TIDES AND SATELLITES
THE MOON AND TOPEX/POSEIDON
Earth Science Lesson for grades 9-12
by Fidela A. Robertson
dedicated to Anka Montgomery, teacher and mentor
What do you see below? Portions of planet earth, of course!
The image above was taken from a Telesat satellite on 26 May 1997, 2:30 PST.
The image above is a view from satellite AO-10 taken at an altitude of 31698 km above the earth at 17 degrees 35 ' S, 157 degrees 34' E on 8 May 1997, 5:37 UTC.
If you would like to take a picture of earth from one of the many satellites which are circling the earth, click on the earth icon below. After you reach the link, click on "map of the earth" to reach the site that you see pictured above. You may want to spend some time exploring the features of this "Earth and Moon View" web site. Be sure to scroll to the very bottom of the image where you have some options to zoom in, select a satellite, select coordinates, just to name a few of the interactive options. Okay, off you go into space!
TOPEX/Poseidon is a mission which was launched in August of 1992 and
will continue until September of1998. The TOPEX/Poseidon satellite is continually
sending data to the earth which has allowed scientists to develop global
maps of tides everywhere in the deep seas. These maps are accurate within
2 cm. This data is helping scientists to understand the role that the oceans
play in global climate.
In the illustration above, you see the TOPEX/Poseidon satellite orbiting
The image that you see up above was compiled from the data being sent to earth by TOPEX/Poseidon. This is a topographical map of the oceans.
In this online lesson, you will learn about the role the moon and sun plays in tidal formation; you will use interactive online databases to gather information about tides around the world, and you will access real-time data from satellites, such as the TOPEX/Poseidon.
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