Welcome to Mr. Ullrich's Blog! This blog is for 8th Grade Earth Science and Physical Science students. We will learn topics such as Astronomy, Geology and Meteorology. This blog will give us a place to discuss, learn and develop these topics during the year. If you are not from our class please post lots of comments!
Article posted February 13, 2011 at 01:34 PM GMT-5 •
comment (4) • Reads 417
Climate and Weather. Aren’t they the same thing? Actually they are quite different. So you must want to know what is the difference between Climate and Weather?
What's the Difference Between Weather and Climate?
The difference between weather and climate is a measure of time. Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere "behaves" over relatively long periods of time.
When we talk about climate change, we talk about changes in long-term averages of daily weather. Today, children always hear stories from their parents and grandparents about how snow was always piled up to their waists as they trudged off to school. Children today in most areas of the country haven't experienced those kinds of dreadful snow-packed winters, except for the Northeastern U.S. in January 2005. The change in recent winter snows indicate that the climate has changed since their parents were young.
In addition to long-term climate change, there are shorter term climate variations. This so-called climate variability can be represented by periodic or intermittent changes related to El Niño, La Niña, volcanic eruptions, or other changes in the Earth system.
What Weather Means
Weather is basically the way the atmosphere is behaving, mainly with respect to its effects upon life and human activities. The difference between weather and climate is that weather consists of the short-term (minutes to months) changes in the atmosphere. Most people think of weather in terms of temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, brightness, visibility, wind, and atmospheric pressure, as in high and low pressure.
In most places, weather can change from minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour, day-to-day, and season-to-season. Climate, however, is the average of weather over time and space. An easy way to remember the difference is that climate is what you expect, like a very hot summer, and weather is what you get, like a hot day with pop-up thunderstorms.
What Climate Means
In short, climate is the description of the long-term pattern of weather in a particular area. Some scientists define climate as the average weather for a particular region and time period, usually taken over 30-years. It's really an average pattern of weather for a particular region. When scientists talk about climate, they're looking at averages of precipitation, temperature, humidity, sunshine, wind velocity, phenomena such as fog, frost, and hail storms, and other measures of the weather that occur over a long period in a particular place. For example, after looking at rain gauge data, lake and reservoir levels, and satellite data, scientists can tell if during a summer, an area was drier than average. If it continues to be drier than normal over the course of many summers, than it would likely indicate a change in the climate.
Why Study Climate?
The reason studying climate and a changing climate is important, is that will affect people around the world. Rising global temperatures are expected to raise sea levels, and change precipitation and other local climate conditions. Changing regional climate could alter forests, crop yields, and water supplies. It could also affect human health, animals, and many types of ecosystems. Deserts may expand into existing rangelands, and features of some of our National Parks and National Forests may be permanently altered.
What do you know about thunderstorms? I have some information about them that you may have never known. For example, did you know that there are different types of lightning?
Heavy rain, dark black clouds and lightning are evidence of a thunderstorm. Thunderstorms are not nearly as large or as strong as hurricanes, but they can be damaging, particularly if large hailstones fall out from their clouds. Thunderclouds are known scientifically as cumulonimbus clouds.
Thunderstorms are more common in summer because they need a lot of energy to form. The energy comes from the heating of the ground and the surface air by the Sun. If this heating is strong enough, air heated near the ground will rise up a long way into the atmosphere because it is lighter than air around it, a bit like a hot air balloon. Warmer air is lighter than colder air. As the air rises up it becomes colder. Moisture in the air begins to condense out as clouds, in the same way as fog forms on a calm cool night. In thunderclouds however, the energy is much greater, and the currents of air are strong enough to split apart the raindrops that are forming. This builds up an electric charge, which when released is seen as lightning. The sound of thunder is effect of the lightning strike on the surrounding air.
When the rain or hail begins to fall from a thundercloud, it is usually very heavy, but generally lasts for no more than 30 minutes. Sometimes however, the death of one thunderstorm may lead to the development of another, and the bad weather may continue for several hours.
What is Lightning?
