I had been meaning to post some links related to the recent Mars Exploration Rover Mission, but Jeff Hellman of “So you want to be a science teacher” has beaten me to it. Check out his blog for links to Web sites with information about the Mars mission.
(Martian horizon captured by the Panoramic Camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit. Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell)
Tonight there will be a total lunar eclipse starting at 8:06 pm EST. Here are some Web sites with information about lunar eclipses:
Lunar Eclipses for Beginners
Lunar Eclipse Computer – find out where and when the next lunar eclipse will be visible.
Lunar Eclipse Photography – hints and tips on taking photos of the eclipse
The Molecular Expressions Web site at Florida State University has a really cool interactive java tutorial to help get across the concept of orders of magnitude in relation to the relative size of objects in our world and universe:
View the Milky Way at 10 million light years from the Earth. Then move through space towards the Earth in successive orders of magnitude until you reach a tall oak tree just outside the buildings of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Florida. After that, begin to move from the actual size of a leaf into a microscopic world that reveals leaf cell walls, the cell nucleus, chromatin, DNA and finally, into the subatomic universe of electrons and protons.
In addition, this site has a plethora of information on microscopy, including a microscopy primer, a miscroscopy museum, a photo gallery and even a list of web resources. You an even try virtual microscopy with interactive java tutorials. For example, you can use scanning electron microscopy to get an up close look at a jellyfish or a gecko’s foot under the microscope.
The “Mars Exploration Rover” missions will land on Mars in January 2004. NASA has given 13 teams of high school students the chance to help out on various research projects related to the mission. Once the rovers have landed on Mars, these teams (composed of teachers and students) will spend a week at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab learning about Mars and the rovers.
Each of the two rovers that will be landing on Mars carry the “Athena Science Payload.” This set of scientific instruments will help scientists search for evidence of liquid on the planet’s surface. You can learn more about the Athena Project on their web site. The research team posts mission updates which allow you to follow along with their progress. The Athena team has collected a number of different Mars-related classroom activies and made them available on their web site, along with educational resources for teachers.