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Windows to the Universe

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The Universe at Your Fingertips 2.0 DVD from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific is in our online store, filled with Earth and space science resources.
This first global map of <a href="">ocean</a> surface saltiness, released in September 2012 by the NASA Aquarius mission team, shows the distribution of salt in the first 2 cm of the Earth's ocean. <a href="">Salinity</a> variations are one of the main drivers of <a href="">ocean circulation</a>, and are closely connected with the <a href="">cycling of freshwater</a> around the planet. High salinity is seen in the Mediterranean, Atlantic, and the Arabian Sea.<p><small><em>Image courtesy of NASA/GSFC/JPL-Caltech</em></small></p>A group of
  Emperor penguins wait their turn to dive into the ocean near <a
  Island, Antarctica</a>
  on November 3, 2004.
Emperor penguins routinely dive to 500 meters in
  search of food. Scientists are interested in understanding how they can
  endure the stress of these dives in such an <a
  environment</a>.<p><small><em> Image courtesy of Emily Stone,   National Science Foundation</em></small></p>Stars don't last forever. Occasionally, a star bigger than our Sun will end its life in a huge explosion, called a <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/the_universe/supernova.html">supernova</a>. The center of the star collapses in less than a second, blowing away the outer layers of the star.  There are many beautiful images of supernova remnants, the expanding shell of gas made up of the outer layers of the original star. This image is the Vela Supernova Remnant.<p><small><em>Image courtesy of the Anglo-Australian Observatory/Royal Observatory Edinburgh</em></small></p>According to <a href="">NASA scientists</a>, the Voyager 1 spacecraft entered interstellar space in August 2012, becoming the first spacecraft to leave the <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/our_solar_system/solar_system.html">solar system</a>. The space probe is about 19 billion km from the <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/sun/sun.html">Sun</a>.  <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/space_missions/voyager.html">Voyager 1 and 2</a> were launched in 1977 on a <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/space_missions/voyager.html">mission</a> that flew them both by <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/jupiter/jupiter.html">Jupiter</a> and <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/saturn/saturn.html">Saturn</a>, with Voyager 2 continuing to <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/uranus/uranus.html">Uranus</a> and <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/neptune/neptune.html">Neptune</a>. Voyager 2 is the longest continuously operated spacecraft. It is about 15 billion km away from the <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/sun/sun.html">Sun</a>.<p><small><em>Image courtesy of NASA</em></small></p>On November 7, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda in the Philippines) made landfall, with imated wind speeds of ~315 km/hr - the strongest <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/Atmosphere/hurricane/intensity.html">tropical cyclone</a> to make landfall in recorded history.  As Haiyan moved across the Philippines before reaching Vietnam and China, its <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/Atmosphere/wind.html">winds</a> and <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/Atmosphere/hurricane/surge.html">storm surge</a> left devastation in its wake, leading to massive loss of life, destruction of homes, and hundreds of thousands of displaced inhabitants. <a href="">How to Help</a><p><small><em>Image courtesy of COMS-1, SSEC, University of Wisconsin-Madison</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">earthquake</a>, <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/tsunami1.html">tsunami</a>, and resulting nuclear accident in Japan on <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/headline_universe/march112011earthquaketsunami.html">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="">GeoEye/EyeQ</a>.</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