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Grades 9-12

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Online Resource

Profile: Ole Roemer and the Speed of Light

While studying one of Jupiter's moons, Ole Roemer happened upon the first good estimate of the speed of light. Before his 1676 discovery, scientists assumed that light could not be measured.

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Online Resource

Profile: Vera Rubin and Dark Matter

For every visible star in the observable universe, there are nine masses that are invisible and unidentified. Learn more about the astronomer who proved the existence of dark matter.

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Online Resource

Profile: Lyman Spitzer and the Space Telescope

The idea of launching a telescope into orbit was first suggested in 1923, but the idea wasn't realized until nearly 70 years later. Along the way, there were several obstacles and setbacks.

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Online Resource

Profile: Fritz Zwicky's Extraordinary Vision

Astronomer Fritz Zwicky was the first person to conceive of supernovas, neutron stars, dark matter, and gravitational lenses. So why don't more people know his name?

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Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Deformed Frogs: The Big Mystery

Frogs with a single hind leg were not the most surprising discovery this seventh-grader from New York made. Read what he learned about the nationwide increase in frog deformities.

Figure 10: Brrr! It was cold in th cave! Note the crevices in the sides and the fallen boulders

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

My Expedition to the Lava River Cave

To gain a better understanding of volcanoes, this eighth-grader from Arizona decided to go spelunking. Take her tour of the Lava River Cave, formed by a volcanic eruption 675,000 years ago.

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Activity

Witnessing the Effects of Length Contraction

When does a 12-inch ruler look shorter than it really is? When it's fast on the move. In fact, at the speed of light, it would shrink to nothing. See length contraction for yourself ... at a safe speed.

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Hands-on Activity

Fusion Simulation

Confused about fusion? You won't be once you've completed this experiment, which demonstrates how a strong nuclear force can fuse two protons that naturally repel each other.

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Activity

How the Sun Works

Talk about a long-term power source. For billions and billions of years, the Sun has been giving off energy that equals 4 x 1026 watts. What keeps the Sun burning so bright?

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