August 23 2012 Astronomy Newsletter
Here's the latest article from the Astronomy site at BellaOnline.com.
Illuminations – A Planetarium Afloat
Why is the Illuminations Planetarium unique? It's the only one that sails the seas. Purpose-built as part of a theater on board Cunard Liner Queen Mary 2, it shows astronomy films, and on some voyages, astronomers from the Royal Astronomical Society in London use it to present the night sky.
*The first aurora*
Fredrik Broms, who is well known for his fantastic pictures of the Arctic sky, saw his first aurora earlier this month. He told SpaceWeather.com on August 11 "Yesterday I saw my first stars since last spring, and tonight the first auroras!" He was reporting from northern Norway where the Sun doesn’t drop below the horizon from May through July. I’ve pinned his photo here:
It wasn’t however the first aurora of the summer. There have been some aurorae seen farther south where the nights get darker earlier than in the Arctic Circle. Brad Goldpaint photographed this aurora at Sparks Lake, Oregon in July: http://pinterest.com/pin/250090585528207084/
*Teachers - A computer game to help your students learn*
Usually, I try out activities before I recommend them, but I’m not working in a school, so am not able to access "Selene: A Lunar Construction Game". It does look good and I’d certainly have registered for it if I’d known about it six months ago. The idea is to teach about geological processes and the evolution of Solar System bodies by having pupils make a moon like Earth’s. It’s suitable for ages 9 and above.
You can register your class by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and giving them your contact information and letting them known when you would be available for a 30-minute orientation. If you’d like more information first, here is the website: http://selene.cet.edu. There is also a Spanish version.
*More for educators - International 2012 Humans in Space Youth Art Competition*
Do you teach young people aged 10-18? This is a NASA competition to encourage them to express creatively their ideas about the future of human space exploration. Although it says it’s an art competition, the students can use a visual medium (including digital), music or writing. Specifically, they are asked to react to the question "How will humans use science and technology to explore space, and what mysteries will we uncover?" To find out more, and get a list of guidelines, the website is: www.humansinspaceart.org. The deadline for submissions is October 21, 2012.
To participate in online discussions, this site has a community forum all about Astronomy located here - http://forums.bellaonline.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=postlist&Board=323
Please visit astronomy.bellaonline.com for even more great content about Astronomy.
I hope to hear from you sometime soon, either in the forum or in response to this email message. I welcome your feedback!
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I wish you clear skies.
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