Label: Earth

October 7, 2014

Those of us who live in the Northeastern U.S. are very lucky in the Autumn, because the mix of deciduous trees in our forests and countryside make for a magnificent show as the leaves turn in August.

The change is so distinct that it can even be seen from space! This is our Cool Photo of the Week, taken by NASA’s Terra satellite, which is orbiting about 438 miles (705 kilometers) above Earth. You can see the Great Lakes in this photo, along with the changing autumn leaves.


Have you ever wondered why the leaves turn colors in the fall? Leaves stop producing chlorophyll when the days get shorter and the temperatures are colder. Chloropyll, which enables plants to turn sunlight into energy, has a green tint. So, when the chlorophyll is gone, the other colors in the leaves become visible. That’s why we see what is know as "fall colors."

Photos: Mary Terriberry/Shutterstock, NASA 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Cool Photo, Earth, Seasons   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 24, 2013


For our final April Writing Wednesday in April of 2013, we’re going to ask you to write six words that describe this magnificent photograph of Earth.

The electric lights outlining the continents show you that we’re seeing our own Western Hemisphere. What do you think about when you see this photograph? What words come to mind when you think about the millions of tiny lights visible from space when darkness falls? What does seeing our Earth at night inspire you to write?

Click the yellow “Comments” button below and give us your six best, most descriptive words to describe our home planet as April, the Earth Day month, comes to a close.



Photo: NASA Earth Observatory Image by Robert Simmon



Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Writing Wednesday, space, Earth, Earth Day 2013   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 22, 2013

The commander of the International Space Station, astronaut Chris Hadfield, sent down an Earth Day greeting from the International Space Station this morning. "Good Morning, World, and Happy Earth Day from orbit!" he wrote from his Twitter account (@Cmdr_Hadfield) on Monday. "One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."


He also sent this photograph, which he says is the robotic arm of the space station giving us a "thumbs up" for Earth Day.

The first Canadian commander of the space station loves taking photographs and videos of Earth. Commander Hadfield says that life on the ISS has changed his view of the Earth.

"If anything my respect and my concern and my love for the Earth has only been deepened by [having this] new perspective on the planet." 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: space, Earth, Space Travel, Earth Day 2013, ISS   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 2, 2013



Hooray! SEYMOUR SIMON’S EXTREME OCEANS is being published today by Chronicle Books.


In honor of publication day, we decided to choose our "Cool Photo of the Week" from this amazing book. This is a photograph of the biggest fish in the ocean, the whale shark. Do you see, at the top right in the photo, the size of the human snorkeler compared to the whale shark?

A whale shark can grow to be 50 feet (15 meters) long and can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds (36,288 kilograms). It has a huge mouth and approximately 3,000 very small teeth. Fortunately, the snorkeler has nothing to fear from this huge fish, which does not have much use for its tiny teeth. The whale shark swims with its mouth wide open to collect seawater, then pushes the water out through its gills and eats the small sea animals that are trapped inside its mouth.

Barbara A. Ward, writing in IRA’s Reading Today wrote of EXTREME OCEANS: "The text and photographs in this engaging nonfiction title are sure to appeal to middle grade readers, especially those attracted to anything extreme, in this case, ocean extremes. The book contains twelve short chapters that explore oceans that are extremely warm and those that are extremely cold as well as the life-threatening enormous waves and tides that sweep in from the ocean’s depths so swiftly. In his usual straightforward style replete with interesting details, this nonfiction maven also covers tsunamis, hurricanes, and sea creatures so incredibly dangerous that no diver wants to encounter them, even briefly. Even those who know plenty about the world’s oceans will still be able to add to that knowledge after reading this photograph-filled book. It has an ocean of interesting facts for readers to share with others."

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(2) Comments  •   Labels: New Books, Animals, Cool Photo, Oceans, Earth Science Books, Earth, Earth Day 2013   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 1, 2013

I love this poem, from an anthology that I published a number of years ago. Actually, this is prose that I adapted from WALDEN, written by the great American author, philosopher and naturalist, Henry David Thoreau. I think these lines scan beautifully as poetry, don’t you?

This whole earth which we inhabit

is but a point in space.

How far apart, think you,

dwell the two most distant inhabitants of yonder star,

the breadth of whose disk 

cannot be appreciated by our instruments?

Why should I feel lonely? 

Is not our planet in the Milky Way? 


Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Earth, Earth Day 2013, poetry   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 1, 2013

Today we begin our month-long Earth Day 2013 coverage on the Seymour Science blog. This month we are committing to Meatless Mondays (do you know why that helps reduce CO2 emissions? We will write about that next Monday). We will also be measuring our carbon footprints, suggesting fun and valuable projects that you can do to help protect our environment, and simply celebrating the magnificent beauty of our planet home.

We look forward to your comments throughout the month of April. Tell us what you are doing to celebrate Earth Day in your home, school or community. We hope that you will make it Earth Day, EVERY day, not just in April, but throughout the year.


