The NSDL Scout Report for Physical Sciences -- Volume 3, Number 24

November 26, 2004

A Publication of the Internet Scout Project
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison




Topic In Depth


The Michelson Doppler Imager [pdf, postscript, Microsoft PowerPoint, gif]

A joint effort of the Solar Oscillations Investigations (SOI) at Stanford University and the Lockheed-Martin Advanced Technology Center, the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI) is aboard the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft and assists in collecting data of the interior structure and dynamics of the sun. Users can find information on the instrument observable and the nature of the observing programs. The website provides MDI press releases, summary results, dissertations, preprints, and other documentation. Researchers can find daily magnetograms, synoptic charts, calibrated data, and many other archived data products. [RME]

RadioNet: Advanced Radio Astronomy in Europe [jpg, pdf]

RadioNet, an Integrated Infrastructure Initiative (I3), has brought together 20 of "Europe's leading astronomy facilities to produce a focused, coherent and integrated project that will significantly enhance the quality and quantity of science performed by European astronomers." After learning about the Initiative's many objectives, users can find brief summaries of the program's integration of astronomy pursuits in the areas of transnational access, joint research activities, and networking activities. The website presents press releases, upcoming and past events, and information on engineering, software, and Atacama Large (sub)-Millimeter Array (ALMA) forums. Users can also find out about the individual collaborators research activities through the external links. [RME]

International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2008 [pdf]

The International Polar Year (IPY) 2007 - 2008 "will be an intense, internationally coordinated campaign of research that will initiate a new era in polar science" by educating and involving the public and assisting in the training of engineers, scientists, and leaders. While IPY is still in its planning stage, this website offers an introduction to IPY, the latest news, and information on its activities. At the International Page, users can find materials about the planning group, membership, supporting organizations, the group's goals, documentation, and timeline. The site offers information on the National Committees involved with IPY and the points of contact. [RME]

USGS Crustal Imaging and Characterization Team [pdf, Java]

The USGS specialists in environmental geochemistry, geology, analytical chemistry, stable and radiogenic isotopes, remote sensing, and botany "devise new methods for understanding the Earth, and apply these methods in interdisciplinary research projects to solve pressing earth-system problems." Users will find overviews, tasks, products, and links related to the Crustal Imaging and Characterization Team's numerous projects. The website features materials for the Mine Waste Characterization, North American Magnetic Anomaly Database, and other completed projects. Visitors can also find a wide selection of selected professional papers, reports, digital data series, fact sheets, and additional on-line products. [RME]

California Data Exchange Center [pdf]

At the California Data Exchange Center website, the California Department of Water Resources provides access to an array of operational hydrologic data. Within the River Stages and Flow Data link, visitors will find river stage maps, river schematics, information on various rivers, and daily hydrologic summaries. The website provides snow information including snow sensor plots, water supply conditions, reservoir data, and reports. Individuals can view numerous satellite images and water- and weather-related forecasts. The data query tools offer an easy way to search historical and current data, data plots and graphs, and station information. [RME]

Organic Geochemistry Research Group

The U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources in Kansas presents its research on two major topics: "the fate, transport, and degradation of organic contaminants in the environment with special [focus] on nonpoint-source contamination from agricultural chemicals" and "the environmental issues of emerging contaminants and how they affect the water." After discovering the group's objectives and procedures, users can learn about the projects in Geochemical Process Studies ant Water Quality Surveys. Users can find introductions to solid-phase extraction, gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, and other methods of analyses. Researchers can find links to abstracts and publications. [RME]


Space Environment Center Education [gif, pdf]

NOAA's Space Environment Center offers helpful space weather information and papers as well as classroom materials. Students can find answers to numerous general questions about space weather and its effects on animals, Earth, and satellites. The website offers a glossary of solar-terrestrial terms, a gallery of solar activity, and articles about various space science topics including radio wave propagation, ionosphere, and aurora. Educators can find fun activities where students can make models of the sun through the art of origami, perform scientific analyses using online data, and much more. [RME]

