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red bar Background Reading on Sun-Earth Science

Living in the Atmosphere of the Sun
Written and developed by scientists and education specialists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and the Space Science Institute, this site is an online version of a museum exhibit now touring the United States.

Space Weather at Windows to the Universe
This award-winning site was designed by educators and scientists to provide engaging, concise background information and imagery about the Sun-Earth system. This site can be adjusted by reading level (elementary, middle, or high school).

Mission to Geospace
A resource page for teachers and the news media, the site includes an extensive library of news articles and news releases about our science, plus an expansive image gallery.

Space Weather Tutorial
Developed by NASA's Sun-Earth Connection Education Forum, this guide was written to provide educators with an overview of the key elements of the Sun-Earth system.

Exploration of the Earth's Magnetosphere
Written by Dr. David Stern of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, this site provides an extensive, easy-to-read overview of the study of geospace. The descriptions are detailed, but not loaded with mathematics, and the site is rich with history. All sections are indexed so that you can read from end to end, or you can use the site like a reference book.

The Space Weather Bureau
Presented by the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and Bishop Web Works, the page includes tutorials in space weather and solar maximum, quizzes, the latest news, and links to space weather predictions.

The Sun: A Pictorial Introduction
This site, produced by two solar physicists at the U.S. High Altitude Observatory, is an annotated slide show to the features of the Sun.

A Primer on the Space Environment
Written by the staff of NOAA's Space Environment Center, this site provides a broad view of the entire Sun-Earth environment, with a particular focus on the roots of space weather on the Sun.

Space Weather -- A Research Perspective
This summary report was composed by the Committee on Solar and Space Physics and the Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Research of the U.S. National Research Council. This easy-to-read science document provides a broad overview of the Sun-Earth system and a rationale for the scientific study of space weather.

The Great Magnet, the Earth
This web site tells the story of Dr. William Gilbert and his book, "De Magnete," or "On the Magnet." In 1600, Gilbert published this first great study of magnetism, the first rational explanation of the mysterious ability of the compass needle to point north and south. Gilbert declared that the Earth itself was magnetic, and the era of modern physics and astronomy was begun.


Aurora Color Television Project, "Aurora" and "The Aurora Explained" videos, Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska - Fairbanks. Click here for more information.

NASA, "Blackout" video, Goddard Space Flight Center. Click here for more information.


Brekke, Asgeir and Alv Egeland, The Northern Light: from Mythology to Space Research , Springer-Verlag, 1983.

Davis, Neil, The Aurora Watcher's Handbook , University of Alaska Press, 1992.

Eather, Robert H., Majestic Lights: The Aurora in Science, History and the Arts , American Geophysical Union Books, 1980.

Lang, Kenneth R., Sun, Earth, and Sky , Springer-Verlag, 1997.

Maran, Stephen P., Astronomy for Dummies, IDG Books, 2000.

Odenwald, Sten, The 23rd Cycle , Columbia University Press, 2001. Books/Videos:

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