To put it simply, lightning is electricity. It forms in the strong up-and-down air currents inside tall dark cumulonimbus clouds as water droplets, hail, and ice crystals collide with one another. Scientists believe that these collisions build up charges of electricity in a cloud. The positive and negative electrical charges in the cloud separate from one another, the negative charges dropping to the lower part of the cloud and the positive charges staying ins the middle and upper parts. Positive electrical charges also build upon the ground below. When the difference in the charges becomes large enough, a flow of electricity moves from the cloud down to the ground or from one part of the cloud to another, or from one cloud to another cloud. In typical lightning these are down-flowing negative charges, and when the positive charges on the ground leap upward to meet them, the jagged downward path of the negative charges suddenly lights up with a brilliant flash of light. Because of this, our eyes fool us into thinking that the lightning bolt shoots down from the cloud, when in fact the lightning travels up from the ground. In some cases, positive charges come to the ground from severe thunderstorms or from the anvil at the very top of a thunderstorm cloud. The whole process takes less than a millionth of a second.
Kinds of Lightning
There are words to describe different kinds of lightning. Here are some of them:
1) In-Cloud Lightning:The most common type, it travels between positive and negative charge centers within the thunderstorm.2) Cloud-to-Ground Lightning: This is lightning that reaches from a thunderstorm cloud to the ground.3) Cloud-to-Cloud Lightning: A rare event, it is lightning that travels from one cloud to another. 4) Sheet Lightning:This is lightning within a cloud that lights up the cloud like a sheet of light. 5) Ribbon Lightning: This is when a cloud-to-ground flash is blown sideways by the wind, making it appear as two identical bolts side by side.6) Bead Lightning: Also called "chain lightning," this is when the lightning bolt appears to be broken into fragments because of varying brightness or because parts of the bolt are covered by clouds. 7)Ball Lightning: Rarely seen, this is lightning in the form of a grapefruit-sized ball, which lasts only a few seconds.8)Bolt from the blue: A lightning bolt from a distant thunderstorm, seeming to come out of the clear blue sky, but really from the top or edge of a thunderstorm a few miles away.
What Puts the Thunder in the Thunderstorm?
Lightning bolts are extremely hot, with temperatures of 30,000 to 50,000 degrees F. That's hotter than the surface of the sun! When the bolt suddenly heats the air around it to such an extreme, the air instantly expands, sending out a vibration or shock wave we hear as an explosion of sound. This is thunder. If you are near the stroke of lightning you’ll hear thunder as one sharp crack. When lightning is far away, thunder sounds more like a low rumble as the sound waves reflect and echo off hillsides, buildings and trees. Depending on wind direction and temperature, you may hear thunder for up to fifteen or twenty miles. Thunder is only a noise and is nothing to be afraid of. But lightning can be dangerous. Head to the next page to find out how to stay safe from it.
Article posted January 25, 2011 at 04:24 PM GMT-5 •
comment • Reads 73
Solar Energy is radiant light and heat from the sun. It can be used in two different ways, as a heating source and as an energy source. It can generate heat, lighting and electricity. Sunlight travels through the upper parts of the earth's atmosphere. Once this sunlight reaches the surface of the earth, it must be captured so it can be turned into an usable energy source. At the earth's surface, it is called infrared radiation. It is here that the radiation is used as chemical energy by the plants in the form of photosynthesis. Human beings use that in the form of heat energy.
Some positive aspects are that in solar energy, it can convert into other forms of energy like electrical energy or light energy. Also, solar panels give off no pollution. In addition, the production of energy from the use of fossil and some renewable fuels can be noisy, yet solar energy produces electricity very quietly. One of the great pros of solar energy is the ability to harness electricity in remote locations that are not linked to a national grid. A prime example of this is in space, where satellites are powered by high efficiency solar cells.
Some drawbacks or cons of solar panels for solar energy is that at night and cloudy days they burn natural gas to boil the water so they can continue to make electricity. Another problem is that it’s very costly. Also, solar energy is the initial cost of solar cells. Currently, prices of highly efficient solar cells can be above $1000, and some households may need more than one. This makes the initial installation of solar panels very costly.
