Posts Tagged ‘Aurora Borealis’

Northern Lights!

January 2nd, 2007

Recommended Website:

Northern Lights

Santa has come and gone, but you can give your children an idea of what’s happening at the North Pole right now. The heavens are performing a spectacular light show! MaryAnna discovered this terrific website all about the Aurora Borealis, aka the Northern Lights…

When you get to the site, for an instant and awesome display of the Northern Lights simply click on the small strip of beautifully colored panels near the upper right of the screen to start viewing a slideshow of about 1,700 aurora photos! These are some of the best to be found anywhere, and with good reason.

This website runs a monthly and an annual aurora photo competition, and all the winners are posted here! (If your contribution wins, you get an all-expense-paid trip to Norway! The catch is, you would have to be somewhere near an aurora first in order to snap a winning photo! :)

The northern lights have been especially active at the North Pole lately due to recent strong sunspot activity. The little Magnetometer icon in the upper right corner of this website is updated every thirty seconds to show you what’s going on in the earth’s magnetic field right this minute! More information about current conditions is located in the right-hand column of the main page of this site. (You can easily return to the main page from anywhere on the site by clicking the logo centered at the top of your screen.)

What do sunspots and the earth’s magnetic field have to do with auroras? And what do auroras have to do with the northern lights? You can read all about the science behind the Northern Lights and more by using the menu located in the upper left corner of the main page. It includes:

  • What Are Northern Lights? — Find out the physics behind a northern lights display, the frequency of occurrence, the colors, form and structure, the sounds they make, and discover auroras on other planets! Be sure to watch the aurora video clips in the right hand columns located in the “What Are Northern Lights” subcategory, “Colours”. Some of them are just too awe-inspiring for words.
  • Aurora in Science — Meet the auroral research pioneers. Then explore modern research including magnetic, radiowave, and┬áRocket Range observations.
  • Realtime Measurements — Check out the gadgets and gizmos (auroral instruments) that stream their up-to-the-minute animations and cams of current aurora activity!
  • Auroral Mythology — Find out how Vikings, Native Americans, and people in olden times explained the strange lights in the sky.
  • User’s Corner — Did you know there was once a man-made, artificial aurora? Download a photo of it here, along with a few other wallpapers (computer screen backgrounds), or read the FAQ’s and join a discussion with other aurora fans. Find a list of links to other websites where you can “ooh” and “aaaah” all day to your heart’s content! :)

If after viewing all of these incredible aurora photos, video clips, and cams you simply must go see the northern lights, you can get information here to help you plan your next vacation. There’s nothing quite like seeing
them in person. Pack warmly, and bon voyage! :)

History Through The Ancient & Natural Wonders of the World

September 23rd, 2004

Recommended Website:
7 Wonders of the World

Think Quest offers this website, authored by 5th graders, that presents information in text and photographs about the 7 Ancient Wonders of the World, the 7 Natural Wonders of the World, and the students’ private list of 7 Wonders. When you get to the site you’ll see a brief introduction and a menu that includes:

  • Ancient Wonders — Learn about the Great Pyramid, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, The Temple of Zeus, The Colossus of Rhodes, The Lighthouse of Alexandria, The Temple of Artemus and the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus.
  • Natural Wonders — Discover Mount Everest, The Matterhorn, The Meteor Crater, Victoria Falls, Ayers Rock, The Grand Canyone, The Great Barrier Reef.
  • Our Wonders — The students’ ideas on what should be designated as “wonders” including Stonehenge, The Giant Redwoods, The Butterfly Migration, The Great Wall of China, Rainbows, Aurora Borealis, and The Wisonsin Dells.
  • Activities — Take a Quiz to test your knowledge of the world wonders and then play a world wonder word search game.

Each of the wonders presented offers a short history along with a photograph or illustration. Be sure to have a world globe or atlas on hand and have the kids find each wonder on a map. That way, you can incorporate some geography into your exploration of the world wonders.