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Interactive Internet Sites Books top
Astronomy and Space Sites
This website is a one stop shop when it comes to planning your astronomy lessons! There are numerous lessons on the solar system, the origin of the universe, stars and other stellar objects and more! Each grade level (elemenatry, middle and high) has links to lessons and activities on this webpage.
USGS Astrogeology Research Program - The mission of the USGS Astrogeology Research Program is to establish and maintain geoscientific and technical expertise in planetary science and remote sensing to perform the following tasks: scientifically study and map extraterrestrial bodies, plan and conduct planetary exploration missions, and explore and develop new technologies in data processing and analysis, archiving, and distribution. One of the best resources included in this site is a complete catalog of the hundreds of USGS maps of the moons of the solar system, including Earth's Moon, Io, Ganymede, Titan, and more, and all of the planets. This site also includes a maps and globes gallery for the planets and moons, and Lunar, Venus, and Mars online interactive maps, animations, and GIS data downloads.
Pictures of Our Universe - Stefan Seip is a German astrophotographer and has written illustrated articles for many magazines as well as the Astronomy Pictures of the Day. Find photos of star trails around Polaris, atmospheric phenomena such as auroras, the "green flash" of the sun, comets, constellations, galaxies, and more.
The Moon - The Nine (8) Planets - This site has very useful and comprehensive information about the planets. Here you will find information and links to other planet sites as well.
The Inconstant Moon - This extremely useful site contains a calendar to see the phase of each day and to get information about the moon. Scroll down to the menu at the bottom of the main page and click on Atlas to be able to see pictures of the moon’s surface.
Lunar Eclipses for Beginners - This site has an explanation of why an eclipse occurs. Scroll down for information about when other eclipses will be happening. Scroll down to find pictures of lunar eclipses.
Earth and Moon Viewer - This site allows you to explore the earth and moon, viewing each from different perspectives. Additional links to other sites.
Apollo 11 - 30th Anniversary - This is a Web site for the 30th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. It has links to other NASA and non-NASA sites. Be sure to check out the galleries for great pictures. The timelines of Manned Apollo Missions and Lunar Exploration Chronology are really fascinating.
Moon Phases - This site has an interesting way of viewing the Moon. Change the POINT OF VIEW to BOTH and see the position of the Moon in its orbit around the Earth and the phase at the same time.
Moon Phase Calendar - This is a great calendar showing the current and future months with moon phases and the current phase of the moon. Be sure to click on the moon to see an animated progression of the phases. Neat!
NASA - Lunar Eclipse Page - This site has information about recent and upcoming eclipses. Be sure to check out the resources at the bottom of the page for information about solar eclipses.
Keith's Moon Page - Facts, Phases, Photos, and Folklore - There is quite a bit of information about the moon here. Enjoy!
Virtual Reality Moon Phase Pictures - You can use this site to view the phase of the moon for any time and date from 1800 to 2199.
Astronomy Picture of the Moon - This site shows you the moon contiunually cycling through its phases. Be sure to click on "Discover the Cosmos." Each day a different image or photograph of the universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
Astronomy Diagrams – For introductory astronomy classes.
Classroom Planetarium - Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope. It is being used in planetarium projectors. Just set your coordinates and go.
Gravity Probe B - is a "relativity gyroscope" experiment designed to test two unverified predictions of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity (1916): that the presence of a mass in space, such as the Earth, would warp local spacetime, creating a dip or curve in spacetime, & that the rotation of a mass in space would twist or drag the local spacetime frame around it. An educator's guide & space science activities are included. (NASA)
Infrared Astronomy Tutorial - [this is an awesome site] infrared light, how it was discovered, infrared astronomy, atmospheric windows, & more. An infrared astronomy timeline is included, along with links to news & discoveries, images, & classroom activities. (NASA)
Magnetic Field Activities for the High School Classroom - helps students understand the vector nature of fields, the ubiquity of fields in the environment, & the 3-dimensionality of fields. Activities include mapping the magnetic field of a room, making a magnetometer, & studying plasma. (NASA)
Radio JOVE: Planetary Radio Astronomy for Schools - helps students & amateur scientists observe & analyze natural radio emissions of Jupiter & the Sun. Through the study of their magnetic fields & their plasma (charged particle) environments, we are better able to understand the Earth. (NASA)
Size of Your World – Uses images to allow size comparisons of our solar system to distant stars. A real eye opener. Site opens with music.
Star Count – Student Observation Network — A new project from NASA: Investigation: Do people everywhere see the same number of stars in the night sky? Why or why not?
The Planetary Society - Earth Dial Project - Links to activities and useful tools In teaching about the sun and time:
Celesta - An extensive free download which students can use to research the planets, stars and other space topics. Also includes lesson plans.
