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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.
The Constellation Hercules, the great warrior
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Hercules, the great Greek warrior, can be seen kneeling in the sky for northern latitudes throughout the Spring months. Hercules first becomes visible in the east in April, and works his way high across the night sky through October. From the southern hemisphere, he appears low in the north. Four of Hercules' brighter stars form what is commonly known as the Keystone. Hercules' arms and legs extend from this central square.

By far the most exciting object to see in Hercules is the magnificent globular cluster M13, which is visible in dark night skies even without binoculars or a telescope. With the naked eye, this cluster of more than 300,000 stars appears as a faint fuzzy spot between the stars which form the western side of the Keystone.

Many other constellations were unfortunate victims of Hercules, and thus were also placed in the sky. According to the legends surrounding Hercules, he slew Leo, the Lion, Draco, the Dragon, and Hydra, a Serpent with nine heads, as part of his Twelve Labors. Cancer, the Crab was sent by Hera to annoy Hercules in his battles, and became yet another victim of the hero.

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The Fall 2009 issue of The Earth Scientist, which includes articles on student research into building design for earthquakes and a classroom lab on the composition of the Earth’s ancient atmosphere, is available in our online store.

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Leo, the Lion, is a very majestic feline. Leo's head and mane are formed by an asterism known as the Sickle which looks like a backward question mark. One of the brightest spring stars, Regulus (Latin...more


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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA