ESO 1. Science

1. The Earth in the Universe

Astronomy Visual Dictionary.

Definitions, images and pronunciation for almost everything in celestial bodies, astronomical observations and astronautics.

The Universe, the galaxies, the stars, the Solar System, and more.

Living in space.

20 things you probably didn't know about living in space.


An historic timeline of Mankind's awareness and discovery of other planets. A most excellent resource by NASA.

We choose the Moon.

2009 was the 40th anniversary of the first lunar landing. This superb website was set up to commemorate that historic event. The mission is recreated in precise detail right from pre-launch with actual voiceovers. You can change the views and also click on hotspots to view related media galleries. The site is divided into 11 sections where you can watch photos, videos, and other archival content.

Apollo 11.

Google Earth Tour that describes the landing, moon walks, and the return to space of Apollo 11 with excellent visual aids and great narrations.

The Apollo missions on the Wikipedia.

Don't forget to check the links to the Apollo 11 and Apollo 13 missions.

The top 10 failed NASA missions.

A look back at the top 10 American space missions that didn't make it.

The International Space Station turns 10.

A great collection of 32 high quality photos of the IIS, compiled for its tenth birthday.

The atlas of the Universe.

Nine maps, the first one showing the nearest stars. The others slowly expand out until we have reached the scale of the entire visible Universe.

Powers of ten.

A classic movie that shows the amazingly huge size of the Universe parting from a small square one metre long.

Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar 2008.

A collection of 25 high quality photos of the Universe from the amazing Hubble Space Telescope.

Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar 2009.

25 commented photographs, some old, some new, to celebrate the traditional western Christmas Season.

Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar 2010.

Third annual Hubble Space Telescope imagery Advent Calendar, with 25 new stunning photos.

Hubble telescope image tours.

Some of the most important and famous images taken by the Hubble explained in detail. Visiting this site is a must.

Hubble telescope picture album.

The entire collection of the images taken by the Hubble classified in categories.

Sky Map.

Ongoing project that features a high resolution sky map with celestial objects that are outside our solar system mapped out.

Observe the view of the night sky from the same location over a year.

Visualize an animation that shows how the night sky changes along the year at Exploring Earth online book.

Neave Planetarium.

Simulated planetarium that allows you to observe stars, constellations and planets from any specific location.

One thousand billion worlds.

360-degree panoramic image, covering the whole of the vault of heaven.

The end of a star.

Animation showing the processes that take place at the end of the life of a high mass star.

Earth may soon have a second sun.

The red supergiant star Betelgeuse is getting ready to go supernova, and when it does Earth will have a front-row seat.

Solar System Scope.

Fly around the Solar System's planets and explore the constellations in 3D and real time with this excellent interactive model.

Observe the origin of the Solar System.

Visualize an animation showing the origin of the Solar System from a nebula at Exploring Earth online book.

Wikijunior Solar System.

Wikipedia's Wikijunior online book on the Solar System. Comprehensive, aimed to kids, but still unfinished.

Wikipedia: Solar System.

Wikipedia's article on the Solar System. Very up to date.

NASA: Solar System exploration.

Full information on the Solar System offered by the scientists from the NASA.

Around the Solar System.

Collected here are 32 images gathered from around our solar system, at scales ranging from mere centimeters to millions of kilometers.

Catalog of spaceborne imaging.

Images of the Solar System bodies taken by the NASA missions.

Ten mysteries of the Solar System.

Some of the most intriguing facts in our stellar system.

The Sun in

Sun's structure, energy and influence on the Earth.

The boiling, erupting Sun.

Beautiful photo taken by astrophotographer Alan Friedman that shows sunspots, giant convection cells and prominences silhouetted against the sky.

The Big Picture: the Sun.

A collection of some of the most amazing photos ever taken of our star.

Revolving planets.

Amazing animation showing the movements of the planets from different perspectives.


Sensational images of Saturn showing the ringed planet in incredible detail.

The Big Picture: Saturn at equinox.

During the equinox, the sunlight casts long shadows across Saturn's rings, highlighting previously known phenomena and revealing a few never-before seen images.

The Big Picture: Martian skies.

A wonderful selection of some of the best martian images ever made.

Landscapes of Mars.

Stunning satellite images of the Red Planet reveal avalanches, sand dunes and more.

Explore Mars now.

Landing on Mars is an inevitability. This website simulates a tour through the Martian landscape and a human colonized habitat. The walkthrough is a lesson in the science, technology, and design challenges that will be required to land man on the Red Planet.

