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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.

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Photograph provided courtesy of Steve Albers

Create Your Own Lightning

Here's a safe and easy way to make lightning. You will need a cotton or wool blanket. This experiment works best on a dry, cool night.

Turn out all the lights and let your eyes adjust to the darkness. Put the blanket behind you. Hold your fist out about six inches in front of your face. With your other hand pull the blanket slowly over your head. Make sure the blanket brushes over your hair. Don't let the blanket touch your fist, arm, or face. Keep pulling the blanket until your fist is "undercover".

If the conditions are right, purple sparks will jump from your fist


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The Fall 2009 issue of The Earth Scientist, which includes articles on student research into building design for earthquakes and a classroom lab on the composition of the Earth’s ancient atmosphere, is available in our online store.

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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