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The Winter 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist includes a variety of educational resources, ranging from astronomy to glaciers. Check out the other publications and classroom materials in our online store.

ExploraTour - How to Build a Star


The Earth is a very cool place compared to the center of a star. Just how hot are the hottest spots on Earth? On a mid-September day in 1922, temperatures in Libya reached 58 degrees C (136.4 degrees F) ... the hottest weather ever recorded.

But we can do better than that if we travel to the center of the Earth. Here the temperature soars to some 5000 degrees C (~9000 degrees F). To give you an idea of just how hot this is, temperatures of only 1500 degrees C (2800 degrees F) can cause solid iron to melt into a fiery liquid in blast furnaces. One final attempt, temperatures at the center of the main branch of a lightning strike can reach 33 thousand degrees C.

At the center of a star, the temperature must reach or exceed 5 million degrees C before nuclear reactions begin to convert the star's gases into energy. In the sun, we think temperatures reach an amazing 15 million degrees C.


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Our online store includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, ranging from seismology, rocks and minerals, oceanography, and Earth system science to astronomy!

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Cool It! Game

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

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

All warm objects radiate in the infrared. The warmer the object, the higher the frequency and intensity of the radiation. Very hot objects give off other types of radiation in addition to infrared. Click...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

Your eye is a wonderful detector of visible light. Different frequencies of light produce different sensations in the eye which we interpret as colors. Our eyes detect light by using light sensitive components...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

Imagine you found a pair of special glasses that not only gave you telescopic vision but gave you the ability to see all forms of radiant energy. The universe in visible light contains all the familiar...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

This is a volcano on the island of Miyake in Japan. It has erupted, sending hot lava and ash into the air, a total of ten times. The time after one eruption until the next occurred was about twenty years...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

The awesome power of a giant black hole was revealed by looking at this galaxy in three different types of light. The picture that you see is of Centaurus A, a very peculiar galaxy. A galaxy is just a...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

This is a plant in Gary, Indiana where power is made. We use power to run things like television sets, radios, lights, and microwave ovens. The picture looks very strange because it was taken in infrared....more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF