My kid is home from school while I’m writing this, but he’s been busy at a computer across the room for I think a full hour now. And every couple seconds he says: “WOOOOOOW that is like the COOLEST thing I have EVER SEEEEEN! Oh my OH WOW!”
(Yes, that is an actual quote.)
Sometimes he’s right and I look, too, so maybe it’s not the best way to get work done when your kids are off, but I think everybody needs to know about these NASA websites. He’s exploring the solar system site right now, and when he gets bored I’ll turn him on to exoplanets. (Exoplanets are the chunks of rock orbiting other stars; the solar system includes everything orbiting our sun.)
On the solar system site, you can virtually spin the planets around to see what they look like from every angle (Jupiter has little light-colored storms called “pearls” on its underside!) and read fun facts about their features (the chixulub crater on Earth is three miles deep, he tells me). You can see the internals of some of the planets and objects. Did you know Pluto may have a water ocean surrounding its core? I do now.
The exoplanet site is a little different. You get to virtually step onto each planet’s surface and have a look around. Want a souvenir? Download one of the snazzy vintage-styled travel posters to perfectly round out your virtual vacation.