The solar thermal method uses energy from the sun to directly generate heat. Solar panels are commonly used to collect and capture the sun’s heat and transfer it for water and space heating in buildings. PV systems convert sunlight directly into electricity. “Photo” refers to light and “voltaic” to electricity. A PV cell is made of a semiconductor material, usually crystalline silicon, which absorbs sunlight. Solar panels are usually used in places that receive sunlight almost all year round, like the equator. It may not be so common because it costs a lot of money to buy the solar panels, even though after a while you will get your money back from the energy saved in the solar panels. About 43% of the sunlight is converted into energy all around the world.
Article posted January 9, 2011 at 06:25 PM GMT-5 •
comment • Reads 273
Here is my science related article. It is about what we are learning about in class about the Electromagnetic Spectrum. I hope this helps you understand it a bit better.
One of the most amazing aspects of physics is the electromagnetic spectrum—radio waves, microwaves, infrared light, visible light, ultraviolet light, x rays, and gamma rays—as well as the relationship between the spectrum and electromagnetic force. The applications of the electromagnetic spectrum in daily life begin the moment a person wakes up in the morning and "sees the light." Yet visible light, the only familiar part of the spectrum prior to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, is also its narrowest region. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, uses for other bands in the electromagnetic spectrum have proliferated. At the low-frequency end are radio, short-wave radio, and television signals, as well as the microwaves used in cooking. Higher-frequency waves, all of which can be generally described as light, provide the means for looking deep into the universe—and deep into the human body.
So far, what we have seen is the foundation for modern understanding of electricity and magnetism. This understanding grew enormously in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, thanks both to the theoretical work of physicists, and the practical labors of inventors such as Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) and Serbian-American electrical engineer Nikola Tesla (1856-1943). But our concern in the present context is with electromagnetic radiation, of which the waves on the electromagnetic spectrum are a particularly significant example.
Energy can travel by conduction or convection, two principal means of heat transfer. But the energy Earth receives from the Sun—the energy conveyed through the electromagnetic spectrum—is transferred by another method, radiation. Whereas conduction of convection can only take place where there is matter, which provides a medium for the energy transfer, radiation requires no medium. Thus, electromagnetic energy passes from the Sun to Earth through the vacuum of empty space.
The connection between electromagnetic radiation and electromagnetic force is far from obvious. Even today, few people not scientifically trained understand that there is a clear relationship between electricity and magnetism—let alone a connection between these and visible light. The breakthrough in establishing that connection can be attributed both to Maxwell and to German physicist Heinrich Rudolf Hertz (1857-1894).
Maxwell had suggested that electromagnetic force carried with it a certain wave phenomenon, and predicted that these waves traveled at a certain speed. In his Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism (1873), he predicted that the speed of these waves was the same as that of light—186,000 mi (299,339 km) per second—and theorized that the electromagnetic interaction included not only electricity and magnetism, but light as well. A few years later, while studying the behavior of electrical currents, Hertz confirmed Maxwell's proposition regarding the wave phenomenon by showing that an electrical current generated some sort of electromagnetic radiation.
In addition, Hertz found that the flow of electrical charges could be affected by light under certain conditions. Ultraviolet light had already been identified, and Hertz shone an ultraviolet beam on the negatively charged side of a gap in a current loop. This made it easier for an electrical spark to jump the gap. Hertz could not explain this phenomenon, which came to be known as the photoelectric effect. Indeed, no one else could explain it until quantum theory was developed in the early twentieth century. In the meantime, however, Hertz's discovery of electromagnetic waves radiating from a current loop led to the invention of radio by Italian physicist and engineer Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937) and others.
Light: Waves or Particles?
At this point, it is necessary to jump backward in history, to explain the progression of scientists' understanding of light. Advancement in this areatook place over a long period of time: at the endof the first millennium a.d., the Arab physicist Alhasen (Ibn al-Haytham; c. 965-1039) showedthat light comes from the Sun and other self-illuminated bodies—not, as had been believed up tothat time—from the eye itself. Thus, studies inoptics, or the study of light and vision, were—compared to understanding of electromagnetismitself—relatively advanced by 1666, when Newton discovered the spectrum of colors in light. AsNewton showed, colors are arranged in a sequence, and white light is a combination of allcolors.
