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Exploratour - Life in the Solar System, page 1 - Windows to the Universe

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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.

Exploratour - Life in the Solar System

Life as we know it on earth requires a certain environment to survive. Life on Earth can survive in temperatures of -130 degrees to +130 degrees. Even so, there are creatures on earth which seem to be able to survive in harsh environments, where the temperatures are very cold, where there is little water or oxygen, or in extreme pressures at the bottom of the sea. Archaea is a form of bacterial life which lives inside volcanoes, and inside rocks miles down within the Earth. It is environments like these which are similar to those found on other planets.

Sophisticated life forms are relative newcomers on Earth compared to bacteria, having developed over the last 500 million years as opposed to billions of years of bacterial life. They arrived later because the Earth proved to be a healthy environment for life over the long term. Because the environment of other planets is more primitive, life on other planets may be primitive and unsophisticated, like early life on Earth. Link to the Exploratour on Life on Earth, at the bottom of this page, to learn more about that subject.

Here we present a look an the environments of some places in the solar system; Mercury, Venus, Mars present and past, Jupiter, Io, Europa, Saturn, Titan, other moons, Uranus, Neptune, Triton, Pluto, comets, and interstellar space. To continue with the tour press the forward link in the upper corner of this page.

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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, ranging from seismology, rocks and minerals, oceanography, and Earth system science to astronomy!

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Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

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ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

Look at the bed below the body of the sleeping man. You can still see where he was lying down. The heat from his body warmed up the bed sheets which are now radiating infrared light toward your eyes....more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

All warm objects (not just people) release infrared light. Warmer objects give off more infrared light. Very hot objects radiate other types of light as well. Click on the picture to see the infrared...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

What kinds of light can people see? Our eyes can see visible light. When it passes into our eyes different types of visible light create different sensations that we see as colors. ...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

Imagine you found a pair of special glasses that not only gave you telescopic vision but gave you the ability to see all forms of radiant energy. The universe in visible light contains all the familiar...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

This is a volcano on the island of Miyake in Japan. It has erupted, sending hot lava and ash into the air, a total of ten times. The time after one eruption until the next occurred was about twenty years...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

This is a picture of a galaxy in visible light. A galaxy is a large number of stars, some like our sun, some bigger, some smaller and all moving together through space. This galaxy is called Centaurus...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

This is a plant in Gary, Indiana where power is made. We use power to run things like television sets, radios, lights, and microwave ovens. The picture looks very strange because it was taken in infrared....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