Spotlight Archive

Maria Mitchell - May 1, 2006

Learn about Maria Mitchell, highly regarded 19th century astronomer, comet discoverer, and first Vassar College faculty member. You can read a brief bio and see links to more information.

Energy Quest - Apr 14, 2006

Try this site from the California Energy Commission to learn about energy use in your daily life. It includes sections on transportation, energy news, how things work, and the Energy Time Machine, an interactive timeline.

Teaching Electromagnetism Using Advanced Technologies - Apr 1, 2006

This site from MIT offers simulations of electric and magnetic fields and shows how these fields change as charges, magnets, and current-carrying coils move. Don't miss the Falling Coil Applet.

The World - Apr 1, 2006

This website presents the history and ethnology of astronomy. You can go to the interactive atlas and click on a part of the world map to learn how astronomy developed in that region, or you can see a chronological listing of important events in astronomy in the timeline. You can also find more reference information and activities as well.

Basics of Remote Sensing from Satellite - Feb 1, 2006

If you're interested in satellite images, this is the place to start. You can learn how the images are enhanced and also how they are interpreted, with many samples included. You will have to do some reading, but the images make it all worthwhile.

NASA SkyWatch - Jan 1, 2006

Visit this NASA site often to find out what satellites will be visible from your location and when and where to look. You can select the satellite and even specify future observating dates. There are other nice features, including a Java applet that produces a picture of where in the sky the satellite will be.

Particle Trappin’ - Dec 1, 2005

Investigate the decay of the "Z" particle by designing a detector. You will place slabs of lead and uranium to stop all particles from the decay and measure their energies.

Demonstration Road Show - Nov 1, 2005

The Idaho State University Department of Physics conducts science demonstration shows at SE Idaho schools.  Four different presentations are currently available; "Forces and Motion", "States of Matter", "Electricity and Magnetism", and "Sound and Waves". Information provided includes descriptions of the material and links to other resources.

Deep Impact: Comet Mission - Oct 1, 2005

Find out about the mission that successfully crashed an instrumented probe into a comet.  Don't miss the Image Gallery, which has spectacular images taken before and after the crash, and Mission Update, which tells the latest on the interpretation of the images and other data collected.

Science Fiction Stories with Good Astronomy and Physics - Sep 1, 2005

Check out this index of science fiction books that use decently accurate science that can be used for teaching astronomy and physics concepts.  It was compiled by Andrew Fraknoi for the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

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