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Young Voices for the Planet DVD in our online store includes 8 films where students speak out and take action on climate change.
This animation demonstrates very simply how different elements at different heights, let off energy that we see as different colors.
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Axis Tilt

When we talk about the movement of a planet, we talk about its rotation (spinning around its internal axis) and revolution (revolving around the Sun). Axis tilt occurs when a planet rotates around an axis that is tilted relative to the plane of its revolution around a larger object. Put simply, that means that as the planet revolves around the Sun, it is tilted.

The Earth is tilted by 23.5 degrees, which means that sometimes the northern hemisphere is tilted toward the Sun and sometimes it is tilted away from the Sun. This tilt of a planet is what gives us seasons.

Not all the planets have the same amount of tilt. Jupiter, for instance, has almost no tilt (3 degrees), while Venus has almost 180 degrees of tilt, which means that itís spinning upside-down (at least relative to our definition of up). Uranus has a tilt of almost 90 degrees, which means that this planet is spinning on its side!

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Our online store includes fun classroom activities for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!

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Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

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Climate Change

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The Spiral of the IMF

The solar wind is formed as the Sun's top layer blows off into space, carrying magnetic fields still attached to the Sun. Gusts form in the solar wind associated with violent events on the Sun. Particles...more

Spiral Path of Material

For a planet to be affected by a blob of material being ejected by the sun, the planet must be in the path of the blob, as shown in this picture. The Earth and its magnetosphere are shown in the bottom...more

The SAR Arc

The aurora we are most familiar with is the polar aurora. This is what people are talking about when they say the northern or southern lights. But there are other less-known aurora, such as SAR arcs....more

The Effect of Aurora on the Atmosphere

This figure shows the effect of the aurora on the atmosphere. When FAC's enter the atmosphere and create the aurora, they heat the atmosphere suddenly and abruptly. This creates an impulse which travels...more

The forming Aurora

This picture shows the flowing of particles into and out of the auroral zone, as Field-Aligned currents (FAC's) take at short-cut through the atmosphere. Some of the particles entering the auroral zone...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