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Hands On Mineral Identification helps you to identify over 14,500 minerals! By M. Darby Dyar, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light


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Windows to the Universe original artwork.

Visible light is only a small portion of the sea of radiant energy that bathes the Earth. The rest is invisible and can be measured using electronic devices or photographic films. All forms of radiant energy can be identified by their frequency, wavelength and the energy they carry. Every wavelength of radiation carries a fixed amount of energy. Each behaves as if it were a stream of particles or energy packets called "photons". The shorter the wavelength (higher the frequency), the more energy each photon carries. Ultraviolet photons carry up to 1000 times more energy than visible light photons. X-ray photons carry up to 100 times more energy than ultraviolet photons and gamma rays can carry up to 100 times more energy than x-rays. That is why gamma rays can travel through metal and the x-rays the doctor uses can pass through the soft tissue in your body.


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Cool It! Game

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

HESSI Awaits Launch

HESSI stands for High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager. HESSI stands to provide data that would help scientists make great strides in understanding solar flares. HESSI will study where flares occur on...more

HESSI is Go for Launch!

HESSI finally has a launch date of January 24, 2002. HESSI has had a hard time getting off the ground! First the probe was damaged in ground vibration testing and had to be repaired. Then there were problems...more

HESSI is Off!

HESSI had a hard time getting off the ground! First the probe was damaged in ground vibration testing and had to be repaired. Then there were problems with HESSI's launch vehicle. But HESSI was launched...more

HESSI Awaits Launch (Updated!)

The launch of solar satellite HESSI has been postponed indefinitely! When the Pegasus rocket designed to boost the X-34A hypersonic vehicle went out of control on June 2nd and had to be blown up, NASA...more

Capturing the Afterglow of the Big Bang

According to the Big Bang theory, the universe began about 12-14 billion years ago. Right after the Big Bang, the universe was really hot! But, as the universe has expanded, the particles within the universe...more

Capturing the Afterglow of the Big Bang (Updated!)

Some of the best news of the week is that the Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) was launched successfully last Saturday! Liftoff on its Delta II rocket occurred on time at 15:46:46 EDT, June 30, 2001. So...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

Even though the sleeping man is no longer on the bed, you can still see where he was lying down. The heat from his body warmed up the bed sheets which are now radiating infrared light toward your eyes....more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA