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The Spring 2011 issue of The Earth Scientist is focused on modernizing seismology education. Thanks to IRIS, you can download this issue for free as a pdf. Print copies are available in our online store.
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>A near-Earth <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/our_solar_system/asteroids.html&edu=high">asteroid</a> - named 2012 DA14 by astronomers – passed within 17,200 miles from Earth on February 15, 2013. On closest approach at about 1:25 p.m. CST on February 15, although it was within the orbit of the <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/moons_and_rings.html&edu=high">Moon</a> and even geosynchronous <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/space_missions/satellites.html&edu=high">satellites</a>, it didn't strike Earth!  Find out more from <a href="http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/asteroids/news/asteroid20130201315144.html">NASA</a>! Fragments of a meteorite hit Chelyabinsk, Russia on 2/15/2013 <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/15/us-russia-meteorite-idUSBRE91E05Z20130215">injuring over 500</a>. Learn about <a href="http://www.windows2universe.org/our_solar_system/meteors/meteors.html">meteors and meteorites</a>.<p><small><em>NASA/JPL-CalTech</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>Sinkholes are <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/teacher_resources/main/frameworks/esl_bi8.html&edu=high">natural hazards</a> in many places around the world. They are formed when water dissolves underlying <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/Water/carbonates.html&edu=high">limestone</a>, leading to collapse of the surface.  Hydrologic conditions such as a lack of rainfall, lowered water levels, or excessive rainfall can all contribute to sinkhole development. On 2/28/2013, a sinkhole suddenly developed under the house outside of Tampa, Florida, leading to the tragic death of its occupant, Jeff Bush.<p><small><em>Image courtesy of Southwest Florida Water Management District</em></small></p>How did life evolve on <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/earth.html&edu=high">Earth</a> during the <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/past/Archean.html&edu=high">Archean</a>, when the <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/sun/sun.html&edu=high">Sun</a> was about 25% weaker than today?  The Earth should have been <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/polar/cryosphere_glacier1.html&edu=high">glaciated</a>, if <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/climate/earth_greenhouse.html&edu=high">greenhouse</a> gas concentration was the same as today.  <a href="http://www.manchester.ac.uk/aboutus/news/display/?id=10798">Researchers</a> studying the <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/physical_science/physics/atom_particle/isotope.html&edu=high">isotopic</a> signatures of Earth's early atmosphere in <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/geology/rocks_intro.html&edu=high">rocks</a> from Northern Australia have ruled out high levels of <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/physical_science/chemistry/nitrogen_molecular.html&edu=high">nitrogen</a> as a possible way to increase warming from <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/Atmosphere/overview.html&edu=high">atmospheric</a> <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/physical_science/chemistry/carbon_dioxide.html&edu=high">carbon dioxide</a>.<p><small><em>Image courtesy of Manchester University</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