venus transits throughout history (only six have occurred since the invention of the telescope in the 1600s). Basic information on what a transit it, why it is important, and how to see it is also provided. Be sure to visit the Teacher's Guide for printable handouts and lesson plans aligned to national standards.

tag(s): planets (127), solar system (123)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities offered within this site in the Teachers Guide! The site can be used for both history and science classrooms. Historians will appreciate the informative timelines and introspective look back, while the content itself is clearly science oriented. Save this site as a favorite on your teacher computer to allow for easy access of the guides.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Sky & Telescope - Sky Publishing Corporation

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4 to 12
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Let your students do some serious staring into space with guidance from this site that provides helpful information on how and when to observe celestial events. Click on the link ...more
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Let your students do some serious staring into space with guidance from this site that provides helpful information on how and when to observe celestial events. Click on the link to Week's Sky at a Glance to find out what you can expect to see on any given night. Helpful tips are offered on how to observe space phenomena like auroras, asteroids, and star clusters. An on-line gallery provides amazing images from ground-based and space-based observatories. Encourage older students to explore the site independently in the computer lab. Elementary teachers may want to consider projecting the site in class and guiding students through selected topics.

tag(s): stars (64), telescopes (8)

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Eric Weisstein's World of Astronomy

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6 to 12
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Look to this site for any questions you may have about everything from blue moons, to quasars, to leap years. Find out the exact dates when spring, summer, fall, and ...more
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Look to this site for any questions you may have about everything from blue moons, to quasars, to leap years. Find out the exact dates when spring, summer, fall, and winter arrive, and discover if there really is a connection between equinoxes and eggs. The clear and detailed discussions of astronomical events provide an outstanding on-line reference or refresher for teachers and high school students, but the information is a bit technical and lofty for independent use by younger students.

tag(s): planets (127), solar system (123), stars (64)

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Sedna - California Institute of Technology

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6 to 12
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Tap into the latest astronomical news and learn about the coldest, most distant object in our solar system - Sedna. Astronomers from Caltech, Gemini Observatory, and Yale University...more
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Tap into the latest astronomical news and learn about the coldest, most distant object in our solar system - Sedna. Astronomers from Caltech, Gemini Observatory, and Yale University officially announced Sedna's discovery on March 12, 2004. Read the actual scientific documents describing the discovery; learn about its size, location and composition; and view images of this distant planetoid, named for the Inuit goddess who rules over the seas!

tag(s): dna (68), planets (127), solar system (123)

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Heavens Above - Art and Actuality - New York Public Library

Grades
7 to 12
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Think about creating a curriculum link between art and science using this site as a foundation. Original sketches and chromolithographs of celestial events created by French-born artist...more
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Think about creating a curriculum link between art and science using this site as a foundation. Original sketches and chromolithographs of celestial events created by French-born artist and amateur astronomer E.L. Trouvelot are contrasted with contemporary photographic images from NASA.

tag(s): stars (64)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study of the galaxy and the star in our immediate proximity - the sun. Display the pictures for students via interactive whiteboard/projector during a discussion of topics like sun spots, solar flares, lunar eclipses, etc.

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Nine Planets - a Multimedia Tour of the Solar System

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5 to 12
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This site presents the history, mythology, and current scientific knowledge of the planets and moons within our solar system. Take an express tour or select the specific section of...more
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This site presents the history, mythology, and current scientific knowledge of the planets and moons within our solar system. Take an express tour or select the specific section of the solar system you wish to investigate. The site contains an astounding amount of information that is well organized and ranges from the basic to the complex. Text images, movies, and audio clips make this an entertaining as well instructive site. Use as a teacher refresher or as a comprehensive source for student research. Because of the sheer volume of information, make sure you design a basic Web hunt to guide younger students.

tag(s): planets (127), solar system (123), sun (73)

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Bad Astronomy - Sonoma State University

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6 to 12
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This site, filled with explanations related to popular myths and misconceptions about astronomy, is as entertaining as it is educational. No stone is left unturned as movies, television,...more
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This site, filled with explanations related to popular myths and misconceptions about astronomy, is as entertaining as it is educational. No stone is left unturned as movies, television, and news programs are examined for evidence of bad astronomy. Challenge students to debunk popular but weird ideas about space and our solar system.

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Space - BBC

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4 to 12
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Take an interactive 3-D tour of the solar system or the International Space Station, investigate the latest images from Mars, or use amazing images of auroras, galaxies, meteor showers,...more
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Take an interactive 3-D tour of the solar system or the International Space Station, investigate the latest images from Mars, or use amazing images of auroras, galaxies, meteor showers, and other phenomena to enrich an astronomy unit. This highly animated site explores a wealth of space-related topic from the past, present, and future. Games and quizzes for fun and learning are also provided. Created by the BBC. (Shockwave and Real Player required. Get the tools from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): solar system (123), space (213)

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Terra the EOS Flagship - NASA

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6 to 12
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Terra is an Earth Observing System designed by NASA to monitor, measure, and protect the Earth's environment and climate system. This site contains breathtaking, up-to-date satellite...more
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Terra is an Earth Observing System designed by NASA to monitor, measure, and protect the Earth's environment and climate system. This site contains breathtaking, up-to-date satellite images of our planet, and interactive experiments that can be done in the classroom to illustrate how NASA uses Terra's remote sensing to understand how and why the Earth changes. Comprehensive and extensive information on the earth's atmosphere, oceans, land, life, heat and energy is provided. Because the site is updated daily, it can serve as a continually evolving visual aid for earth science classes.

