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Profile: Harold C. Urey

This Nobel Prize–winning chemist contributed to several scientific fields. His remarkable body of work spanned chemistry, geochemistry, lunar science, and astrochemistry.

Science Bulletin

Derecho

On July 4, 1999, a rare and terrifying storm swept through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota. What began like a standard-issue thunderstorm soon turned strange and fierce, generating green clouds and strong winds reminiscent of a tornado. In fact, the storm was a cousin of the tornado: a derecho (pronounced "de-RAY-cho"), a type of storm so infrequent and fast-moving that only in recent years have meteorologists begun to understand how to recognize and forecast it

Science Bulletin

NAO: Driving Climate Across the Atlantic

For centuries, a massive atmospheric system has regularly altered weather patterns, fishery production and animal migrations across the North Atlantic Ocean. At last, Earth scientists and climate modelers are beginning to understand how--and when - the North Atlantic Oscillation happens.

Science Bulletin

Gravity: Making Waves

Gravity may seem elementary. But proving Einstein's theories about it is quite hard. To do so, scientists are struggling to capture gravity's most elusive hallmark: the gravitational wave. This Astro Feature focuses on research at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in Livingston, LA, where scientists have constructed a sprawling facility dedicated to the detection of minute changes in spacetime caused by gravitational waves traveling from energetic events in space.

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Curriculum Materials

SunScapes: Our Magnetic Star

Telescopes capture the Sun's ultraviolet light as beautiful images that are full of information about solar processes. This spectacular interactive photo gallery portrays the turbulent Sun in action.

Science Bulletin

Cassini-Huygens Explores Saturn

After a seven-year trip, the Cassini spacecraft arrived at Saturn in July 2004. Since then, Cassini has been capturing never-before-seen imagery of the ringed planet and its moons. By the mission's end in July 2008, the craft will have made 70 orbits of the Saturnian system, using cameras, magnetometers, spectrometers, and radio antennas to analyze the planet's magnetic field, composition, rings, atmosphere, and 33 moons more completely than ever before.
On January 14, the orbiter's Huygens probe descended through the murky atmosphere of Titan, Saturn's largest moon. The probe is the first in history to analyze and image Titan's atmosphere and surface characteristics.
Stop along Cassini's and Huygens's journey with the interactive at left. You can view historical images of Saturn, spy on the planet's rings, tour the Cassini orbiter, meet Saturn's moons, and learn what scientists expected to see on Titan. To visually recreate Cassini's route to Saturn, the animation uses real space data from the Digital Universe Project, a collaboration of NASA and the American Museum of Natural History. The Digital Universe includes dozens of datasets collected by the Museum and is constantly updated.

Science Bulletin

Impact! Tracking Near-Earth Asteroids

Collisions between space objects are a vital part of the evolution of our Solar System. Most of Earth's impact craters have been wiped away due to plate tectonics, but evidence of such cosmic catastrophes, such as Arizona's 50,000-year-old meteor crater, do remain. When is Earth due for another major blast? Meet the professional and amateur astronomers who may be the first to know: first at LINEAR, a near-earth asteroid detection facility in New Mexico, and then at the Smithsonian's Minor Planet Center, where orbits of near-earth objects are tracked for possible hits and misses.
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
(NOAA).

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