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Windows to the Universe

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Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather by Mike Smith tells the story of our storm warning system. See our online store book collection.
Lunar eclipses are special events that only occur when certain conditions are met. First of all, the Moon must be in <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/the_universe/uts/moon3.html">full phase</a>. Secondly, the <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/sun/sun.html">Sun</a>, <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/earth.html">Earth</a> and <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/moons_and_rings.html">Moon</a> must be in a perfectly straight line. If both of these are met, then the Earth's shadow can block the Sun's light from hitting the Moon.  The reddish glow of the Moon is caused by light from the Earth's limb scattering toward the Moon, which is reflected back to us from the Moon's surface.<p><small><em>Image credit - Doug Murray, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida</em></small></p>The <a href="http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/Atmosphere/tornado/fujita.html">EF-5</a> <a href="http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/Atmosphere/tornado.html">tornado</a> that hit El Reno, Oklahoma on May 31st, 2013 was the widest ever recorded in the US, according to the National Weather Service in Norman Oklahoma. The tornado, which remained on the ground for 40 minutes and reached 2.6 miles across (4.2 km), took the lives of 18 people including storm chasers Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras and Carl Young.<p><small><em>Image courtesy of National Weather Service, Norman Oklahoma</em></small></p>This dramatic view of Jupiter's <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/jupiter/atmosphere/J_clouds_GRS.html">Great Red Spot</a> and its surroundings was obtained by <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/space_missions/voyager.html">Voyager 1</a> on Feb. 25, 1979, when the spacecraft was 5.7 million miles (9.2 million kilometers) from Jupiter. Cloud details as small as 100 miles (160 kilometers) across can be seen here. The colorful, wavy cloud pattern to the left of the Red Spot is a region of extraordinarily complex end variable wave motion.<p><small><em>Image courtesy of NASA</em></small></p>According to <a href="http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-277">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>Does Earth science matter?  The power outage experienced by residents in New York City on 10/30/2012 due to Hurricane Sandy demonstrates the interconnectedness of our society, and the power of the Earth system.  Every person should have an understanding of how the Earth system works so they can live better lives, protect those they love, and make wise choices.  Earth science education is critical!<p><small><em>Image courtesy of Hybirdd, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.</em></small></p>New observations by the MESSENGER spacecraft provide  support for the hypothesis that Mercury harbors abundant water ice and other frozen volatile materials in its permanently shadowed (shown in red) polar craters. Areas where polar deposits of ice imaged by Earth-based radar are shown in yellow.<p><small><em>Image courtesy of NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington/National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, Arecibo Observatory</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