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Early Observations, from Telescopes to Spacecraft: Ancient Astronomers / Modern Tools
Educational Resources


Type Link Description
Downloadable Product Traditions of the Sun This site features slideshows, books, links, and information about the ancestral Native Americans in New Mexico and the ancient Maya in the Yucatan, and their understanding of the active Sun, and its importance to them -- and, to us.
Images Sun-Earth Image Gallery This site includes images from around the world of ancient buildings, observatories and rock formations with astronomical alignments, such as El Karnak, Chaco Canyon and Angkor Wat.
Vodcast/ Podcast NASA Connect -- Ancient Observatories: Timeless Knowledge The first video segment explains the foundations of astronomy, the seasons and the how the Earth moves relative to the Sun. The second segment explains how the height of the Sun relates to the growing seasons and the length of daylight, and how ancient Egyptian and Greek cultures used astronomy in their lives. The third segment shows how the Navajo used structures to track the Sun in the sky. The fourth segment describes the ancient Mayan civilization and their accomplishments.
Animation Hubble Space Telescope Slews The Hubble Space Telescope is pointing north at a blank patch of sky above the Big Dipper. Next, shown in orbit, Hubble is slewing to point at the southern skies in the direction of the constellation Tucana, near the south celestial pole. This is an artist's conception, and not a view from the Hubble Space Telescope.
Interactive SunWatchers Through Time This graphic interactive has brief descriptions of various solar observers from 3000 BC to the 1990s.
Interactives Make a Mission Design your own cosmic bridges, as you build a spacecraft to explore the planet Mercury.
Interactives Telescopes from the Ground Up Explore the history of telescopes, from Galileo to NASA's Great Observatories.
Interactives Build Your Own Space Mission This online game allows students to design their explorer, build their spacecraft and study a planet or moon in our solar system. It blends kid-friendly graphics with real space images.
Animation A Day on Mercury Since Mercury rotates exactly three times for every two orbits, a day on Mercury would be quite different from a typical Earth day. In this animation you can experience this typical Mercurian day.
Animation The Sun on Mercury Because Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun, the Sun would appear much larger than it does on Earth. In addition, Mercury's elliptical orbit is more elongated than that of Earth, so the planet's distance from the Sun changes dramatically over the course of each orbit; the Sun would appear to grow larger as Mercury gets closer to it, and to shrink as the planet moves farther away.
Network Solar System Ambassadors The Solar System Ambassadors is a nation-wide network of volunteers who are trained to communicate the excitement of NASA's space exploration missions and recent discoveries to people in their local communities.
Network Museum Alliance The Museum Alliance is a network of museums, science centers, planetariums, observatories, parks, NASA visitor centers, nature centers, zoos, and aquariums that bring current NASA science and technology to their visitors through professional development of their staff and access to NASA staff, content and materials.
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Last Updated: 16 Apr 2014