Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Grains of Sand Reveal Possible Fifth State of Matter

“You walk on the beach, and the sand supports your weight. Pick up a handful, and it runs through your fingers, like a liquid. But you can’t walk on water,” said Jaeger. “In the top of an hourglass, sand is this strange solid. It’s at the verge of being a solid; it flows through the middle as something like a liquid, and then it’s a solid again,” he said.

Click here to read more.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

USGS FreeTeaching Packets

The USGS has several teaching packets available for download at this site. Topics include such things as maps, caves, climate change, volcanoes. Worth a peek!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Minerals Slide Show

Photo from:

Beautiful close-up photos of some of the strangest minerals in the world in a slide show. Breathtaking. Click here.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Film About Our Planet: HOME

HOME is a full-length film by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, being shown on YouTube. The movie shows Earth’s beauty with breathtaking aerial footage, and discusses the impact humans have had on the planet. Below is a short trailer.

You could show parts on several days. Or choose parts to show. Definitely has a theme worthy of showing to an Earth Science class. You decide what your own students can handle. Could even be shown without sound while your students work on an Introduction to Earth Science assignment! (Scroll to the bottom of the page.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Formation of Earth's Mantle

"By using a super-computer to virtually squeeze and heat iron-bearing minerals under conditions that would have existed when the Earth crystallized from an ocean of magma to its solid form 4.5 billion years ago, two UC Davis geochemists have produced the first picture of how different isotopes of iron were initially distributed in the solid Earth."

Monday, June 15, 2009

Element #112 added to Periodic Table

Symbol: Uub
Atomic Number: 112
Atomic Mass: (277.0) amu
Melting Point: Unknown
Boiling Point: Unknown
Number of Protons/Electrons: 112
Number of Neutrons: 165
Classification: Transition Metal
Crystal Structure: Unknown
Density @ 293 K: Unknown
Color: Unknown

I consider this pretty BIG NEWS! The element Ununbium has been added to the Periodic Table! What fun!

Ununbium is not its "real" name. Check this site out for keys to the naming of newly discovered and as yet "unnamed" elements. Scientists argue so much over who first "discovered" the heavier elements, so they give them a scientific name so we can call them something. Then they let the scientists duke it out till someone is declared the winner and gets naming rights.

BBC Article about Uub.

Friday, June 12, 2009

New Sensors along San Andreas Fault

A series of 17 earthquake sensors will soon be installed along the southern portion of the San Andreas Fault. The intent of this $670,000 project is to detect vibrations and transmit warning signals to cell phones, computers and other communication devices.
Click here for details.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth

"The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth hosts the best and most complete online collection of astronaut photographs of the Earth."

Nothing fancy. No slideshows or PPTs. Just gorgeous photos of Earth taken by astronauts.

Here is the main page.

Here is the archive page where photos are grouped according to some kewl titles, such as Cities at Night, The Art of Science, Auroras Dancing in the Night.

Also a fun Where in the World? Image Quiz.

Search for Photos:
They have a nice search feature at the top of the main page. So if you needed a photo for a certain PPT, enter something in the search form and see what comes up!

Also here:
Where is the ISS?

Also Collections (see top of main page):
Mission Highlights
Earth from Space
Cities Collection
Whole Earth
Weekly Top 10.

To see Education Collection
Go from Collections
to Education:
Earth Systems from Space
How to Find Mt. Everest
Canyons, Craters, and Drifting Dunes

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Research suggests winds dying down across US

"The wind, a favorite power source of the green energy movement, seems to be dying down across the United States. And the cause, ironically, may be global warming — the very problem wind power seeks to address."

Click here for details on this story.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Quatenary Period Wins Out

"Pending an almost certain ratification by the ultimate authority--the International Commission on Stratigraphy --the Quaternary will officially take over the past 2.6 million years of the geologic time scale, when humans took up tools and the world began slipping in and out of the ice ages."

Click here to read details.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

VORTEX2 Finally Catches a Tornado

Vortex2 finally catches a tornado after four weeks on the road!

New Report Sets Forth Principles of Earth Science Literacy

Earth's rocks and other materials provide a record of its history. Our solar system formed from a vast cloud of gas and dust 4.6 billion years ago. Earth's crust has two distinct types: continental and oceanic.

These and other concepts are the major ideas of Earth science that all citizens should know, according to a newly released report--Earth Science Literacy Principles: The Big Ideas and Supporting Concepts of Earth Science--funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported Earth Science Literacy Initiative (ESLI).

New Solar Power Plant near Phoenix

Wind and Solar Power really CAN be in our future!
Actually, they're in our present!
Click here for the story.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Car that runs on AIR??!!

Are you kidding me? How fun is this?!

Visit site based in France and watch kewl video!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

New Online Science Magazine in Video Format!

From the National Science Foundation. You can watch full screen in HD video. Wonderful. First edition is Astronomy-related. Download the full version so you can save it to show your students next year!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Hurricanes - Disturbing New Trend

Hurricanes aren't where they should be.

NSF Website on Climate Change

Climate Change is being added to school district or state science benchmarks across the nation. The National Science Foundation website is a good place to start.

Click here to begin.

Click here to download their Climate Change Report.