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The Winter 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist includes a variety of educational resources, ranging from astronomy to glaciers. Check out the other publications and classroom materials in our online store.
The spinning vortex of <a href="https://www.windows2universe.org/saturn/saturn.html">Saturn</a>'s north polar storm resembles a giant deep red rose surrounded by green foliage in this false-color <a href="http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/multimedia/pia14944.html">image</a> from NASA's <a href="https://www.windows2universe.org/missions/cassini.html">Cassini spacecraft</a>. The eye is 2,000 kilometers across with cloud speeds as fast as 150 meters per second.
It is not known how long this newly discovered north-polar <a href="https://www.windows2universe.org/earth/Atmosphere/hurricane/hurricane.html">hurricane</a> has been active.
The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 419,000 kilometers from Saturn.<p><small><em>NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI</em></small></p>March 2012 marks the first anniversary of the 9.0 magnitude <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/geology/quake_1.html&edu=high">earthquake</a>, <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/tsunami1.html&edu=high">tsunami</a>, and resulting nuclear accident in Japan on <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/headline_universe/march112011earthquaketsunami.html&edu=high">11 March 2011</a>.  The tsunami did massive damage, wiping out entire villages and killing ~16,000 people, and leading to one of the most serious nuclear accidents in history.  This image shows before and after photos of the area north of Sendai, where 10,000 people were lost.<p><small><em>Photos by <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/03/13/world/asia/satellite-photos-japan-before-and-after-tsunami.html?hp">GeoEye/EyeQ</a>.</em></small></p>Scientists at the University of Michigan have found that <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/polar/cryosphere_permafrost1.html&edu=high">permafrost</a> in the <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/polar/polar_north.html&edu=high">Arctic</a> is extremely sensitive to sunlight.  Exposure to sunlight releases carbon gases trapped in the permafrost, including <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/climate/earth_greenhouse.html&edu=high">climate-warming</a> <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/physical_science/chemistry/carbon_dioxide.html&edu=high">carbon dioxide</a>, to the <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/Atmosphere/overview.html&edu=high">atmosphere</a> much faster than previously thought.<p><small><em>George Kling, The University of Michigan</em></small></p>This image is a montage of high resolutions photographs of the Earth taken in January 2012 by the Visible/Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument on the Suomi NPP satellite.  The image shows many stunning details of <a href="http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/earth.html">our home planet</a> - <a href="http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/multimedia/gallery/VIIRS_4Jan2012.jpg">particularly at high resolution</a>. The beauty of our planet is obvious from space - our blue <a href="http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/Water/overview.html">waters</a>, our white <a href="http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/Atmosphere/cloud.html">clouds</a>, and the green from <a href="http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/Life/life.html">life</a> abundant at the surface.<p><small><em>Image courtesy of NASA</em></small></p>This historic image is the first ever taken from a spacecraft in orbit about <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/mercury/mercury.html&edu=high">Mercury</a>, the innermost planet of the solar system.  Taken on 3/29/2011 by <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/space_missions/robotic/messenger/messenger.html&edu=high">MESSENGER</a>, it shows numerous craters across the <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/mercury/Interior_Surface/Surface/surface_overview.html&edu=high">surface</a> of the planet.  Temperatures there can reach over 800°F because Mercury is so close to the Sun and rotates so slowly.  MESSENGER entered orbit around Mercury earlier in March 2011.<p><small><em>NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington</em></small></p>As temperatures rise and soil moisture decreases, plants are stressed, which can lead to <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/climate/crops_withering.html&edu=high">crop withering</a>. <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/teacher_resources/online_courses/health/events_health.html&edu=high">Droughts</a> accompanied by increased temperatures can lead to famine, social and political disruptions. Scientists are  helping with early identification of drought that might trigger food shortages. Watch the NBC Learn video - <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/changing_planet/withering_crops_intro.html&edu=high">Changing Planet: Withering Crops</a> to find out more.<p><small><em>Image taken by Tomas Castelazo, Creative Commons <a href=&quot;http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en&quot;>Attribution 3.0 Unported</a> license.</em></small></p>

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