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Windows to the Universe

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Ready, Set, SCIENCE!, by the National Research Council, focuses on K-8 science classsrooms. Check out the other publications in our online store, as well as classroom materials.
Sinkholes are <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/teacher_resources/main/frameworks/esl_bi8.html&edu=elem">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=elem">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>A group of
  Emperor penguins wait their turn to dive into the ocean near <a
  href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/people/postcards/jean_pennycook_11_29_0.html&edu=elem">Ross
  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
  href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/extreme_environments.html&edu=elem">extreme
  environment</a>.<p><small><em> Image courtesy of Emily Stone,   National Science Foundation</em></small></p>According to a Greek legend, the sea god Poseidon placed the figure of <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/the_universe/Constellations/circumpolar/cassiopeia.html&edu=elem">Cassiopeia</a> among the stars. It is said that Cassiopeia has a ridiculous upside-down position to punish her for having been pretentious.<p><small><em>Image courtesy of 1995 Visual Language (c). All rights reserved.</em></small></p>An artist's rendering of the moment of impact of a massive <a
  href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/our_solar_system/meteors/meteors.html&edu=elem">meteorite</a>
  at the end of the Cretaceous (at the end of the <a
  href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/geology/hist_mesozoic.html&edu=elem">Mesozoic
  Era</a>). Many
  scientists have concluded for decades that a meteorite four to six kilometers
  in diameter impacted the Earth at this time, resulting in a <a
  href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/earth/past/KTextinction.html&edu=elem">mass extinction
  of dinosaurs</a> and many other life forms. Recent research suggests that
 perhaps <a
  href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/headline_universe/olpa/chicxulub.html&edu=elem">massive
  volcanic eruptions</a> may be been responsible for the extinction.<p><small><em>Courtesy of Don Davis, 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>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=elem">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=elem">MESSENGER</a>, it shows numerous craters across the <a href="/php/tour_test_sqli.php?page=/mercury/Interior_Surface/Surface/surface_overview.html&edu=elem">surface</a> of the planet.  Temperatures there can reach over 800F 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>

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