Lunar and Planetary Institute

LPI Earth and Space Science Newsletter

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August 11 - August 13, 2014 Perseid Meteor Shower

September 6, 2014 International Observe the Moon Night

September 22, 2014 MAVEN arrives in orbit around Mars

July 1, 2015 New Horizons mission flies by Pluto


NGSS Web Seminars at NSTA
Use the summer to continue your learning around the NGSS with three free web seminars from NSTA. Presented by experts in their areas, the events will help K-12 science educators increase understanding of the standards and learn how to implement the NGSS in the classroom. Sessions begin July 15!

Climate Change Workshop for Oklahoma and Texas Teachers
This weekend workshop (Sept. 26-28, 2014) will be held at the University of Oklahoma Biological Station on Lake Texoma. Topics include current climate science, inquiry-base learning, state curriculum, and classroom issues.


Apply for NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program (NITARP)
NITARP gets teachers involved in authentic astronomical research. They partner small groups of educators with a mentor professional astronomer for an original research project. The educators incorporate the experience into their classrooms and share their experience with other teachers. The program runs January through January. Applications are available now and due on September 22, 2014.


"Unheard Voices" Astronomy Guide
Sponsored by the Heliophysics Forum of the Space Missions Directorate at NASA, this pair of resource guides is about the astronomy of many cultures and about the contributions of women to astronomy. The guides are designed specifically for instructors and students in introductory college science courses, but may be useful for other grades.

Live Online Video of Earth from the International Space Station
There is now a live HD video of Earth from the International Space Station streaming online, thanks to the High Definition Earth Viewing experiment, activated on April 30.

Galaxy Collision Activity
This activity is designed to allow high school and undergraduate students to understand the structure of galaxies and nature of galaxy collisions. They will: watch a planetarium show, build their own galaxy, and engage with an interactive simulation illustrating how galaxies collide and merge gravitationally.

Visualization of 56 Years of Tornadoes in the US
Using information from, tech blogger John Nelson has created this spectacular image of tornado paths in the US over a 56 year period. The graphic categorizes the storms by F-scale with the brighter neon lines representing more violent storms.


New Type of Planet: the Mega-Earth
Astronomers have discovered a new type of planet - a rocky world weighing 17 times as much as Earth. This type of planet was not expected to form; scientists suspect that such a massive planet would accumulate gas and become a gas giant. This planet, discovered by the Kepler mission and then observed by the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo, is too dense to be a gas giant.

Potential ‘Goldilocks’ Planet Found
A new-found planet is in a "just-right" location around its star where liquid water could possibly exist on the planet’s surface. A team of international astronomers have discovered a potentially habitable super-Earth orbiting a nearby star in a habitable zone, where it isn’t too hot or too cold for liquid water to exist. The team said this discovery demonstrates that habitable planets could form in a greater variety of environments than previously believed.

Meteorites Brought Ammonia to Earth?
Researchers have teased ammonia of a carbon-containing meteorite from Antarctica, and propose that meteorites may have delivered that essential ingredient for life to an early Earth.
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