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View Resource Solar Wind's Effect on Earth

The Sun produces 'solar wind', a continuous flow of charged particles that can affect us on Earth. It may also release huge storms of charged particles, called coronal mass ejections, that can disrupt communications, navigation systems, and satellites; and cause power outages, such as the extensive Canadian blackout in 1989. This video segment introduces viewers to coronal mass ejections, their...

View Resource Planet Size Comparison

This interactive feature lets students compare the sizes of the planets in our solar system. Users can select two solar system bodies (planets, Sun, Earth's moon) and view side-by-side images at the same scale, along with their diameters in kilometers or miles, and a ratio. Science NetLinks is part of MarcoPolo, a partnership between the Verizon Foundation and eight premier educational...

View Resource Solar Magnetism

The Sun appears to shine at a constant rate. However, its magnetic field is actually constantly changing, and this affects energy output. These variations cause effects that extend throughout the solar system. This video segment, adapted from a NOVA television broadcast, introduces viewers to some of the effects of the sun's magnetic field, such as sunspots, auroras, and variations in the sunspot...

View Resource Total Solar Eclipse Animation

Solar eclipses result from the alignment of the Sun, Moon, and Earth. Total solar eclipses, in which the Sun is completely blocked by the Moon, are a spectacular and rare sight to witness. This animation, adapted from a NOVA television broadcast, shows a simulated total eclipse and explains some of the features that can be seen. The clip is one minute thirteen seconds in length.

View Resource All Planet Sizes

This image, from the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, illustrates the approximate relative sizes of the Sun and planets and their relative locations. Although distance is not to scale, viewers can see that the small rocky planets are located close to the Sun and large gaseous planets are further away.

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