Shop Windows to the Universe

The Spring 2011 issue of The Earth Scientist is focused on modernizing seismology education. Thanks to IRIS, you can download this issue for free as a pdf. Print copies are available in our online store.
Magma is molten rock that is deep underground.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of Boise National Forest

Magma

Pretend that you are an explorer traveling to the center of the Earth. You would find that the deeper you travel, the hotter it gets! Beneath the crust, in the mantle layer, it is hot enough that rock can melt. When rock melts and turns into a liquid, we call it "molten". The molten rock is called magma. Magma is so hot that it glows bright white. You would need sunglasses to look at it!

If magma flows into an area underground that is less hot, it cools, becomes yellow, and then red. As it cools slowly, minerals form crystals making a plutonic rock like granite.

If magma finds a crack in the Earth and comes to the surface, it is called lava!


Last modified June 17, 2003 by Lisa Gardiner.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

TES XXVI, 3 fall 2010 The Fall 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, focuses on rocks and minerals, including articles on minerals and mining, the use of minerals in society, and rare earth minerals, and includes 3 posters!

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

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

What Is a Mineral?

Minerals are the building blocks of rocks. There are many different types of minerals. All of them are solid and all are made of atoms of elements. Minerals can grow even though they are not alive. Most...more

Mount St. Helens Is Waking Up!

Mount St. Helens, a volcano on the west coast of the United States, has been quiet for 18 years. But in the last week it has not been quiet at all! It has been puffing steam and ash and a flow of lava...more

Igneous Rocks Inside the Earth!

These types of igneous rocks are made deep underground. In fact, it is possible that below your feet, deep within the Earth there are igneous rocks being made right now! There, hot magma cools very slowly....more

Earthquakes Under Pacific Ocean Floor Reveal Surprising Flow of Water

A group of scientists have been studying an area of the ocean floor called the East Pacific Rise, which is about 565 miles southwest of Acapulco, Mexico. The East Pacific Rise is a ridge along the ocean...more

Triggers of Volcanic Eruptions in Oregon's Mount Hood Investigated

Scientists have learned that Mount Hood, Oregon's tallest mountain, has erupted in the past due to the mixing of two different types of magma. Adam Kent, a geologist at Oregon State University, says this...more

What’s That Mineral?

Spotting minerals is fun! There are many different types of minerals. Each has a different name and special traits. You can learn more about minerals by looking closely at them to understand their special...more

Quartz

This mineral is called quartz! Sometimes it looks white like milk but usually it looks clear like glass, sometimes with a little pink or gray tinge of color. You can find crystals of quartz in many different...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