Science Experiments for the Public during the Solar Eclipse

By Guest August 16th, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Comment

The two towers of the Schaeberle Camera and the rock wall at Jeur (India), with overlall height lowered by use of a pit for the plate-holder. Credit: Mary Lea Shane Archives

By Dr. Liz MacDonald, founder of Aurorasaurus and scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. This blog reposted from blog.aurorasaurus.org.

Over a century ago, American astronomer W.W. Campbell set up a 40 foot ‘Schaeberle camera’ in Jeur, India to take pictures and study various properties of the sun’s outermost layer called the corona during the 1898 total solar eclipse. To make sure no people or animals would tamper with the camera before the eclipse occurred, he found volunteers to guard the delicate equipment the evening before the experiment. Today, in 2017, volunteers called citizen scientists are again helping scientists make observations and learn more about the sun and Earth interaction. This time though, citizen scientists across the United States will have more direct involvement, actually collecting data by making their own observations and operating instruments. Read the rest of this entry »

Weeding: It’s Not Just for Gardeners

By Guest August 10th, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Comment

By Kayla Keyes, Mote Marine Laboratory

Recent news about Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has been grim: the most recent aerial survey of the reef identified a stretch of bleached coral over 900 miles (1500 km) long, and scientists have declared the reef to be in a terminal stage. Studies have shown that losing the Great Barrier Reef would result in a globally destructive economic and environmental chain reaction, but despite all of the pressures threatening the future of our reefs a positive light shines brightly from Magnetic Island in Queensland, Australia. Read the rest of this entry »

Look down, look all around during the total solar eclipse

By Carolyn Graybeal August 7th, 2017 at 5:25 pm | Comment

Solar eclipse. Credit: Luc Viatour (CC-BY-SA)

On August 21st, millions of people across the U.S. will have the opportunity to witness a total solar eclipse. But we won’t be the only ones taking notice—there is a good chance animals, and even some plants, will be affected by the event, too.

It is not as farfetched as you might think. Many animals and plants respond to daily changes in light and temperature. Birds sing at dawn while fireflies come out at twilight.  Flowers like morning glories and poppies open in the morning and close at night; others, like the bat-pollinated night-blooming cereus, open their flowers and release their fragrance well after the sun has gone down. When sunlight dims and temperatures cool during this month’s eclipse, the change might be significant enough to affect these and other organisms. Read the rest of this entry »

Help scientists discover what else happens during a solar eclipse!

By Sarah Newman August 4th, 2017 at 6:48 pm | Comment 1

It’s a Solar Eclipse!

I, Luc Viatour

When the moon completely covers the sun on August 21, will animals behave differently? Will air and surface temperatures fluctuate? Help scientists answer these and other research questions!

Below, we highlight projects you can do in the path of the eclipse, in your own backyard, and a couple for after the eclipse. Find more projects and events on SciStarter, to do now or bookmark for later.

Cheers!
The SciStarter Team

Read the rest of this entry »

Love Monarchs? Participate in the Monarch Monitoring Blitz This Week!

By Guest July 31st, 2017 at 9:17 pm | Comment

By Cora Lund Preston, Communication Specialist for Monarch Joint Venture

The Monarch Monitoring Blitz has begun! Grab your hats, sunscreen and clipboards and join fellow citizen scientists for some fresh air and an international monarch monitoring blitz from July 29-August 5th! With enough reports, your information will provide a snapshot that helps scientists understand the range and population size of late summer breeding monarchs across North America.

If you’re already familiar with the monarch monitoring blitz, help us recruit more citizen scientists by spreading the word on FacebookTwitter or by sending an email! Read the rest of this entry »