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Hands On Mineral Identification helps you to identify over 14,500 minerals! By M. Darby Dyar, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.

History and People

Who made the first star map? When did people know that the Earth was round? When were sunspots discovered? The links to the right will lead you to biographies of scientists who lived at different times through history. Discover the people who made science history!

<a href="/people/ancient_epoch/eratosthenes.html">Eratosthenes</a> was a Greek scientist  who lived from 276 to 194 B.C. He studied astronomy, geography, and math. Eratosthenes is famous for making the <a href="/the_universe/uts/eratosthenes_calc_earth_size.html">first good measurement of the size of the Earth</a>. This portrait, drawn long after he was dead, shows what the artist thought he might have looked like.<p><small><em>Public domain.</em></small></p>Science educators on a research immersion experience with the <a href="/people/postcards/andrill/andrill_post.html">Antarctic Geological Drilling Project (ANDRILL)</a> sent postcards to Windows to the Universe while they were in <a href="/earth/polar/antarctica.html">Antarctica</a> from October 2007 until January 2008. The team drilled into <a href="/earth/geology/sed_intro.html">sedimentary rocks</a> below the ice of the Ross <a href="/earth/polar/cryosphere_iceshelf1.html">ice shelf</a> to help learn more about the environmental changes that have affected the continent in the past.   This image shows what life is like in a field camp on the ice.<p><small><em>Image courtesy of Julia Dooley </em></small></p>Jocelyn Bell Burnell is a British <a href="/the_universe/uts/ast_history.html">astronomer</a> who was born in 1943. She discovered <a href="/the_universe/NS.html">pulsars</a> - <a href="/the_universe/Stars.html">stars</a> which emit periodic radio waves - in 1967. Burnell was a graduate student at Cambridge University when she discovered pulsars. Her professor, Antony Hewish, received the Nobel Prize in Physics for her discovery.<p><small><em>  The Open University</em></small></p><a href="/people/postcards/vocals/dione_rossiter.html">Dione Rossiter</a> is a scientist that participated in a research expedition to understand the climate of the southeastern Pacific in fall, 2008 - the <a href="/vocals/vocals_intro.html">VOCALS campaign</a>.  She got to fly a her scientific instrument aboard a research aircraft above a layer of <a href="/earth/Atmosphere/clouds/stratocumulus.html">stratocumulus</a> cloud that seemed to go on forever.<p><small><em>Image courtesy of Dione Rossiter</em></small></p>Although we humans have never experienced fast <a href="/earth/climate/climate.html">global
warming</a>, our
planet has. And our planet keeps records of what happened. The oldest
records that the
<a href="/earth/earth.html">Earth</a> keeps
are in its
<a href="/earth/geology/sed_intro.html">rocks</a>.
In this image, <a href="/headline_universe/olpa/methane_28may08.html">geologists Chris von der Borch and Dave
Mrofka</a> collect
sediment samples in South Australia. These rocks hold clues to help
explain why climate changed abruptly 635 million years ago.<p><small><em>                    Courtesy of Martin Kennedy, UCR</em></small></p>

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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