Examine evidence of Earth turning about an axis.

Visualize an animation that demonstrates that the Earth rotates around itself at Exploring Earth online book.

Explore a model of Earth's daily rotation.

Visualize an animation that shows how the Earth rotates around itself at Exploring Earth online book.

Investigation: What time is it?

A great series of activities to learn why and where it is daytime or night-time in any given moment.

Earth view.

Want to know how the Earth looks like right now?

Explore a model of Earth's yearly revolution around the Sun.

Visualize an animation showing how the Earth revolves around the Sun at Exploring Earth online book.

The Seasons in Geography4kids.

Learn how the relative position of the Earth to the Sun conditions the climate and the daylength.

Examine Earth from a new perspective.

Observe the Earth's maps of temperatures, volcanoes, earthquakes, water vapor and more, at Exploring Earth online book.

Observe a visual model of Earth's spheres.

Visualize the Earth system as a set of four overlapping and interacting spheres, at Exploring Earth online book.

Investigation: How are Earth's spheres interacting?

A great series of activities to study how the four spheres of the Earth interact, at Exploring Earth online book.

Ten things you don't know about the Earth.

Fantastic article that unravels some of the most significant facts about our planet... or did you already know that the Everest is not the biggest mountain?

Gravity satellite yields 'Potato Earth' view.

The geoid is the Earth depicted according to the gravty of its surface. ESA's GOCE satellite shows it with an unprecedented accuracy.

June 19, 240 B.C.: the Earth is round, and it's this big.

Those were the great news more than 2,200 years ago. They took a time to spread around the globe, though.

Google Moon.

If you are interested in the Moon or the Apollo landings, Google currently has a wonderful educational tool regarding the Moon that will interest everyone.

How the Moon works.

Videos, images and lots of info to learn almost everything about our only natural satellite.

Phases of the Moon.

The phases of the Moon explained through diagrams.

Images of the Moon.

Images of the Moon taken by the NASA missions.

Huge panoramic picture of the Moon (I).

Taken by the Apollo 12 crew, in the second manned mission to the Moon ever.

Huge panoramic picture of the Moon (II).

Taken by the Apollo 17 crew just a few days before the man left the Moon for the last time.

2. Matter

Matter in Chem4kids.

States of matter, mixtures, solutions and more.

International System of Units (I).

Definitions and pronunciation for some of the units of the SI at the Visual Dictionary.

International System of Units (II).

More definitions and pronunciation for some of the units of the SI at the Visual Dictionary.

Measuring devices.

Measuring devices of temperature, time, weight, thickness, distance, length and angles in the Visual Dictionary.

Units of measurement.

Learn the most widely used units (and its abbreviations and equivalences) for area, length, load, mass, speed, time and volume.


Images, definitions and pronunciation of matter components, chemical elements and laboratory equipment in the Visual Dictionary.

How many protons, neutrons, and electrons are in common elements?

Visualize how atoms are related to common objects at Exploring Earth online book.

Can you name the elements of the Periodic Table?

Test how many names of chemical elements can you remember in 15 minutes.

Interactives: The Periodic Table.

Excellent advanced lesson on the Periodic Table and the structure of the atoms, with interactive activities.

Chemistry games.

Eight online games to teach you the chemical elements, periodic table, and more.

Periodic Table of the elements (I).

A very good Periodic Table to learn about the properties, occurrrence and the applications of every chemical element.

Periodic Table of the elements (II).

Another Periodic Table with good information about the structure of every chemical element, its name, its discovery and its utility.

Periodic Table of the elements (III).

In many different languages and with links to the Wikipedia articles on each one of the chemical elements.

Periodic Table of the elements in pictures.

This one presents, for every element of the Table, a picture of some object or material where the chemical element is present. Just great.

The Periodic Table of Videos.

Learn about the chemical elements by watching one video for each one of them. Awesome.

The chemical elements song.

An entertaining way to get to know their very strange names.

Examine 3-D models of common molecules.

Visualize common molecules at Exploring Earth online book.

Atoms in

Atoms, atomic particles, compounds and more.

Build an atom.

Build interactively your favourite atom. (You've got one, don't you?). Tip: hit the "Next" button to the bottom, scroll up, and then hit "Enter" in your keyboard consecutively to not no have to scroll vertically anymore.

How plastics work.

Plastics are everywhere. While you're reading this, there are probably numerous plastic items within your reach (your computer, your pen, your phone). A plastic is any material that can be shaped or molded into any form. Some are naturally occurring, but most are man-made. Learn more about them.

