"We have always a resource in the skies. They are constantly turning a new
page to view. The wind sets the types in this blue ground, and the
inquiring may always read a new truth."|
- Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
"My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky."
- The Rainbow, William Wordsworth
"Night is a shadow world. The only shadows we see at night are cast by the
moonlight, or by artificial light, but night itself is a shadow."
- Soul of the Sky, Diane Ackerman
Visit the Sandburg Sky Poetry Web
page, including CSMS student-authored sky poems.
Day & Night
The line which divides day & night is
called the terminator. As the Earth rotates counterclockwise, the
terminator appears to move from east to west.
(Graphic produced using Xearth.)
30 JUL 2002
|Sunspot No. Trend
(past 24 hours)
Credits: Real-time image courtesy SOHO; sunspot number
Updated: 29 JUL 2002
(Graphic courtesy US Naval Observatory.)
Sandburg Center for Sky Awareness
A Fairfax County Public Schools Planetarium
Sky Awareness | Sun-Earth
Connection | Rays Awareness | Tracking Satellites | GPS
Themes for 2001-2002
- Me & My Shadow - Making the Sun-Earth
Connection - an SCSA Web page of theme-related resources and
- The NASA Sun-Earth Connection Education
Forum Solar Events
Web page, featuring hyperlinks to Solar Webcast, Sun-Earth Day,
Solar Week, and The
Space Weather Center Exhibit.
- The NASA Sun-Earth
Connection Education Forum, including information and resources
related to Sun-Earth Day, 20 March 2002.
- From NASA and the Exploratorium, two great Web sites: Solar Max
2000, Your Guide to the Year of the Active Sun; and Auroras 2000,
Your Guide to the Northern and Southern Lights.
- From the Space Environment Center, the NOAA Space Weather
Scales were introduced in November 1999 as a way to communicate to the
general public the current and future space weather conditions and their
possible effects on people and systems. Analogous to hurricanes,
tornadoes, and earthquakes, the Space Weather Scales have numbered levels
that convey severity.
- Ask Mr. Sunspot - This
is one of those frames sites where you'll have to navigate to the
resource. Click on "Mr. Sunspot" in the "Sections" menu (left column).
- The Space Weather Bureau
- Auroras -
Paintings in the Sky
The Moon is planet Earth's only natural satellite, revolving around the
Earth once a month. Get to know some of its prominent surface features
using the space.com Skywatcher's
Guide to the Moon (including a Printable Moon
Teacher Tips: Students discover
the month-long cycle of Moon phases (see sidebar, left) in the interactive
online activity, Birthday
Moons - It's Just a Phase You're Going Through... (recommended for
Grade 3 and higher). For activity extension &/or enrichment, visit the Related
Internet information resources Web page, featuring annotated links to
a few selected Moon phase-related World Wide Web sites.
Be they faint streaks or brilliant flares, satellite observing is like watching man-made
"shooting stars!" Track the International
Space Station (ISS) in real-time. The NASA Liftoff to Space
Exploration Tracking Web
page makes it easy to locate some of the larger man-made objects in space,
including the ISS, Space Shuttle (when in orbit), Hubble Space Telescope,
or NOAA polar-orbiting weather satellites. Or use J-Pass Version 2.5
beta to calculate the next visible pass of these man-made satellites
(your Web browser must support Java applets).
A highly recommended non-NASA satellite tracking Web site, Heavens-Above provides daily
predictions for all satellites brighter than a user-specified limiting magnitude
(use 3.5 for light-polluted urban areas), as well as detailed star charts
showing the satellite's track through the heavens. All
Heavens-Above Web pages, including the graphics, are generated in
real-time and customized for the user's location and time zone. "Anonymous
users" will need to specify their location (once per session), otherwise
it is unnecessary to become a registered user.
Editor's Note: Under light-polluted urban skies, it is difficult
if not impossible to see most man-made satellites. But at an apparent
magnitude of -1, the International Space Station (ISS) is as bright as
some of the visible planets--I have seen the ISS every time I
looked for it!
- The Degree Confluence
Project - where geography and GPS technology intersect.
Visit virtually all of the points where a line of latitude and longitude
meet (integer degree intersections), or trek to locate the point of confluence
- Geocaching - the high-tech
sport where you are the search engine! A handheld GPS
receiver and a hunger for adventure are all you need to play this 21st
century version of hide-&-seek.
Geoscience-Related Information Servers | Geosystems in FCPS