tag(s): maps (289)

In the Classroom

Use this site in a cooperative learning activity, having students research a specific aspect of the site. Have students create a multimedia presentation using UtellStory, reviewed here, displaying what they have learned. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here.
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Virtual Planisphere - Open University

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6 to 12
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Britain's Open University offers this very nice interactive astronomy tool that shows the night sky in the northern hemisphere on whatever date the user chooses. From there, users can...more
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Britain's Open University offers this very nice interactive astronomy tool that shows the night sky in the northern hemisphere on whatever date the user chooses. From there, users can zoom in to view details on stars, planets, galaxies, and other celestial objects, all with printed annotations. It's a star-gazing tool with lots of possibilities.

tag(s): planets (127), solar system (123), stars (64)

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Mission to Mars - Tools to Teach - Cornell University

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1 to 12
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Cornell University's Mars "Spirit" offerings for educators include some surprisingly detailed lesson plans, including a number of K-2 offerings that let students discover the planets...more
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Cornell University's Mars "Spirit" offerings for educators include some surprisingly detailed lesson plans, including a number of K-2 offerings that let students discover the planets at their own level. The site also includes lots of information and images on the rover's many international science experiments and their role in helping increase our understanding of the history of Mars. Science teachers will want to spend some time with this one.

tag(s): mars (41), planets (127), solar system (123)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities on this site! They would all be really great on a unit concerning modern Space Exploration.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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NASA Spirit Mars Rover - NASA

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4 to 12
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The home page for the Sprit rover mission offers a variety of up-to-date mission reporting, background material for all user levels, and a collection of current images. If NASA is ...more
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The home page for the Sprit rover mission offers a variety of up-to-date mission reporting, background material for all user levels, and a collection of current images. If NASA is true to form, additional sections will appear as the mission progresses.

tag(s): mars (41), planets (127), solar system (123)

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Leap Year

Grades
9 to 12
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Want to learn a LOT about leap year? This is the place. There's an extensive explanation of the math and science behind when we do and do not observe leap ...more
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Want to learn a LOT about leap year? This is the place. There's an extensive explanation of the math and science behind when we do and do not observe leap years, and it's not as simple as every fourth year. Try linking this one to a secondary discussion about the solar system, or use it as a supplement during leap years.

tag(s): planets (127), solar system (123)

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Basics of Space Flight - Cal Tech

Grades
9 to 12
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This site from Cal Tech's Jet Propulsion Lab offers an extensive reference (at least for student purposes) on the principles, environment, and problems associated with space flight....more
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This site from Cal Tech's Jet Propulsion Lab offers an extensive reference (at least for student purposes) on the principles, environment, and problems associated with space flight. The jargon is technical, most suitable for motivated secondary students, but there is a wealth of content available here.

tag(s): flight (36), rockets (14), space (213)

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Astrobiology - The Search for Life - Exploratorium

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6 to 12
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The Exploratorium does it again. Their site about the search for life beyond earth does a stellar job of profiling the science, scientists, and surprisingly diverse methods being used...more
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The Exploratorium does it again. Their site about the search for life beyond earth does a stellar job of profiling the science, scientists, and surprisingly diverse methods being used to expand our search for life forms elsewhere in the universe. The site includes plenty of links for further exploration.

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Cosmic and Heliospheric Learning Center - NASA

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9 to 12
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Secondary physics and astronomy teachers may want to take a look at NASA's primer on cosmic rays, astrophysics, energy particles, and magnetic fields. The site offers lots of drill-down...more
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Secondary physics and astronomy teachers may want to take a look at NASA's primer on cosmic rays, astrophysics, energy particles, and magnetic fields. The site offers lots of drill-down options providing additional detail. A surprisingly useful feature is an "in the news" section that offers current information about many of the topics.

tag(s): energy (202)

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Earth and Moon Viewers

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4 to 12
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This one's far better than first appearances might indicate. Click one of the many links to see surprisingly detailed, documented images of earth and the moon, complete with full data...more
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This one's far better than first appearances might indicate. Click one of the many links to see surprisingly detailed, documented images of earth and the moon, complete with full data on location and time. Many of the images include zoom capabilities and other nifty features.

tag(s): latitude (13), longitude (13), maps (289)

In the Classroom

Geography teachers will find lots of possibilities in this one.

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Stonehenge Project

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6 to 12
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While designed to keep Britons informed about current efforts to preserve Stonehenge, this site offers a detailed history of the mysterious monument begun in about 3000 BC. American...more
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While designed to keep Britons informed about current efforts to preserve Stonehenge, this site offers a detailed history of the mysterious monument begun in about 3000 BC. American audiences will likely want to know more about the people who did the building and the purpose of this huge project. Archaeologists still puzzle over how the construction was accomplished.

tag(s): calendars (45)

In the Classroom

Teachers may want to try this one as an adjunct to an astronomy unit, or as part of a study of ancient civilizations.
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Water and Life on Mars? - Denver Museum of Natural History

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6 to 12
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This companion site to the Denver Museum of Natural History's exhibit on mars includes more than is typical of such efforts, including a nice animated timeline of mars exploration....more
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This companion site to the Denver Museum of Natural History's exhibit on mars includes more than is typical of such efforts, including a nice animated timeline of mars exploration. The user is left to his or her own conclusions about whether water or life ever existed on the red planet.

tag(s): mars (41)

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