How iron and steel work.

If you had to name the technologies that had the greatest effect on modern society, the refining of the heavy metal element iron would have to be near the top. Iron makes up a huge array of modern products, especially the carbon-rich one, which we call steel. Learn more.

Zoom into steel.

View the inner structure of steel, progressively magnified.

Zoom into brass.

View the inner structure of brass, progressively magnified.

Zoom into aluminium.

View the inner structure of aluminium, progressively magnified.

Zoom into carbon fiber.

View the inner structure of carbon fiber, progressively magnified.

Zoom into concrete.

View the inner structure of concrete, progressively magnified.

Zoom into a clay pot.

View the inner structure of a clay pot, progressively magnified.

Estimated time left for metals.

Giant chart showing that a looming future without underground metal reserves is not too far away. With additional charts about the rates of consumption and recycling of many widely used metals.

3. The Atmosphere and the Weather

Interactives: Weather.

Full lesson on the weather with good coverage of the following topics: atmosphere, water cycle, storms, ice and snow, forecasting and climate change.

The Atmosphere in

Structure, pressure, circulation, greenhouse effect and more.

Composition of clean air.

Learn about ten gases present in the clean air.

Steam powered can crusher.

Watch a simple experiment that demonstrates the existence and the power of air pressure, as well as one of its possible uses.

The weirdest clouds that you'll ever see.

Cloud formations such as the mammatus, the lenticulars or the so called ufo clouds, among others, are perfect examples of how intricate and different nature can be.

Weather and climates in

Factors that condition weather, measuring weather devices, seasons, and more.

The types of clouds in

Stratus, cirrus, nimbostratus and cumulus.

Forecasting the weather.

Website created by the Australian Government that explains in a clear language everything you may want to know about weather and its forecasting.

JetStream - Online School for Weather.

Simply everything you might want to know about the weather.

Interactive weather map.

Interactive animation to explain the main features of a typical weather map.

How meteorology works.

Learn how weather forecast was done in the past, is done today, and will be done in the future.

The sky from above.

Amazing images of clouds taken from the Space Shuttle Discovery.

Hurricanes, as seen from orbit.

Awesome photographs of hurricanes taken from various spacecrafts.

4. The Water and the Hydrosphere

Wikipedia: water portal.

All the information about water in the Wkipedia organized in one single place, with links, news, ideas and more. Also check the "Category:Water" link in the "Categories" section to access all the articles in the Wikipedia related to water.

Interactive questions and answers game.

A flash animated game with 25 questions about water. You have to choose from three possible answers, and the game lets you know instantly if you have the right answer.

The Hydrosphere in

Freshwater, groundwater, seawater, aquatic biomes and more.

Interactive water cycle.

A flash animated activity that lets you control the water cycle as you learn.

The great oceanic conveyor belt.

A very clear introduction to how marine currents work.

5 really weird things about water.

The most important molecule for Life is also the one that displays the most strange behaviour and properties. Learn about some of them.

5. The Earth's Crust, the Rocks and the Minerals

The Geosphere in

Structure, rocks, tectonics, eartquakes, volcanoes and more.

Observe common objects made of minerals.

Visualize common minerals and objects made of them at Exploring Earth online book.

Types of rocks in Geography4kids.

Learn the main features of the three types of rocks.

Observe how sediments are deposited.

Visualize the depositing of sediments in a sea-shore at Exploring Earth online book.

Observe clastic sedimentary rocks forming.

Visualize how a sedimentary rock is formed out of rock grains at Exploring Earth online book.

Observe igneous volcanic rocks forming.

Visualize how a basalt rock is formed after the cooling of lava at Exploring Earth online book.

Observe metamorphic rocks forming.

Visualize how a metamorphic rock is formed after heavy pressure at Exploring Earth online book.

6. Organization of Living Matter

Animal and plant cells.

Simple interactive activity to help you learn the main parts of a cell and their functions.

Chimpanzee scientific classification.

Use the left menu to browse through a wide number of animals and learn how they are classified.

7. Prokaryotes, Protozoa, Algae and Fungi

The Microbe Zoo.

Learn about all those microscopic critters that exist everywhere around us.

How extremophiles work.

What's your ideal environment? Sunny, 22ºC and a light breeze? How about living in nearly boiling water that's so acidic it eats through metal? Or residing in a muddy, oxygenless soup far saltier than any ocean? If you're an extremophile, that might sound perfect.

Colossal creature a humungous fungus.

