Day 135: Geologic History; Solomon Tsunami April 2, 2007Posted by Admin in Geology, Science in the News.
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What do the terms Eon, Era, and Period have in common? They are all terms that describe varying lengths of time in the geologic history of the Earth. We examined these in great detail today after defining “Geologic Timeline” as the quantification of the history of the Earth into discreet intervals of time.
Following the Geologic Timeframe terminology notes, we took a look at Google Maps and examined the area of the latest Tsunami that occured over the weekend, killing more than a dozen people on the Solomon Islands.
Day 122: Lunar Eclipse Photos; Review March 5, 2007Posted by Admin in Astronomy, Geology, Homework, Science in the News, Test.
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Saturday’s lunar eclipse was clearly visible from here in Kansas, although we only saw the second half of the event. But that was enough to be clear evidence of the event. On what should have been a full moon, half of it was shrouded by the shadow of the Earth. My photos taken from here in town are below – the same view many in Tonganoxie observed:
Click on the images above to visit my personal website (http://www.notesinthemargin.com) with more photos and larger images. Notice that that the portion of the moon that is shaded is still somewhat visible, only much dimmer and slightly orange/red in color.
Approximately an hour after the image above was taken, the moon had returned to it’s full glory:
Following the discussion of the eclipse, students worked in pairs to complete the Geology Test Study Guide. It can be downloaded and printed from home. After school, all 15 short answer questions on the back of the study guide were answered in the test study session. The test tomorrow is worth 50 points and is the last major assignment of the quarter – the last chance to boost your grade for 3rd quarter.
Day 121: Quiz and Lunar Eclipse March 2, 2007Posted by Admin in Astronomy, Homework, Science in the News.
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Before completing an electronic vote quiz on Rock Types today (grades will be entered over the weekend), we discussed the upcoming lunar eclipse that is slated for tomorrow (Saturday) evening. While the morning will likely be cloudy, if we are lucky, the clouds will clear by the late afternoon or early evening and afford us a great view of this rare event. The last lunar eclipse in this area was November of 2004. While we will not be able to observe “totality” from our area, we will still very clearly be within the region capable of viewing this great event. As the moon passes through the shadow cast by the Earth, the moon will slowly shift from its normal bright white glow to a light orange and finally to a crimson red shade (as shown in the photo from 2004 above). As the moon slips back out from beneath the Earth’s shadow, it will return to white.
Read much more on this upcoming eclipse via Nasa:
In the USA, the eclipse will already be underway when the moon rises on Saturday evening. Observing tip: Find a place with a clear view of the eastern horizon and station yourself there at sunset. As the sun goes down behind you, a red moon will rise before your eyes.
Rising moons are often reddened by clouds or pollution, but this moon will be the deep, extraordinary red only seen during a lunar eclipse. As you watch it ascend into the night, imagine what it would be like to stand by Shackleton Crater watching from the opposite direction.
If we are fortunate enough to experience clear skies, I will post some photographs of tomorrow’s eclipse on this page. Email me your photos and I’d love to post them to the page and show them in class as well! Read more on lunar eclipses via these links:
Day 90: Stellar Life Cycle – Day 1 January 17, 2007Posted by Admin in Astronomy, Science in the News.
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The big questions of today: How are stars born? How do they evolve over time? We focused on the first half of the stellar life cycle today by taking some PowerPoint notes over the topic. These slides included information on the star nursery (nebula), the middle life of the star (main sequence), and the older years of the star (the Red Giant phase). Tomorrow we will focus on the second half of the life cycle: How stars die.
Although Comet McNaught is gone from the nighttime sky here in the Northern Hemisphere, it is still getting lots of attention. Check out the article in the Tonganoxie Mirror all about how we’ve discussed Comet McNaught in our own class. As comet McNaught brightens for Southern Hemisphere viewers, we are certain to get even more brilliant images over the coming weeks. It is now reportedly even brighter than Venus! Be sure to check out SpaceWeather for daily updates and new photographs.
Day 87: Scale & Comet McNaught January 11, 2007Posted by Admin in Astronomy, Science in the News.
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Another day spent working on the Scale of the Universe along with discussion and photograph viewing of Comet McNaught. Several dozen students have been able to view the comet over the last few nights which is wonderful, considering this may end up being the brightest comet in our lifetimes!
Although I thought it would be cloudy this evening, it appears now that we may have a fifth night in a row of good comet viewing! Look back to Days 84 and 85 to see more information on how to track/find/photograph Comet McNaught! Also, view this page for more photographs and discussion.
Tomorrow (Friday) we will be wrapping up our work with the Scale of the Universe by taking a quiz. Be sure to bring your scale to class with you as the quiz will be virtually impossible without it!
In the longer term: Next week we’ll be discussing the current scientific theories on the origins of the universe; namely, the big bang. We will complete a lab and then we will start working on gaining a better understanding of the life cycle of stars, detailing their stages of life from birth to death. We will then discuss our sun and planets for a couple of weeks before moving into Geology next month. It is looking as though we’ll likely have a test in about two weeks (around January 25th or so).
Day 86: Scale Day 4 & McNaught January 10, 2007Posted by Admin in Astronomy, Homework, Science in the News.
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Yes – more McNaught! It is clear again this afternoon, so you’ve got another great shot at viewing the comet. I’ll be heading out around 5:45pm or so to see if I can’t spot it for the third evening in a row. See if you can’t do the same! If I get any good photographs, I’ll update this post later this evening with links.
Homework tonight: Complete the “Scale of the Universe” activity by attaching all of the tabs to the green handout. The white worksheet does not need to be done by tomorrow. We’ll have more in-class work time for that worksheet tomorrow and it will be due Friday. Also – quiz on Friday covering the Scale of the Universe.
ALERT: Geminid Meteor Shower Tonight! December 13, 2006Posted by Admin in Astronomy, General Announcements, Science in the News.
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You all have a copy of the current sky map and tonight it will come in very handy. The Geminid Meteor Shower, an annual event, is set to peak overnight tonight and tomorrow morning. From the SpaceWeather.com page:
The Geminid meteor shower peaks tonight. Start watching around 9 p.m. local time on Wednesday, Dec. 13th. The display will start small but grow in intensity as the night wears on. By Thursday morning, Dec. 14th, people in dark, rural areas could see one or two Geminids every minute.
Remember it is named the Geminid shower because all of the meteors (shooting stars) that are part of this shower will appear to emanate from the constellation Gemini. This constellation is visible in the Eastern sky in the evening, overhead in the middle of the night, and in the western sky in the morning.
View a sky map for tomorrow morning here.
Read even more from the Nasa page here.