Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

Quake Interactive

Japan Earthquake: Major Tsunami Damage -
This interactive page gives you the latest news, information about how nuclear reactors work, forces of nature like earthquakes and tsunamis, and historic earthquakes. I especially like the animation that shows the nuclear reactor under "Nuclear Concerns".
A word of correction: If you look at the "strongest earthquakes", the graphic mislabels the 1960 Chile earthquake (9.5) and the 1964 Alaska earthquake (9.2). They're switched. Remember your geography. You know where Chile and Alaska are.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Spring Break Skies! March 11-19 - This Week's Sky at a Glance
There"s a lot to watch for in the night sky this week:
  • Mercury is low in the west at twilight all week, near brighter Jupiter.
  • Watch a star disappear! On Sunday night as the sun sets, the dark part of the moon covers an orange-red star high in the south. Exact times for this event are a little unclear. It may not even be visible in Austin after sunset... But even if it's not, with binoculars you get a great view of the crescent moon and you can look for the planet Mercury!
Here' what Sky & Telescope recommends:
Set up at least 15 minutes before the predicted time, and more if you're
planning to use a telescope. Locate the Moon high in the south, and
look for the star just to its left. Binoculars are always a big help. If
you're observing this event in very bright twilight or daylight, you
will need a telescope — and very clear air — to spot Mu Geminorum. Then
watch carefully as the Moon's dark leading edge creeps up on the star.
Make sure you don't blink at the wrong moment, or you'll miss the

Maps of the Japan Earthquake

USGS Earthquake Hazards Program: Earthquake Location: NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
These maps from the United States Geologic Survey (USGS) show where the earthquake happened.

Try to follow this link for a great animation of the spread of the tsunami. It may be slow to load on your computer.

A Huge Earthquake Hit Japan

Japan tsunami causes major damage after 8.9 earthquake -
Early Friday morning a magnitude 8.9 earthquake hit about 125 km (80 miles) off the coast of Japan. A 7.4 magnitude quake struck about half an hour later. The earthquakes sent a tsunami that flooded much of the coast of Japan, washing away buildings, cars, and roads. Hundreds of people were killed. The tsunami sped across the Pacific ocean at a speed of about 500 miles per hour, so it struck Hawaii about 6 hours later, and the west coast of the U.S. mainland in about 12 hours. There was some damage, but there was enough warning to give people time to prepare.

Read this article and explore the links to learn more!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

This Week's Sky - March 5-12 - This Week's Sky at a Glance - This Week's Sky at a Glance
Look west, right after sunset for Jupiter, a thin waxing crescent moon, and maybe a glimpse of the planet Mercury!
And remember... Daylight savings time starts Sunday morning, March 12, at 2 am! Spring ahead: Set your clocks ahead an hour when you go to bed on Saturday.