Newton put forth the corpuscular theory of light—that is, the idea that light is made up of particles—but his contemporary Christian Huygens (1629-1695), a Dutch physicist and astronomer, maintained that light appears in the form of a wave. For the next century, adherents of Newton's corpuscular theory and of Huygens's wave theory continued to disagree. Physicists on the European continent began increasingly to accept wave theory, but corpuscular theory remained strong in Newton's homeland.
Thus, it was ironic that the physicist whose work struck the most forceful blow against corpuscular theory was himself an Englishman: Thomas Young (1773-1829), who in 1801 demonstrated interference in light. Young directed a beam of light through two closely spaced pinholes onto a screen, reasoning that if light truly were made of particles, the beams would project two distinct points onto the screen. Instead, what he saw was a pattern of interference—a wave phenomenon.
By the time of Hertz, wave theory had become dominant; but the photoelectric effect also exhibited aspects of particle behavior. Thus, for the first time in more than a century, particle theory gained support again. Yet, it was clear that light had certain wave characteristics, and this raised the question—which is it, a wave or a set of particles streaming through space?
The work of German physicist Max Planck (1858-1947), father of quantum theory, and of Albert Einstein (1879-1955), helped resolve this apparent contradiction. Using Planck's quantum principles, Einstein, in 1905, showed that light appears in "bundles" of energy, which travel as waves but behave as particles in certain situations. Eighteen years later, American physicist Arthur Holly Compton (1892-1962) showed that, depending on the way it is tested, light appears as either a particle or a wave. These particles he called photons.
Wave Motion and Electromagnetic Waves
The particle behavior of electromagnetic energy is beyond the scope of the present discussion, though aspects of it are discussed elsewhere. For the present purposes, it is necessary only to view the electromagnetic spectrum as a series of waves, and in the paragraphs that follow, the rudiments of wave motion will be presented in short form.
A type of harmonic motion that carries energy from one place to another without actually moving any matter, wave motion is related to oscillation, harmonic—and typically periodic—motion in one or more dimensions. Oscillation involves no net movement, but only movement in place; yet individual waves themselves are oscillating, even as the overall wave pattern moves.
The term periodic motion, or movement repeated at regular intervals called periods, describes the behavior of periodic waves: waves in which a uniform series of crests and troughs follow each other in regular succession. Periodic waves are divided into longitudinal and transverse waves, the latter (of which light waves are an example) being waves in which the vibration or motion is perpendicular to the direction in which the wave is moving. Unlike longitudinal waves, such as those that carry sound energy, transverse waves are fairly easy to visualize, and assume the shape that most people imagine when they think of waves: a regular up-and-down pattern, called "sinusoidal" in mathematical terms.
The Electromagnetic Spectrum
As stated earlier, an electromagnetic wave is transverse, meaning that even as it moves forward, it oscillates in a direction perpendicular to the line of propagation. An electromagnetic wave can thus be defined as a transverse wave with mutually perpendicular electrical and magnetic fields that emanate from it.
The electromagnetic spectrum is the complete range of electromagnetic waves on a continuous distribution from a very low range of frequencies and energy levels, with a correspondingly long wavelength, to a very high range of frequencies and energy levels, with a correspondingly short wavelength. Included on the electromagnetic spectrum are radio waves and microwaves; infrared, visible, and ultraviolet light; x rays, and gamma rays. Though each occupies a definite place on the spectrum, the divisions between them are not firm: as befits the nature of a spectrum, one simply "blurs" into another.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF AM AND FM.
A radio signal is simply a carrier: the process of adding information—that is, complex sounds such as those of speech or music—is called modulation. The first type of modulation developed was AM, or amplitude modulation, which Canadian-American physicist Reginald Aubrey Fessenden (1866-1932) demonstrated with the first United States radio broadcast in 1906. Amplitude modulation varies the instantaneous amplitude of the radio wave, a function of the radio station's power, as a means of transmitting information.