The Cyberspace Museum of Natural History and Exploration Technology

The Cyberspace Museum of Natural History and Exploration Technology, created by the scientist James Granahan, provides intriguing online space and paleontology exhibits. In the Life Thru Time Exhibit, students can discover animals that have inhabited the Earth at different times in the past. The website offers images and information about the composition, size, and distance of various celestial bodies. Through numerous links, users can investigate the dinosaurs, fossils, and space exploration artifacts currently on display throughout the United States. [RME]

Metabolic Pathways of Biochemistry [Chime, pdf]

George Washington University provides an online reference of the major metabolic pathways for biochemistry students and scientists. Students can learn about carbohydrate, lipid, and energy metabolism with the help of two- and three-dimensional graphics. The website offers representations of generalized organic reactions to illustrate how to convert one functional group to another group. Users can also find a list of over 250 common abbreviations used in biochemistry. Biochemistry students having difficulty conceiving the dimensionality of metabolic pathways will benefit from the materials at this web site. [RME]

An Introduction to Quantum Mechanics [Macromedia Shockwave Player]

This Ohio State website provides an introduction to the principles of quantum mechanics as a supplement to the "discussion of hydrogen and many-electron orbitals commonly found in general chemistry text books." Users can find informative text and graphics explaining Classical Mechanics, uncertainty, Pauli Principle, stationary states, and much more. Through the tutorial, students can explore how physical objects can be perceived as both particles and waves. With the Macromedia Shockwave plug-in, visitors can hear discussions of the quantum mechanics topics covered. [RME]

Cerritos College Earth Science On-Line Tutorial Center [Macromedia Flash Player, jpg]

At this website, Cerritos College offers a series of straightforward, educational lessons covering basic Earth science topics. Users can learn about clouds through a pictorial tutorial and a review. Students can review the metric system, units of measurement, scientific notation, and other fundamental mathematics used in Earth Science. The site offers a virtual tour of the volcanoes of Hawaii, informative images of various landforms, quizzes on topographic maps, reviews of plate tectonics, and much more. This website is great for introductory Earth science students because it offers preparatory materials for an array of Earth-related topics. [RME]

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: Laboratory for Extraterrestrial Physics [jpg]

The entertaining and enlightening materials available at this NASA Goddard Space Flight Center website educate users about the astronomy, chemistry, and physics research performed by the Laboratory for Extraterrestrial Physics. The Gallery provides numerous fantastic images and figures of the heliosphere, radiation belts, the sun, and other extraterrestrial phenomena. Through the links provided, users can discover facts about the many space missions related to the group's work. The site offers contact information of volunteer mentors for students and teachers, helpful glossaries, and fun activities for individuals and groups. Students can find science fair ideas, space science centers to visit, fun games, and other resources. [RME]

General [QuickTime, Java]

Sponsored by Science@NASA and created by Dr. Tony Phillips, offers fascinating "news and information about the Sun-Earth environment." Visitors can find out the current space weather conditions such as the solar wind, interplanetary magnetic field, and x-ray solar flares. The website offers the latest data on near-Earth asteroids and NOAA forecasts of the probability for solar flares and geomagnetic storms. By searching by dates, users can find archived news stories. Throughout the site, users can find amazing images and links to external resources. [RME]

American Chemical Society: ChemTechLinks [pdf]\technicians\index.html

The American Chemical Society's (ACS) ChemTechLinks website's purpose "is to provide a single source of information and connections for all chemically based technicians." In the Hot Topics link, users can find current issues of the ChemTechLinks Newsletter, which offers expert advice to chemists, information on educational opportunities, news articles, details on upcoming conferences and workshops, and much more. Potential students can discover training centers as well as scholarship and employment opportunities. Chemistry-based technical programs can learn how to have their programs featured at the site. [RME]

International Small-Hydro Atlas

The International Energy Agency's (IEA) "database facilitates the development of new small hydro projects" and provides "data for potential and developed sites, GIS searching capabilities, country profiles, international contacts for small hydro, and more." With the News link, visitors can stay informed about the latest announcements, events, and information related to small hydro projects. The website features data on water resources, energy and power sectors, hydropower development, small hydro plants, and future outlook for various countries throughout the world. Visitors can learn about the planning, technology, and finances that are needed to carry out a successful hydro project. [RME]

