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Space Weather

Science Bulletin

Space Weather: Storms from the Sun

Once upon a time, back in the twentieth century, the weather was straightforward: it rained or snowed, skies were sunny or cloudy. However, in the twenty-first century—the era of globalization and digitalization—a whole new kind weather is critical to consider: space weather.
Space weather is direct product of our local star, the Sun. The Sun continuously sheds its skin, blowing a fierce wind of charged particles in all directions, including Earth's. From time to time, storms on the Sun's surface—solar flares, coronal mass ejections—toss off added masses of energy and ions. When that turbulence slams into Earth, it produces space weather. The consequences can be spectacular, from colorful auroras to satellite, power and communications failures.
Space weather isn't new: the Sun has buffeted Earth with solar particles since the planet first formed. What has changed is society. This feature reveals how our increasing use of satellite technology has made us vulnerable to solar storms, and how solar scientists—"space weathermen"—are learning how to predict and forecast the Sun's activity.
Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History. Find out more about Science Bulletins at

Sloan Digital Sky Survey Thumb

Science Bulletin

Sloan Digital Sky Survey: Mapping the Universe

Taking a census of all the luminous objects in one-quarter of the visible cosmos is a hefty accounting job. It takes a specially-built telescope on task every clear night for eight years, wielding one of the biggest digital cameras on the planet. Over a hundred million stars, galaxies, and quasars have been tallied so far. Meet the astronomical observers and theorists set on divining the three-dimensional structure and origins of the Universe from these unprecedented scores of data.

Curriculum Materials

Dinosaurs Alive Booklist for Adults

Meet the little dinosaurs of Ghost Ranch. Investigate evolution and the loss of flight in dinosaurs and birds. And dig deep into the lives of dinosaurs with these recommended reads.

Gamma-Ray Bursts: Flashes in the Sky

Science Bulletin

Gamma-Ray Bursts: Flashes in the Sky

Gamma-ray bursts—flashes of intense radiation in space that are often just seconds long—were accidentally discovered in the 1960's by satellites built to monitor nuclear bomb explosions. They've been one of the leading astrophysical mysteries ever since. This Astro Bulletin introduces you to the scientists and instruments working to unravel the origins of gamma-ray bursts. It highlights Swift, NASA's burst-detecting satellite, and PAIRITEL, one of a fleet of ground-based telescopes that point toward a gamma-ray burst in response to Swift's alert to capture the afterglow before it fades. Astrophysicists at Penn State and other institutions are analyzing these afterglows to understand what causes the most powerful explosions known

GRACE: Tracking Water From Space

Science Bulletin

GRACE: Tracking Water from Space

Watch how a unique dual-satellite mission called GRACE-NASA's Gravity and
Climate Experiment-is revealing an unprecedented view of our water planet.
For background information, educational resources and more, visit Grace:
Tracking Water from Space on the Science Bulletins website,
Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science
Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of
Education at the American Museum of Natural History. This visualization
was supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Aiming High: The Search for Ultra

Science Bulletin

Aiming High: The Search for High-Energy Cosmic Rays

The history of cosmic ray research is a story of scientific adventure. For nearly a century, cosmic ray researchers have climbed mountains, soared in hot air balloons, and traveled to the far corners of the Earth in the quest to understand these energetic particles from space. They have solved some scientific mysteries—and revealed many more. With each passing decade, scientists have discovered higher-energy and increasingly more rare cosmic rays. The Pierre Auger Project is the largest scientific enterprise ever conducted to search for the unknown sources of the highest-energy cosmic rays ever observed.


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