Archive for the ‘Astronomy & Space’ Category

Mission: Starlight Uses Space to Spark Curiosity in Chemistry

By September 26th, 2017 at 3:11 pm | Comment

How can you protect an astronaut from getting a sunburn in space?

Kids learn how chemistry can protect astronauts at England’s National Space Center in Leicester. Credit: National Space Centre, Leicester 2

The Royal Society of Chemistry in London has designed a collection of hands-on chemistry experiments that kids can do to explore this question and discover the answer for themselves.

The project is called Mission: Starlight. It is free and includes downloadable videos, worksheets, and instructions on how to teach four different hands-on, hour-long lessons and experiments designed for elementary and secondary school students. Read the rest of this entry »

The Sky is Falling! Or is It?

By August 29th, 2017 at 7:04 pm | Comment

By Dolores Hill and Carl Hergenrother, Target Asteroids! Co-Leads Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission

Today’s amateur astronomers carry on long held traditions in citizen science by making valuable contributions in data collection and monitoring celestial objects of all kinds. They supplement work done by professional astronomers and fill gaps in our knowledge. Imagine being a modern-day Tycho Brahe who, in the late-1500s, measured positions of stars that were so accurate and reliable that Johannes Kepler used them to determine that the planets revolve around the sun in elliptical orbits! Imagine contributing to an asteroid data repository and assisting future space travelers; both robotic and human. Read the rest of this entry »

Science Experiments for the Public during the Solar Eclipse

By 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 »

Look down, look all around during the total solar eclipse

By 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 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 »