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Web Resources

Auroras: Paintings in the Sky
An introduction to mysterious and beautiful northern (and southern) lights. This site shows "What they look like", "Where you can see them" and "Why they happen"

An Educator's Guide to Sunspots
A one-page guide for educators on how to have their students observe sunspots. This site has good methods for constructing a solar projection to safely view the sun. From the Views of The Solar System, an educational web tour of our solar system.

The Galileo Project at Rice University
This web resource provides in-depth information on the life and science of Galileo, including excellent material on sunspots, the controversy between Galileo and the Church, and the development of the telescope.

Great Moments in The History of Solar Physics
A good summary of the early history of our evolving understanding of the sun, starting in 220 BC with the first mathematical attempt to calculate the distance from the earth to the sun, and ending in 1860 with the new uses of filtered photography to examine the sun.

The Solar Data Analysis Center
The Solar Data Analysis Center at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center has information on many solar research projects, and a fantastic archive of solar images, both past and current, including the SOHO eruptive prominence of the week.

Solar Timeline
A timeline of solar astronomy, starting with Galileo's observations of sunspots, maintained at Georgia State University.

The Stanford Solar Center
An amazingly detailed site, with pages and pages of information about the sun, sun-related activities and curriculum, sun images from the orbital SOHO telescope, and information about the work of Stanford's Solar Oscillations Investigation. This is one of the best sun sites out there.

Sunspots, Aurorae, and Magnetic Disturbances
This site, part of the Athena Earth and Space Science resource, offers a succinct and clear explanation of these various sun-earth phenomena.

Today's Space Weather
Presented by the Space Environment Center, one of NOAA's research laboratories, this site provides a daily update on levels of solar activity, and the intensities of solar emissions reaching earth.

The YOHKOH Data Archive
This site has background information and a complete data archive of images from the Japanese orbital solar telescope YOHKOH.

The Ever-Changing Sun causes Space Weather
Presented by the Space Science Institute, this page provides a detailed look at the ever-changing physics of the sun, including solar flares and the corona, and how those events create "space weather" which can affect us here on earth.

Books & Publications

Crowe, M.J. 1990, Theories of the World from Antiquity to the Copernican Revolution, Dover.

Drake, S. 1978, Galileo at work: his scientific biography, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press [1995 Dover reprint]

Galileo, G. 1632, Dialogues concerning the two chief world systems, trans. S. Drake, 2nd edition 1967, University of California Press.

Galileo, G. 1613, Letters on Sunspots [in S. Drake (trans.) 1957, Ideas and Opinions of Galileo, Doubleday].

Hoskin, M. 1997 (ed.), The Cambridge illustrated History of Astronomy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hufbauer, K. 1991, Exploring the Sun, The Johns Hopkins University Press.

King, Henry C., 1955, The History of the Telescope, Canada, General Publishing Co., (Dover reprint 1979).

Meadows, A.J. 1970, Early Solar Physics, Pergamon Press.

Mitchell, W.M. 1916, The history of the discovery of the solar spots, in Popular Astronomy.

Pannekoek, A. 1961, A History of Astronomy, New York: John Wiley Interscience.

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Observatory  1998 The Exploratorium.