By the end of World War I, radio had emerged as a popular mode of communication: for the first time in history, entire nations could hear the same sounds at the same time. During the 1930s, radio became increasingly important, both for entertainment and information. Families in the era of the Great Depression would gather around large "cathedral radios"—so named for their size and shape—to hear comedy programs, soap operas, news programs, and speeches by important public figures such as President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Throughout this era—indeed, for more than a half-century from the end of the first World War to the height of the Vietnam Conflict in the mid-1960s—AM held a dominant position in radio. This remained the case despite a number of limitations inherent in amplitude modulation: AM broadcasts flickered with popping noises from lightning, for instance, and cars with AM radios tended to lose their signal when going under a bridge. Yet, another mode of radio transmission was developed in the 1930s, thanks to American inventor and electrical engineer Edwin H. Armstrong (1890-1954). This was FM, or frequency modulation, which varied the radio signal's frequency rather than its amplitude.
Not only did FM offer a different type of modulation; it was on an entirely different frequency range. Whereas AM is an example of a long-wave radio transmission, FM is on the microwave sector of the electromagnetic spectrum, along with television and radar. Due to its high frequency and form of modulation, FM offered a "clean" sound as compared with AM. The addition of FM stereo broadcasts in the 1950s offered still further improvements; yet despite the advantages of FM, audiences were slow to change, and FM did not become popular until the mid-to late 1960s.
Light: Invisible, Visible, and Invisible Again
Between about 1013 and 1017 Hz on the electromagnetic spectrum is the range of light: infrared, visible, and ultraviolet. Light actually constitutes a small portion of the spectrum, and the area of visible light is very small indeed, extending from about 4.3 · 1014 to 7.5 · 1014 Hz. The latter, incidentally, is another example of scientific notation: not only is it easier not to use a string of zeroes, but where a coefficient or factor (for example, 4.3 or 7.5) is other than a multiple of 10, it is preferable to use what are called significant figures—usually a single digit followed by a decimal point and up to 3 decimal places.
Infrared light lies just below visible light in frequency, and this is easy to remember because of the name: red is the lowest in frequency of all the colors. Similarly, ultraviolet lies beyond the highest-frequency color, violet. Visible light itself, by far the most familiar part of the spectrum—especially prior to the age of radio communications—is discussed in detail elsewhere.
Though we cannot see infrared light, we feel it as heat. German-English astronomer William Herschel (1738-1822), first scientist to detect infrared radiation from the Sun, demonstrated its existence in 1800 by using a thermometer. Holding a prism, a three-dimensional glass shape used for diffusing beams of light, he directed a beam of sunlight toward the thermometer, which registered the heat of the infrared rays.
Eighty years later, English scientist Sir William Abney (1843-1920) developed infrared photography, a method of capturing infrared radiation, rather than visible light, on film. By the mid-twentieth century, infrared photography had come into use for a variety of purposes. Military forces, for instance, may use infrared to detect the presence of enemy troops. Medicine makes use of infrared photography for detecting tumors, and astronomers use infrared to detect stars too dim to be seen using ordinary visible light.
The uses of infrared imaging in astronomy, as a matter of fact, are many. The development in the 1980s of infrared arrays, two-dimensional grids which produce reliable images of infrared phenomena, revolutionized infrared astronomy. Because infrared penetrates dust much more easily than does visible light, infrared astronomy makes it easier to see regions of the universe where stars—formed from collapsing clouds of gas and dust—are in the process of developing. Because hydrogen molecules emit infrared radiation, infrared astronomy helps provide clues regarding the distribution of this highly significant chemical element throughout the universe.
Very little of the Sun's ultraviolet light penetrates Earth's atmosphere—a fortunate thing, since ultraviolet (UV) radiation can be very harmful to human skin. A suntan, as a matter of fact, is actually the skin's defense against these harmful UV rays. Due to the fact that Earth is largely opaque, or resistant, to ultraviolet light, the most significant technological applications of UV radiation are found in outer space.
In 1978 the United States, in cooperation with several European space agencies, launched the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE), which measured the UV radiation from tens of thousands of stars, nebulae, and galaxies. Despite the progress made with IUE, awareness of its limitations—including a mirror of only 17 in (45 cm) on the telescope itself—led to the development of a replacement in 1992.
