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Arches National Park Geology Tour provides an extensive, visually rich description of the geology of Arches, by Deborah Ragland, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.

Glossary : Ultraviolet Radiation

The energy range just beyond the violet end of the visible spectrum. Although ultraviolet radiation constitutes only about 5 percent of the total energy emitted from the sun, it is the major energy source for the stratosphere and mesosphere, playing a dominant role in both energy balance and chemical composition.

Most ultraviolet radiation is blocked by Earth's atmosphere, but some solar ultraviolet penetrates and aids in plant photosynthesis and helps produce vitamin D in humans. Too much ultraviolet radiation can burn the skin, cause skin cancer and cataracts, and damage vegetation.

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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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Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

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

Exploratour - Life in the Solar System

As we move out in the solar system, the planets get colder, and higher temperatures begin to be found deeper into the interior of the planet, where the pressure of overlying material becomes immense. Jupiter's...more

The Atmosphere of Europa

The Galileo mission discovered an amazing thing. Europa has its own atmosphere, although it is very, very thin. This atmosphere is created when fast moving molecules in Jupiter's magnetosphere hit the...more

AU

AU stands for Astronomical Units. Distances in space are too large to measure in Earth standards like miles or kilometers. For distances too large to measue in AU, we use light years. A light year is the...more

The Spiral of the IMF

The solar wind is formed as the Sun's topmost layer blows off into space carrying with it magnetic fields still attached to the Sun. Gusts and disturbances form in the solar wind associated with violent...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 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

This figure shows the effect of the aurora on the atmosphere. When FAC's enter the atmosphere and create the aurora, they warm the atmosphere impulsively. This impulse travels throughout the atmosphere...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