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This article describes the work being done by scientists to determine the origin of water found in Earth's oceans. A supplemental exploration of the Herschel Space Observatory is included. The article is targeted to children ages 10-12.

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This textbook chapter introduces Earth’s external energy source, and the nuclear fusion reactions that power the Sun, space weather and space storms. There is an interview with solar scientist, Dr. Janet Luhmann, UC-Berkeley. The resource includes... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this self-paced tutorial, learners analyze data to understand the relative influence of solar variability on today's climate to determine whether changes in incoming solar radiation can explain all or part of the warming trend we have seen in... (View More)

In this data analysis activity, students compare near surface temperature at the time of the solstices in two different hemispheres, and see how the tilt of the Earth's axis in relationship to the Sun contributes to temperature differences across... (View More)

Keywords: Tilt; Earth axis; Solstice
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free per student

In this problem-based learning activity, learners explore the significance of sunspots on the Earth's climate. Sunspots are temporary phenomena on the photosphere of the Sun that appear visibly as dark spots compared to surrounding regions. During... (View More)

How effective would solar cells be in any particular area of the United States? In this activity, students answer that question by analyzing graphs of incoming solar radiation. Students will download two solar radiation graphs, one based on latitude... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this problem set, learners will analyze an altitude graph of the International Space Station to understand its rate of altitude loss as a result of atmospheric drag and solar activity. Answer key is provided. This is part of Earth Math: A Brief... (View More)

In this problem set, learners will analyze a graph of solar irradiance since 1610. Answer key is provided. They will consider average insolation, percent changes and the link between irradiance and climate change. This is part of Earth Math: A Brief... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Net Radiative Flux (NRF) is used to determine the flow of solar energy in and out of the Earth system. NRF is influenced by seasonal variations related to the tilt of the Earth's axis and degree of cloud cover as well as Earth’s surface features.... (View More)

Keywords: Solar energy
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students build a simple computer model to determine the black body surface temperature of planets in our solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Experiments altering the luminosity and... (View More)

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