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Viewing entries tagged 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
Hits: 18099

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.

 

 

 

Hits: 17253

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/

Hits: 21352

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: 16028

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: 11347

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

Interactive Scale of the Universe

Posted by Jennifer
Jennifer
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on Wednesday, 29 February 2012
in Images that speak for themselves


interactive scaleTeachable Moment:
This interactive website allows kids and adults to explore the scale of the universe from 10 27th power to 10to the -35th power. I love the fact that objects of the same scale are compared. Who knew that Halley's Comet was about the size of Mount Everest? Or that Ganymede was larger than Mars?

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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!

 

Hits: 10987

Everyday Mysteries: Fun science facts from the Library of Congress

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Tuesday, 09 August 2011
in Online Resources

Teachable Moment: Great little collection of fun science questions....

Did you ever wonder why a camel has a hump? If you can really tell the weather by listening to the chirp of a cricket? Or why our joints make popping sounds? These questions deal with everyday phenomena that we often take for granted, but each can be explained scientifically.

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Strange Magnetic Bubbles at the Edge of the Solar System

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Tuesday, 28 June 2011
in Videos worth watching

Teachable Moment: The Voyager spacecraft have been in space for >30 years and are still enlightening scientists with novel discoveries.  This video synthesizes how recent data from the craft has made astronomers rethink the outer reaches of our solar system.

Hits: 104650

Solar System Scope

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Saturday, 30 April 2011
in Online Resources

Solar SystemBeautifully rendered interactive 3d journey of the Solar system through your web browser.

References: http://www.solarsystemscope.com/

Tags: Astronomy
Hits: 22020

The Space Shuttle

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Wednesday, 20 April 2011
in Videos worth watching

Space ShuttleTeachable Moment: This 14 minute documentary produced by NASA on the occasion of the 2011 retirement of the program, puts into amazing perspective the impact and scope of the shuttle program after 30 years of flights.  
It also provides a window into the process of development of novel programs... down to the detail of early models being pulled by a souped up Pontiac!
And in a stroke of brilliance, William Shatner is the narrator...

Space Math @ NASA

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Thursday, 07 April 2011
in Online Resources

Space Math at NASATeachable Moment: Most applied math problems are simply dressed up word problems but don't make the math any more interesting or engaging.  This web site teases out math problems from current events, press releases, and NASA missions.

SpaceMath@NASA introduces students to the use of mathematics in todays scientific discoveries. Through press releases and other articles, we explore how many kinds of mathematics skills come together in exploring the universe.

References: http://spacemath.gsfc.nasa.gov/

National Science Digital Library

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Thursday, 07 April 2011
in Online Resources

NSDL LogoThe National Science Digital Library (NSDL) is a national network of digital envirionments dedicated to advancing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teaching and learning for all learners, in both formal and informal settings. NSDL is the locus of activity for the National STEM Distributed Learning program.

NSDL receives the majority of its funding through the generous support of NSF's Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE), Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR).

NSDL advances teaching and learning by providing:

Hits: 14536

Why don't planets twinkle as stars do?

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Friday, 01 April 2011
in Great Explanations

Teachable Moment: This thought experiment can be used at so many levels.  At its core, it teaches basic concepts of astronomy but it also can be used to explore the properties of light and even of the concept of infinity. As the distance of the object approaches infinity, the impact of the atmosphere is stronger and stronger.

Stars twinkle. Planets shine steadily. Why?

Stars always twinkle because they’re so far away from Earth that, even through large telescopes, they appear only as pinpoints. And it’s easy for Earth’s atmosphere to disturb the pinpoint light of a star.

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Turtles all the way down

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Thursday, 31 March 2011
in Great Explanations

Teachable Moment: What do we really know and how solid is the foundation of that knowledge?  That's the fundamental question of all science and, as Hawking so brilliantly realized, the turtle story makes this question tangible and fun to think about.

In Stephen Hawking's 1988 book A Brief History of Time, he starts with the following story:

A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: "What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise." The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, "What is the tortoise standing on?" "You're very clever, young man, very clever", said the old lady. "But it's turtles all the way down!"

References: Hawking, Stephen (1988). A Brief History of Time. Bantam Books. ISBN 978-0553053401.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turtles_all_the_way_down#cite_note-0

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SMART Exchange

Posted by Diego Fonstad
Diego Fonstad
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on Tuesday, 15 March 2011
in Online Resources

SMART Exchange LogoFind lesson plans for the SMART boards and connect with teachers.

References: http://exchange.smarttech.com/

Hits: 36302