Keplar's Law Interactives - McGraw-Hill provides an assortment of very good, upper level animated Interactives. These Interactives offer a fresh and dynamic method to teach the astronomy basics. Each Interactive will allow students to manipulate parameters and gain a better understanding of topics such as Blackbody Radiation, The Bohr Model, Retrograde Motion, and the H-R Diagram by watching the effect of these manipulations.
Solar System Collaboratory - Modules on space topics such as space weather, Keplar's Laws, and more:
Includes the following interactives on Keplar's Laws: More interactives on Keplar's three laws:
NOVA: Origins - Has the universe always existed? What was the birth of our planet like? Are we alone, or are there alien worlds waiting to be discovered? NOVA presents some startling new answers in "Origins," a NOVA miniseries hosted by dynamic astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. This Web site presents many of the facts and ideas in the series as well as interactive programs that delve into these questions and more.
Earth vs. Mars: The Two Planets Weigh In - from find a concise comparison of the two planets on almost two dozen variables including weather, caves, gravity, cosmic radiation.
Space Day - Learn about space day and what teachers and students can do for space day.
Mars: The Red Planet - This globe of Mars is a mosaic of images from the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. It is centered on Valles Marineris, the "Grand Canyon" of Mars.
The Nine Planets - an overview of the history, mythology, and current scientific knowledge of each of the planets and moons in our solar system. Each page has text and images, some have sounds and movies, most provide references to additional related information.
Thursday's Classroom - The aim of Thursday's Classroom is to provide a lasting connection between NASA's latest research and the classroom environment.
Mars Exploration Rover Mission Fun Zone - All the latest images and data, updated daily, from Spirit, which landed on Mars 1/4/04. Other Mars resources, games, activities, etc. From NASA.
The Exploratorium - A museum with space resources for teachers and students. This site also has updates on the Mars landing of the Spirit exploration rover.
The Center for Mars Exploration - A Web page outlining NASA's strategy for Mars exploration, including video clips from past missions.
Terraforming Mars - What would it take for humans to live on Mars? This article explores the possible use of greenhouse gases to create a warm, breathable environment on the red planet. Includes links to a NASA conference on Martian habitability.
Colonizing Mars - Will Earthlings ever try to inhabit Mars? What would a human colony look like? This site imagines a Mars where humans are landing at a rate of 2,000 a week. Take a look at what some people think is the fate of Mars and then imagine one of your own.
Searchable Image Collections for space science that teacher can use:
1. Astronomical Image Library:
2. Multiwavelength Milky Way:
3. Astronomy Picture of the Day:
4. Skyview Virtual Observatory:
5. Solar Data Archive Center:
6. Constellation photos. This site has a few bugs, but the photos make up for it:
7. NCSA Astronomy Digital Image Library (this one is tough - more for research)
8. Astronomy Today
Voyages Through Time - the SETI Institute's new integrated high school science curriculum, is now published and available! Introduction: The universe, the totality of all things that exist, is thought to have begun with an explosion of space and time and the expansion of a hot, dense mass of elementary particles and photons, that has evolved over billions of years into the stars and galaxies we observe today. This grand epic is the story told in the Cosmic Evolution module of Voyages Through Time.
To learn more about VTT visit the VTT website
TEACHERS, GENESIS WANTS YOU! - Educators around the country are invited to field test education modules or Genesis Kids materials this school year. (The Genesis spacecraft continues its mission collecting solar wind material expelled from the Sun.) They will send you a print copy of the module that you have selected and an evaluation packet to help you provide them with your feedback.
Interested educators can learn more by visiting
Questions? Contact John Ristvey at 303-632-5620 or
Storms from the Sun (K-12) - This educational poster contains information about the Sun, coronal mass ejections and how they affect Earth. Very informative.
Living with a Star (K-12) - This educator guide is designed to provide educators with a quick reference to an impressive amount of materials and resources that are useful for understanding the connections between the Sun and Earth.
NASA Science News - All the latest space science news in an easy to read format. Great reading for a class studying science.
Planetary Science Research Discoveries - PSRD is an educational site sharing the latest research on planets, meteorites, and other solar system bodies being made by NASA-sponsored scientists. PSRD is a vital link for education, planetary and space science, and for learning how science works.
