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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.
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

Axis tilt occurs when a planet’s rotational axis is tilted relative to the plane of its revolution around a larger object. Put simply, that means that the “top” of the planet, as defined by its rotation, is tilted. If a planet is titled in our solar system that means that sometimes the top of the planet faces the Sun and sometimes it faces away as it revolves around the Sun.

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 it’s 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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Learn about Earth and space science, and have fun while doing it! The games section of our online store includes a climate change card game and the Traveling Nitrogen game!

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Climate Change

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AU

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The Spiral of the IMF

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Spiral Path of Material

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The SAR Arc

The aurora we are most familiar with is the polar aurora. This is what people are referring to when they speak of the northern or southern lights. But there are other less-known auroral activity, such...more

The Effect of Aurora on the Atmosphere

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The forming Aurora

This picture illustrates the streaming of particles into and out of the auroral zone, as Field-aligned currents (FAC's) short-circuit through the ionosphere. Some of the particles entering the auroral...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