Very good short intro to fungi, a kingdom that includes the largest known living being. The page contains a link to the audio of the article.

8. The Plant Kingdom

What tree is that?

Interactive animation that will help you train your tree-identifying skills by analysing a tree's main characteristics. It also contains an identification guide to most trees found in the U.S.A.

British trees.

Guide to 33 British native trees. Very good descriptions and clear photos.

Trees in Britain.

A pictorial guide for the identification of a selection of trees both native to Britain and naturalised. With a good number of photos for each species.

Dutch tree guide.

A wonderful site with lots of info about trees and how to identify them. The link takes you to a gallery of tree flowers, but you can use the left menu to access every other section.

15 eccentric endangered trees, plants, and flowers.

What these plants have in common is both rarity and uniqueness: they are incredible but also endangered.

How to press flowers and leaves.

Preparing your favorite flowers, weeds or grasses for pressing is not difficult. Once pressed correctly, they can be used on note cards, pictures, bookmarks, or anything that would look nice if decorated.

How to make a leaf rubbing.

Leaf rubbing or drawing is an excellent and kid-friendly nature craft. It's suitable for all ages and a great camp project.

9. The Animal Kingdom


A unique collection of thousands of videos, images and fact-files illustrating the world's species.

Natural worlds.

Monographic sections on wolfs, beetles and other extinct or alive animals.

Soundsnap: Animals.

Amazing collection of animal sounds, playable on-line and downloadable.

The Big Picture: Animal day.

A wonderful selection of 38 of the most beautiful and stunning images ever taken of the animal world. A must-see.

The Big Picture: Animals in the news.

From a minuscule frog to an albino whale, fluorescent fish to a deep-sea Chimera, collected here are a handful of photographs of animals and our interactions with them, as companions, caretakers, observers, hunters and stewards.

Is there anything cuter than this?

If you like animals, you'll just love this photo set.

Wildlife astonishing moments captured by photographers.

Another great photo set of the animal world.

Thousands of new species discovered on tiny island.

An expedition to a tiny island in the South Pacific's Republic of Vanatu has yielded hundreds of new species, including possibly 1000 new species of crab.

20 of the world's weirdest endangered species.

The ugly stepchildren of the animal kingdom don't get much attention compared to the perennial endangered animal favorites like pandas or polar bears. But there are hundreds more animal species on our planet that are critically threatened.

Amedee Coral Reef.

360º panoramic view in the Amedee Coral Reef in New Caledonia. Use the arrow keys of your keyboard to rotate the image, and the Shift and Control keys to zoom in and out.

How coral reefs work.

A good overall view on the world of coral reefs, with images and videos.

How the Great Barrier Reef works.

Learn about the most amazing system of coral reef in the world. With images and videos.

Do jellyfish have the deadliest venom in the world?

Jellyfish tend to strike inocent bathers with very painful toxins. Learn about it.

Insect morphology (I).

Nice insect anatomy scheme.

Zoom into a fly.

Reach the molecular level of a fruit fly by zooming in from its head to its chromosomes.

Ten amazing facts about bees.

Did you know how much honey does a honeybee make along its lifetime?

How cockroaches work.

Comprehensive overview on the anatomy and ecology of these little unwanted friends.

Bees and ants 'operate in teams'.

Bees and ants are true team players unlike other creatures who seek safety in numbers for selfish reasons, according to researchers.

World's longest insect discovered.

A recently identified stick insect, from the island of Borneo, almost the length of a human arm, is the world's longest insect.

The trickiest trap in Nature.

An spider special trick to fool its prey.

Weird fish with transparent head.

Startling photos and video of a recently discovered fish with transparent head.

A vast collection of high quality photos on some 1500 bird species of the world.

North American birds.

A visual guide to many of the U.S. most common birds: habitats, descriptions, songs, anatomy quizz, activities…

Kingfishers in action.

See how they court, mate, rear chicks and catch prey.

Clever New Caledonian crows can use three tools.

New Caledonian crows have given scientists yet another display of their tool-using abilities.

Blue stork surprises German villagers.

A blue stork is proving to be a tourist attraction in a German village. Puzzled bird watchers are unsure how it got its distinctive colour.

Mammals at

Learn about mammals of the world with this interactive species book. Lots of activities and profiles too.

How whales work.

Almost everything you have ever wanted to know about whales. With images and videos.

Is there a difference between monkeys and apes?

Lemurs, prosimians, anthropoids, monkeys, apes, hominids... Let's put a bit of order within the primates.

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