Astronomy Near and Far
Windows to the Universe, from the University of Michigan, just seems to grow more and more incredible each month. Astronomy is a hook to interdisciplinary resources in the humanities. The summer edition of Science Scope, NSTA publication, is devoted to astronomy and the arts.
The Solar Center explains sunrise-sunset, folklore and art about the sun around the world, magnetic fields and simulations of the sun's interior where no instruments can go. Its section about folklore tells sun stories all over the world. Activities, a scavenger hunt and Q&A space for expert scientists to respond to student queries can also be found at this excellent site.
The American Meteor Society has an excellent site about meteors and includes a calendar of upcoming meteor showers--capture your students' dreams via just the naked eye.
Sundials = Astronomy with a Stick!
Science doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, for most of the history of our investigation of the universe we used nothing more than sticks and stones. Just because they are old doesn't mean they aren't cool though.
Kurtis Baute shows how to do accurate and interesting astronomy with nothing but a couple of sticks.
- YouTube URL
Ever wonder what you might weigh on Mars or The Moon? The Exploratorium has provided a chance to find out. Fill in your weight and see what you'd weigh on different planets and moons, and even on a white dwarf star (heat shield not included).
Akkana Peck has compiled a wide range of astronomy resources, from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Moon and Galilean Moons of Jupiter (an interactive web page) to his start in astronomy as a teenager, telescopes, astrophotography, and a list of other resource websites.
EarthSky Earthcare's topics and resources are divided between today and tonight. Its main dissemination source is the radio.
Since speculation about Stonehenge, a new interdisciplinary exploration has emerged, archaeoastronomy. It is the blending of understanding ancient civilizations and the constellations.
Once in a Blue Moon ... is a common way of saying not very often, but what exactly is a Blue Moon? Learn the answer and more with this FAQ page.
The Starry Night software shows what the local sky will look like at 8pm on a given evening as well as patterns of movement of the constellations.
Total Solar Eclipse
On March 20, 2015, Witek Kaszkin was able to capture a total solar eclipse in Norway. Check out this beautiful time lapse footage from Mount Fugleberget (1863 feet above the ocean), close to the Polish Polar Station in Hornsund Fjord. At first, nothing is happening. And the you notice it's getting dark...
- Vimeo URL
Looking for a real-world example of why this is important? Check out NASA's Planetary Defense page.
NASA is looking at the capabilities needed to detect the possibility and warn of potential asteroid or comet impacts with Earth, and how to prevent an impact or mitigate their possible effects. Topics include finding and tracking near-Earth objects, and testing measures to deflect or disrupt an object on an impact course with Earth.
These sites offer another glimpse of how the Internet is expanding our view of the world, allowing professional scientists in the midst of their active research to share information and insights heretofore unavailable to students.
It also shows how Astronomy can be a hook to get students interested in academic subjects like math, chemistry, and even history.