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Young Voices for the Planet DVD in our online store includes 8 films where students speak out and take action on climate change.

Glossary : Ultraviolet Radiation

The energy range just beyond the violet end of the visible spectrum. Although ultraviolet radiation makes up only about 5 percent of all energy from the sun, it is the major energy source for the stratosphere and mesosphere, playing an important role in both en ergy balance and chemical composition.

Most ultraviolet radiation is blocked by Earth's atmosphere, but some solar ultraviolet makes it through 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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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

AU

AU stands for Astronomical Units. It is a useful way to measure the distances in interplanetary space. It is the distance between the Earth and the Sun, which is about 93 million miles. For reference,...more

The Spiral of the IMF

The solar wind is formed as the Sun's top layer blows off into space, carrying magnetic fields still attached to the Sun. Gusts form in the solar wind associated with violent events on the Sun. Particles...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 talking about when they say the northern or southern lights. But there are other less-known aurora, such as SAR arcs....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 heat the atmosphere suddenly and abruptly. This creates an impulse which travels...more

The forming Aurora

This picture shows the flowing of particles into and out of the auroral zone, as Field-Aligned currents (FAC's) take at short-cut through the atmosphere. Some of the particles entering the auroral zone...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