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Ready, Set, SCIENCE!, by the National Research Council, focuses on K-8 science classsrooms. Check out the other publications in our online store, as well as classroom materials.

ExploraTour: A Peek into the Lives of the Stars


The Size of Things

The stars in the night sky are points of light. They all look about the same size. But they are so far away that we can't really see how big they are. There is, however, one star that is very close to home -- the Sun.

To get an idea of just how big the sun is, let's compare it to the Earth. The Earth looks pretty big -- it has oceans, mountains, very big cities. But as big as the Earth is, the sun could hold about 1 million 300 thousand Earth's inside of it.

So the sun must be a very big star, right? Wrong... the sun is a relatively small star.

Some stars are so big that the sun with our Earth and some of the other planets revolving around it would fit inside of them.

On the other hand, the smallest stars are only about 3 times as big as the Earth.

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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, as well as books on science education!

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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 (not just people) radiate in the infrared. Warmer objects give off more infrared radiation. Very hot objects radiate other types of light in addition to infrared. Click on the picture...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

This is a picture of a galaxy in visible light. A galaxy is a large number of stars, some like our sun, some bigger, some smaller and all moving together through space. This galaxy is called Centaurus...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