NASA and JAXA are about to launch a new satellite that can see through storms, tracking rain and snow around the globe better than any previous observatory. The Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory is scheduled to lift off from Japan on Feb. 27th.

The GPM mission can be used enhance the NES resources:

  • NES Lesson: Weather and Climate: Satellite Meteorology – Students use authentic data from geostationary satellites to detect and monitor forest fires and biomass burning. Students use the data to monitor the planet and identify urban heat islands.
  • NES Lesson: Electromagnetic Spectrum: Remote Sensing Ices on Mars – Students analyze data collected by Mars spacecraft using three different forms of electromagnetic energy — visible light, infrared, and gamma rays — to investigate the composition and distribution of ices at the high-latitude regions of Mars.
  • NASA Now: Climate Change: Sea Level Rise – Learn about the connection between oceans and global climate change. Find out why NASA measures greenhouse gases and how we detect ocean levels from space.


Professional Development Web Seminar: Electromagnetic Spectrum: Remote Sensing Ices on Mars

Professional Development Web Seminar

NASA Explorer Schools project and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute professional development Web seminar for teachers of grades 8-12 on Oct. 4, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. EDT. Learn how to use authentic NASA mission data to investigate the composition and distribution of ices in the high-latitude regions of Mars through analysis of visible light, infrared light and gamma rays. The seminar includes information about a unique student extension activity, where students access a free computer simulation illustrating how gamma rays are used to determine the chemical composition of Mars.

For more information and to register online, visit

Link to the NES Virtual Campus home page.

Gamma Ray Burst Lesson

NASA Explorer Schools educator Joseph Molyson and his students at Houston County High School completed a Gamma Ray Burst Education Unit where students plot high-energy gamma-ray bursts. This is a great activity for 11th- and 12th-graders in astronomy or physics class. The unit may be done as an extension activity for the NES lesson, Electromagnetic Spectrum: Remote Sensing Ices on Mars.

To download a copy of Molyson¹s lesson, go to