Monday, December 27, 2010

Milwaukee Public Museum - Online

Virtual Exhibit - Featured Collections - Exhibitions - Milwaukee Public Museum

The Milwaukee Public Museum is one of the oldest in the U.S., and is a great place to visit. Here you can browse some of the artifacts in their collections online!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Lunar Eclipse Slide Show - Stunning Pictures of Total Lunar Eclipse

Lunar EclipseDid you miss the lunar eclipse in the early hours of December 21? Me, too! Here's a great slide show of what we missed.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Electronics Revolution: Today, 1947

Dec. 23, 1947: Transistor Opens Door to Digital Future | This Day In Tech |

Bell Laboratories, 1947Our modern electronic age, with cell phones, mp3 players, computers, digital watches, and all the rest began with the invention of the transistor 64 years ago today. What will we see 64 years from now??


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice & Lunar Eclipse! - Homepage Observing - Solstice Eclipse

Total eclipse!

We missed the eclipse because of a snowstorm in Wisconsin, and it looks like it was cloudy in Austin, too.

But today, December 21, is also the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year.


Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Coal-Powered Power Plant is in the News

Is power plant to blame for poor pecan crop?
Austin gets much of its electricity from the Fayette Power Plant, southeast of Austin. It burns coal, so it produces sulfur dioxide, a polluting gas. The amount of pollution it produces is under legal limits, but some people think it still is enough to harm crops in the area. Experts disagree, and this shows how it takes a lot of scientific study to come to find out the truth. There aren't any easy answers.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

See Venus at dusk; Jupiter at night; Can you find a comet? - This Week's Sky at a Glance

Venus sets just after the sun and just ahead of the moon on Saturday night. You'll need to find a place with a clear western horizon: Bedichek might be a good spot. Let's see!

The really bright "star" in the sky once it gets dark is the planet Jupiter, not a star at all.

There's a comet up in the sky, but you'll need a dark sky and binoculars. It will probably be too bright in south Austin, but it's worth a try. Follow the directions in "This Week's Sky" from Sky and Telescope.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Watch for the planets at sunset! - This Week's Sky at a Glance - This Week's Sky at a Glance
Now that the skies have cleared, we get a beautiful waxing crescent moon accompanied by bright Venus, and fainter Mars and Saturn. You'll have to look low in the west, just above the housetops and just at sundown, to spot Saturn!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cloudy Weather...

Looks like clouds and rain are going to get in the way of watching the Perseids tonight (Wednesday), but the forecast is for clear skies tomorrow night. Still, the clouds may break in the early morning hours, so set the alarm and coffee pot for three, just in case...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Watch for Shooting Stars on Wednesday & Thursday Nights! -- Excellent Perseid Meteor Shower Expected Aug. 11-13
"Shooting Stars" aren't really stars at all, of course. They're chunks of rock out in space that hit Earth, falling through our atmosphere so fast they burn up. The burning rocks are called meteors. Every August, Earth travels in its orbit through a swarm of these rocks. The result is a meteor shower, called the Perseid Meteor Shower because they seem to fly out of the constellation Perseus.

Watch on Wednesday and Thursday nights. The BEST time is actually from about 2:00 am to dawn. Your best view will be out of town. City lights really get in the way. But if you're stuck in town, go out anyway and see what you can see. Be patient, and enjoy the other stars you can see.

Especially, watch for the three planets, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars in the western sky after sunset,

Friday, July 16, 2010

Watch the planets and the moon! - This Week's Sky at a Glance

In the middle of July, watch as the moon parades past a different planet each night: On Wednesday, Venus is above and to the right; Thursday, Mars; Friday, Saturn.
Want to see Jupiter? Get up before sunrise and look to the south. It's the brightest "star" in the sky.

Oil Leak Stopped...

BP caps well; oil stops gushing into Gulf
It's been a while since my last blog entry. Summer's been busy!
Oil has been spilling into the Gulf for about three months now, and the well has finally been capped. We'll be watching over the next two days to see if the cap will hold.

Friday, June 04, 2010

The Night Sky, June 4-12 - This Week's Sky at a Glance - This Week's Sky at a Glance
Look for Mars near Regulus on June 5 & 6, Jupiter right under the moon on June 6
Venus is the "evening star" in the west just after sunset.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

NY Times Multimedia Oil Spill Coverage

Multimedia - Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Multimedia - Multimedia Feature -
There's lots to look at here about the current oil spill: How it's spreading, How it happened, Efforts to stop and contain it, and more.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Oil Spill Is Growing in the Gulf

See how the oil spill grows in the Gulf of Mexico -
The Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded on April 20 and has been spilling at least 210,000 gallons a day since then. Efforts to stop it haven't worked so far. This page from USA shows where the oil is and how it's spreading

For more information, try:
NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Atlantis Is On Its Final Mission - Space Shuttle Atlantis Blasts Off on Final Mission
Only two missions are left before NASA retires the shuttle fleet. This 12-day mission is the last flight for Atlantis.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring Begins March 20 at 12:32 pm CDT!

The March Equinox Explained
Spring will officially begin at 12:32 pm, Saturday March 20. This website explains it all, and a lot more about calendars, dates, and time. Check it out!

Astronauts Return from Space Station -- Space Station Astronauts Make Frigid Landing in Soyuz Spacecraft
Two astronauts, an American and a Russian, returned to Earth in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. They landed in deep snow in Russia in high winds. There are three astronauts left in the space station now. Three more will join them in April.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Night Sky, March 12-20 - This Week's Sky at a Glance
Watch for Venus, the bright "star" in the west, just after sunset.
March 20, the moon will be right next to the Pleiades.
March 20: Spring begins at the Spring Equinox, 12:32 Central Daylight Time.

What the Appendix Is Good For

FOR KIDS: What The Appendix Is Good For - Science News
The appendix is a small organ that's connected to the large intestine. Lots of people have it removed when it gets infected, and never miss it. So what's it there for? Here's an answer.

Mars Express Photographed Mars' Largest Moon, Phobos - Closest Ever View of Martian Moon - Slide 1 of 18

Phobos is Mars' largest moon. Mars' moons are quite different from Earth's. They're much smaller, and not quite as round. They've been described as looking like a potato! Check out the photos in this slide show.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Huge Earthquake in Chile

Chile was hit by a tremendous earthquake Saturday morning - magnitude 8.8! Read about it here.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Ecoregions in Biomes

National Geographic Wild World (Online Conservation Atlas)
If you want to explore all the ecological areas within the biomes of the world, this is the place. The National Geographic Society and World Wildlife Fund have teamed up to describe all the eco-regions of the world. You can spend hours clicking and traveling by the web all over the world. What eco-region do you live in?

Climate Change Can Be Good for Some Species!

FOR KIDS: A Global Warming Flap - Science News
If you're a butterfly, at least if you're a small heath or a common blue butterfly in Europe, you hope the climate really IS warming up. Over the last 30 years, the average temperature in central Europe is up 1.5 degrees. That's not much, but it makes for a longer breeding season for these butterflies. That's good for them!