Shop Windows to the Universe

Become a nitrogen atom in the nitrogen cycle in our Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit/Game. See all our games, activity kits and classroom activities.
The drawing above is a representation of the Norse conception of the universe as an enormous tree around which is the Earth. At the root of the tree are the world of the Dead, that of the gods, and that of the giants.

Bifrost

Bifrost, the rainbow, was the bridge leading from the Earth, called Midgard, to Asgard, the home of the gods. Only the gods could cross this bridge. Mortals and giants were prevented from reaching Asgard by the god Heimdall.

In Norse mythology, the world was represented as a gigantic tree, possibly an ash, whose roots stretched in three parts reaching three different worlds. The first was the land of the giants, Jotunnheim, the second was Godheim (heaven), the site of the city of Asgard (where the gods lived). The lowest world was Niflheim, the underworld where the dragon Nidhoggr gnawed corpses at the root of the tree.

The Earth, named Midgard, was around the tree in an upper level. Bifrost has been also associated by some scholars with the Milky Way.

It was believed that during a great battle, called Ragnarok, all the gods and living things perished. Lead by Loki, the monsters fought the gods for control. Bifrost was shattered by the weight of the monsters. Eventually, everything was destroyed by a great flood. However, the Earth rose from the waters, and life began once again.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes books on science education, classroom activities in The Earth Scientist, mineral and fossil specimens, and educational games!

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Cool It! Game

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

Arctic Cultures

There are people of different cultures and backgrounds who live in the Arctic region. Read on to learn more about two of these cultures. Inuit The Inuit are the native cultures that continue to live on...more

Ahsonnutli

Ahsonnutli was the sky father and chief deity of the Navajo Indians. He created heaven, Earth, and the sky. Each of the four cardinal directions was supported by a giant. Each direction was also associated...more

Amphitrite

Amphitrite was one of the fifty Nereids, the attendants of the sea-god Poseidon. Poseidon (Neptune) had fallen in love with Amphitrite after seeing her dancing on the island of Naxos. Amphitrite rejected...more

Aphrodite

Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and beauty. She was known to the Romans as Venus. There were actually two different Aphrodites, one was the daughter of Uranus, the other the daughter of Zeus and...more

Apollo

In Greek mythology, Apollo was the son of Jupiter(in Greek Zeus) and Leto (Letona). He was the god of the Sun, logic, and reason, and was also a fine musician and healer. Leto travelled all over Greece...more

Cancer

According to an ancient Greek legend, the figure of a gigantic crab was placed in the nighttime sky by the goddess Hera to form the constellation Cancer. Hera was the jealous wife of the sky god, Zeus....more

Cepheus

In the Northern Hemisphere sky is the constellation Cepheus, king of Ethiopia, and that of his wife Cassiopeia. Cassiopeia claimed that she and her daughter Andromeda were more beautiful than the sea nymphs,...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