Photo: "Frog Dancing after Rain" by Shikhei goh

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(2) Comments  •   Labels: Conservation, Environment, Earth, Earth Day 2013, Frogs   •  Permalink (link to this article)

February 6, 2013

Good morning, and welcome to Writing Wednesday!

Today, we’re going to compare and contrast two pieces of writing by Seymour Simon. In each of these excerpts he is writing about Earth’s atmosphere, but the way he writes each of them is quite different.

Your Assignment: Read both of the pieces of Seymour Simon writing below, and then write a paragraph or two about how these pieces of writing are alike and how they are different. Some questions you might ask yourself as you read:

  • Who is the audience for each piece of writing?
  • What facts does he include in each piece to describe the atmosphere?
  • What kind of descriptive words does he use in each piece? How are they the same, or different?
  • Is the tone of voice the same or different in each of them? (Try reading each of them aloud to think about this)
  • What photographs did he choose to illustrate each piece of writing? Is one more effective than the other?
  • How about the design of the pages? Do they look similar? Different? In what ways?

If you would like to post your writing for others to see, you can click on the yellow "Comments" link at the bottom of the article. Happy writing!




From EARTH: OUR PLANET IN SPACE. Simon & Schuster, 1984/2003. 

























Posted by: Liz Nealon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Writing Wednesday, Earth Science Books, Earth, CompareContrast   •  Permalink (link to this article)

October 5, 2012


If you haven’t yet had a chance to read my new book, SEYMOUR SIMON’S EXTREME EARTH RECORDS, you can check out some of the powerful photographs and extreme facts in this new slideshow on the Huffington Post Book Blog. 

Which of the seven Extreme Earth Records in this slideshow do you think is the most interesting, beautiful or surprising? 

Click here to view!

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: New Books, Cool Photo, Earth Science Books, Earth, Extreme Earth   •  Permalink (link to this article)

August 29, 2012

Imagine exploring the most extreme parts of our amazing planet - trekking through the driest desert, climbing the snowiest mountaintops, and diving to the deepest regions of the ocean floor.

Published today by Chronicle Books, Seymour Simon’s newest book, EXTREME EARTH RECORDS, investigates Earth’s biggest, smallest, deepest, and coldest environments, animals, plants and most severe weather. These mind-bending facts and photographs invite readers on an exciting and sometimes unbelievable, scientific exploration of Earth’s most amazing records!

Here’s an excerpt from a section in the book, about the Highest Place on Earth: Mt. Everest.



More than 4,000 people have tried to climb the mountain but fewer than 700 have actually reached the summit. Mt. Everest is dangerous; approximately 150 people have died on the slopes of the mountain. Besides the lack of oxygen and the winds, Everest is also very cold. Temperatures often drop to -100 degrees F. Even on a nice summer day, temperatures are well below zero. The climb is also very difficult because men and women lose their footing on the unstable snow and ice. Climbers often use aluminum ladders to go up and down the icy sides. 

Look for Seymour Simon’s EXTREME EARTH RECORDS in bookstores, and on and, starting today!

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: New Books, Cool Photo, Earth Science Books, Earth   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 18, 2012


Good morning, and welcome to Writing Wednesday, where every week there is a new opportunity to publish your creative writing on the Seymour Science blog. This week, in honor of Earth Day, we are giving you a sneak preview of Seymour Simon’s upcoming book, SEYMOUR SIMON’S EXTREME EARTH RECORDS! After you read this excerpt, we’re going to ask you to do your own descriptive writing, and imagine what it would be like if you could visit the Coldest Place on Earth! 





     When you step off the plane onto the rocky ice, you will immediately struggle with challenges that will last anywhere from one to eight weeks, as you acclimate yourself to the coldest place on Earth, Vostok Research Station in Antarctica.

     Vostok Station is a lonely, windblown outpost 621 miles (1,000 kilometers) from the South Pole. It holds the record for the lowest recorded temperature on Earth, -128.6ºF (-89.2ºC), recorded in July 1983. Twice a year, tractor-train (a train of tractor trucks) expeditions take as long as a month to crawl dangerously over the cracked, icy landscape carrying food and supplies to about a dozen Russian, American, and French scientists who live there during the winter conducting a variety of experiments.


Your assignment: Read the excerpt above from Seymour Simon’s new book, and think about what it would be like to be at the Vostok Research Station. How would you feel? What would you see around you? Or hear all around you? Write at least three sentences that use your own words to describe a visit to the Coldest Place on Earth

When you are finished writing, click on the yellow "Comments" at the bottom of this post to enter your writing!


Note to Educators: Today’s Writing Wednesday exercise is designed to use in support of CCSS Writing Anchor Standard #9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.


Posted by: Liz Nealon

(3) Comments  •   Labels: Common Core, New Books, Writing Wednesday, Earth Day 2012, Earth   •  Permalink (link to this article)

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