NASA: Planet Quest - The Search for Another Earth [Macromedia Flash Player, Macromedia Shockwave Player, QuickTime, RealPlayer]

This website addresses NASA's goal of embarking on a series of missions to find and characterize planets around stars other than the sun to help determine if life exists on other planets. Users can view the fascinating video summarizing the missions and can take an interactive quiz to test their knowledge of the realities of extraterrestrial life and space exploration. The site presents an interesting historical account of the stars, planets, and also life studies. Individuals can learn about the use of inferometry, planet imaging, and formation flying in the TPF, SIM, Kepler, and other missions. One of the site's best assets is the continually updated New Worlds Atlas, where users can explore the planets of the Universe in 3-D. Visitors can also find numerous games, simulations, animations, videos, and educational activities. [RME]


The Community Energy Division of the Center for Neighborhood Technology informs the public about air pollution at this website. Users can find primers on air pollution's impacts, sources, laws, and solutions. Individuals can learn how their respiratory and cardiovascular systems are affected by air pollution. The site offers noteworthy case studies on the consumption of energy and also purchasing products. Users can find an emissions calculator to determine their impact on air pollution. The site also provides a forum where enthusiasts can ask questions, submit comments, and exchange ideas. [RME]

The Association for Environmental Health and Sciences (AEHS) [pdf]

"The Association for Environmental Health and Sciences (AEHS) was created to facilitate communication and foster cooperation among professionals concerned with the challenge of soil protection and cleanup." The website features past and present surveys of States' Soil and Groundwater Cleanup Standards. Researchers can find out about upcoming conferences including the Annual West Coast Conference on Soil, Sediment, and Water. The site offers downloads of archived publications as well as links to relevant prominent journals. Interested visitors can locate membership materials at the web site as well. [RME]

Topic In Depth


Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter [pdf, RealPlayer, gif, QuickTime, jpg]
Athena Mars Exploration Rovers: Kids Fun Facts - Tommy Test Tubes [jpg]
Other Worlds in our Solar System? The Moons
Named Lunar Formations [jpg]
Saturn's Moon Titan's Landscape Alien, Familiar
Uranus [gif, QuickTime]
Neptune, Planet Neptune, Moons of Neptune
Pluto: The Ice Planet

This Topic in Depth features websites about the moons of the planets in our solar system. First, NASA presents its proposed mission to orbit Jupiter's three planet-sized moons: Callisto, Ganymede, and Europa (1). Users can view animations of the proposed orbiter and images of the three moons. The site offers an abundance of information on the technology, mission, fast facts, and news. Next, Cornell University provides the Athena scientist, Thomas J. Wdowiak's kid's column Tommy Test Tubes (2). At this website, he educates children about the two moons of Mars by offering entertaining facts and remarkable images. The third site, provided by the educator Hiram Bertoch, offers introductory materials about the moons of Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto (3). Visitors can also find educational materials about asteroids, comets, and planets. Next, the Fourmilab supplies numerous views of the Earth's Moon's lunar formations (4). The website allows users to pan, zoom in and out, and select images based on coordinates, time, and size. The fifth site presents an article by the Discovery Channel about the latest analyses of the geologic landscapes of Saturn's moon, Titan (5). Users can learn about the differences and similarities between Titan's and Earth's atmosphere, environment, and geologic activity. Next, the website furnishes information on the distance, radius, mass, and discoverer of Uranus's numerous moons (6). Through an abundance of images and movies, users can learn many interesting facts about Uranus. The seventh site, developed by EOA Scientific Systems, supplies fascinating facts and images of Neptune and its moons (7). Students can learn how and when each of the eight moons was discovered. Lastly, NASA offers a wonderful tutorial on Pluto and its moon, Charon, for elementary school children (8). Students can discover why Pluto is sometimes called a double planet and where its moon may have originated. [RME]

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