Tasa Graphic Arts Company - has produced state of the art multimedia products for use in the Earth Science and Environment Science Classrooms. Of particular interest is an interactive CD-ROM on Explore the Planets, as well as others on rocks, minerals and plate tectonics. They provide online ordering. To receive a 15% discount for teachers who visit the GSA website, contact Tasa Graphic Arts to receive a special web address and discount code.
e-mail:, phone: 1-800-293-2725 or (505) 758-5535
Earth Science Internet Campus - from EOA Scientific Systems (site suggested by Tom McGuire, Earth Science Author & Consultant), Find a series of clever, interactive, shockwave animations, ranging in size from 36 K to 2000 K, that can be used to introduce the following concepts:
1. Earth: Earthquakes, Seismic Waves and Activity, Earthquake Epicenter; Tectonic Plates and Tectonic Mapping; Glaciers; Hydrological Cycle;
2. Ocean: Sea Pressure and Depth; Secchi Disk; Animal Adaptations - Animals Which Camouflage; Fill the Earth with Oceans (sea level change);
3. Atmosphere: Variations of Tropospheric Thickness; Temperature of the Atmosphere; Wind Direction - The Jet Stream / Jet Stream Map; The Coriolis Effect; Sun's Radiation on Earth - Angle of Incidence/solar altitude; Weather Education, Facts and Trivia; Lightning Game;
4. Space: The Solar System Planets; Satellite Remote Sensing / Taking Satellite Pictures;
5. Science: Periodic Table of Elements; Weight Mass Volume Density Gravity; Characteristics of All Waves. and then look for "interactive exercises" under the "earth," "ocean," "atmosphere," "space," and "science" links. Audience: Middle School and Up. Need a classroom of powerful computers, will have you download Shockwave.
Earth-Sun Relationships - Lots of interesting information, no real lesson plans:
Planetary Geology - And you use to think that the USGS was concerned only with earthly pursuits. Find a comprehensive site with planetary images, wallpaper and screen savers, a map-a-planet interactive that allows you to create a map at your preferred level of customization, a current research section, a kids' section, and even GIS for the planets: U.S.G.S. Planetary GIS Web Server. Audience: middle school and up.
How to Identify Meteorites -
Living With a Star -
Sun-Earth Connection
Solar Terrestrial Probes Program -
NOAA Space Environment Center -
Genesis Education and Public Outreach
NASA's Astrobiology Institute - search for life on other planets.
Free Astronomy Lessons - Make the year 2003 your space odyssey by learning astronomy! Dr. Jamie Love will be presenting 4 lessons each month throughout the year - totaling 48 lessons. This course is a healthy mix of observational and academic (scientific) astronomy so you will learn identification and a great deal about stars and the universe. This is a low math (no math?) astronomy course but it covers a great deal of astronomy. Each month Dr. Love will rotate in and out another 4 more lessons, so don't miss a month! The January lessons will be constantly posted (because they present very important, fundamental materials) but the February lessons will be replaced by the March lessons as you move into the next month. And so it goes. Also, every "quarter" of the year, Dr. Love will post two self-grading astronomy exams (one to test your identification skills and the other to access your scientific understanding) covering the material in the previous four months. By the end of 2003 you will have studied 48 lessons, taken eight exams, and be well educated in astronomy!
Visit and bookmark:
NASA - For upcoming NASA Quest Events, please visit the NASA Quest
Calendar at:
New Observatory in Southern Utah - The opening of the new Musk Mars Desert Observatory marks a major new addition to the MDRS (Mars Desert Research Station). It will be used to support both the operations research program of the station itself, and to provide a means for greater direct public involvement in science and space exploration. Starting in late January, the observatory will be made available to school and other groups to control through interaction with the crew several nights each week. Schools, individuals or groups who wish to participate should send an email to:
To find out more about the Mars Society, visit the website at
NASA Educator Resource Center - Space Foundation - Order form for available teacher resources, including curriculum booklets, videos and posters. All materials are FREE and Public Domain. Items are available for a shipping and handling fee to cover costs, either fax or send in the request.
Windows to the Universe - A fun and different Web site about the Earth and Space sciences. Windows to the Universe is graphics intensive! Tons of space information, teacher resources, and kid stuff including quizzes and educational 'games'. A great site to visit.
Students, Fly a Spacecraft - High school and college students who want to learn how to fly a spacecraft can access the homepage of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory's The Basics of Space Flight. It is a self-teaching guide created originally to help JPL spacecraft operators understand the concepts of and relationships among various specialized elements of a space mission. Interactive quizzes on the site can give users a measurement of their progress.
Interactive Internet Sites Books top

Meteorites and their Parent Planets, by Harry Y. McSween, Jr.
This book is jargon-free yet manages to gently lead the reader through tough topics like mineralogy, isotope geology, the origins of the elements, or reflectance spectroscopy. This book is for anyone who wants to know about meteorites. Paperback: ISBN 0521587514, Hardcover: ISBN 0521583039.


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