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Diego Fonstad

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Blog entries tagged in Astronomy

NASA's OVATION Auroral Forecast

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Sunday, 17 June 2012
in Images that speak for themselves

OVATIONTeachable Moment: The next time you hear about the sun unleashing a solar flare, solar wind a.k.a. a CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) check out this nifty web site to see if you'll have an aurora in your area.  Oh, and if you want to hear about future events, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

From the NASA Web Site:

"OVATION: An empirical model of the intensity of the aurora. The model uses solar wind conditions and the IMF at the L1 point as inputs.

The Display: Shows the intensity and location of the aurora as expected for the time shown at the bottom of the map. This forecast is based on current solar wind conditions and the average time for the solar wind to propagate from the ACE satellite at L1 to Earth.

The model produces an estimate of the intensity of the aurora. In this product a linear relationship between intensity and viewing probability is assumed. This relationship was validated by comparison with data from the UVI instrument on the NASA POLAR Satellite .

The sunlit side of Earth is indicated by the lighter blue of the ocean. The sub-solar point is also shown as a yellow dot but only if the sub-solar point is in the view of the choosen image. The day-night line or terminator is shown as a yellow line. Note that the aurora will not be visible during daylight hours and it may be an hour or more before sunrise or after sunset that the aurora can be seen from the ground."

Reference: http://helios.swpc.noaa.gov/ovation/

Tags: Astronomy
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NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Friday, 15 June 2012
in Images that speak for themselves

Teachable Moment: With new telescopes like Kepler and Hubble capturing stunning images of objects innumerable light years away, it is surprising to realize how little we knew about our closest neightbor: The Moon.  NASA's LOA using the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) has captured stunning images of the moon and significantly enhanced our understanding of it's surface.

 

Tags: Astronomy
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Measuring the Universe

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Thursday, 14 June 2012
in Videos worth watching

measure the universe250Teachable Moment: This brilliant little video made by the Royal Observatory in Greenwich covers the concepts of parallax, doppler and red-shift and shows how they are all used together to measure the universe.

 

 

 

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MIT +K12

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Saturday, 09 June 2012
in Online Resources

Teachable Moment: Sometimes the best person to teach a challenging concept is someone who has recently learned it and wants to share their own excitment of the discovery. I can't wait to see this video library grow.

 

MIT has launched an initiative encouraging its students to produce short videos teaching basic concepts in science and engineering. The videos — aimed at younger students, in grades from kindergarten through high school — will be accessible through a dedicated MIT website and YouTube channel. A subset of the videos will also be available on Khan Academy, a popular not-for-profit educational site founded by an MIT alumnus.

References: http://k12videos.mit.edu/

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How Big is Space

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Sunday, 25 March 2012
in Images that speak for themselves

Teachable Moment: Sometimes a static drawing... at scale... is more powerful than a dynamic image or movie.  This is a great graphic for teaching the magnitude of Space.

And here at Future we have a hard time thinking of a question bigger than: how big is space?

So, we set about trying to illustrate it.

Be warned: the resulting picture is big. Very big.

Tags: Astronomy
Hits: 16260

The Stars as Viewed from the International Space Station

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Sunday, 18 March 2012
in Videos worth watching

International Space Station Star ViewTeachable Moment: Beautiful perspective of the stars as seen from the Space Station.

Timelapse videos depicting the stars from low earth orbit, as viewed from the International Space Station. Images edited using Adobe Lightroom with some cropping to make the stars the focal point of each shot, and with manipulation of the contrast to bring out the stars a bit more.

 

Tags: Astronomy
Hits: 11512

Evolution of the Moon

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Friday, 16 March 2012
in Videos worth watching

Evolution of the MoonFrom year to year, the moon never seems to change. Craters and other formations appear to be permanent now, but the moon didn't always look like this. Thanks to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, we now have a better look at some of the moon's history. Learn more in this video!

 

 

Tags: Astronomy

Science Buddies

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Thursday, 09 February 2012
in Online Resources

Teachable Moment: Great resource for ideas for science projects.

Science Buddies mission is to help students from all walks of life to build their literacy in science and technology so they can become productive and engaged citizens in the 21st century. We have created personalized learning tools, over 15,000 pages of scientist-developed subject matter (including experiments based on the latest academic research), and an online community of science professionals who volunteer to advise students. We also provide resources to support parents and teachers as they guide students doing hands-on science projects. Representing much more than a website, Science Buddies quickly and efficiently matches students with the information that will hold their interest and answer their questions. We provide a bridge between scientists and students, giving students access to current scientific research and simultaneously giving scientists a way to reach out to young people interested in their fields.

References: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/

Comet crashes into Sun... did it cause a CME???

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Wednesday, 19 October 2011
in Images that speak for themselves

Teachable Moment: Great visual of a comet hitting the sun with an in depth explanation of what we see.

Very interesting event October 1!

Posted on the Spaceweather.com site is a dramatic video of a large comet crashing into the Sun and nearly immediately a major Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) blew off the left side.  You can see this video at:

http://www.spaceweather.com/images2011/03oct11/cometandcme.gif?PHPSESSID=tvcgvkmb666e1k717oadp68314

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The "Dance your PhD Contest" 2010

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Tuesday, 13 September 2011
in Videos worth watching

Teachable Moment: Thesis defense?  How about a Thesis dance!  I don't know what surprises me more... that someone came up with this idea, that multiple people submitted... or that there are some real gems in here!

 

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