This was the Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE), which could observe UV phenomena over a much higher range of wavelengths than those observed by IUE. In addition, the Hubble Space Telescope, launched by the United States in 1990, includes a UV instrument called the Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph. With a mirror measuring 8.5 ft (2.6 m), it is capable of observing objects much more faint than those detected earlier by IUE.
Ultraviolet astronomy is used to study the winds created by hot stars, as well as stars still in the process of forming, and even stars that are dying. It is also useful for analyzing the densely packed, highly active sectors near the centers of galaxies, where both energy and temperatures are extremely high.
Though they are much higher in frequency than visible light—with wavelengths about 1,000 times shorter than for ordinary light rays—x rays are a familiar part of modern life due to their uses in medicine. German scientist Wilhelm Röntgen (1845-1923) developed the first x-ray device in 1895, and, thus, the science of using xray machines is called roentgenology.
The new invention became a curiosity, with carnivals offering patrons an opportunity to look at the insides of their hands. And just as many people today fear the opportunities for invasion of privacy offered by computer technology, many at the time worried that x rays would allow robbers and peeping toms to look into people's houses. Soon, however, it became clear that the most important application of x rays lay in medicine.
At the furthest known reaches of the electromagnetic spectrum are gamma rays, ultra high-frequency, high-energy, and short-wavelength forms of radiation. Human understanding of gamma rays, including the awesome powers they contain, is still in its infancy.
In 1979, a wave of enormous energy passed over the Solar System. Though its effects on Earth were negligible, instruments aboard several satellites provided data concerning an enormous quantity of radiation caused by gamma rays. As to the source of the rays themselves, believed to be a product of nuclear fusion on some other body in the universe, scientists knew nothing.
The Compton Gamma Ray Observatory Satellite, launched by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) in 1991, detected a number of gamma-ray bursts over the next two years. The energy in these bursts was staggering: just one of these, scientists calculated, contained more than a thousand times as much energy as the Sun will generate in its entire lifetime of 10 billion years.
Some astronomers speculate that the source of these gamma-ray bursts may ultimately be a distant supernova, or exploding star. If this is the case, scientists may have found the supernova; but do not expect to see it in the night sky. It is not known just how long ago it exploded, but its light appeared on Earth some 340,000 years ago, and during that time it was visible in daylight for more than two years. So great was its power that the effects of this stellar phenomenon are still being experienced.
The complete range of electromagnetic waves on a continuous distribution from a very low range of frequencies and energylevels, with a correspondingly long wavelength, to a very high range of frequencies and energy levels, with a correspondingly short wavelength. Included on the electromagnetic spectrum are long-wave and short-wave radio; microwaves; infrared, visible, and ultraviolet light; x rays, and gamma rays.
A transverse wave with electrical and magnetic fields that emanate from it. The directions of these fields are perpendicular to one another, and both are perpendicular to the line of propagation for the wave itself.
In wave motion, frequency is the number of waves passing through a given point during the interval of one second. The higher the frequency, the shorter the wavelength. Measured in Hertz, frequency is mathematically related to wave speed, wavelength, and period.
The transfer of energy by means of electromagnetic waves, which require no physical medium (for example, water or air) for the transfer. Earth receives the Sun's energy, via the electromagnetic spectrum, by means of radiation.
The distance between a crest and the adjacent crest, or the trough and an adjacent trough, of a wave. Wavelength, symbolized λ (the Greek letter lambda) is mathematically related to wave speed, period, and frequency.
Article posted January 2, 2011 at 02:13 PM GMT-5 •
comment • Reads 54
My favorite thing that we learned in astronomy was about the eclipses. It was interesting to find out how they actually occurred because i never understood that. I want to learn more about how we can maybe land on another planet. If we made it to the moon then we can try to make it to planets besides Earth. Do you think that's possible? I never knew that the moon's phases effects the low tide or high tide. This was shocking to me.
Article posted January 2, 2011 at 02:13 PM GMT-5 •
comment • Reads 54
Article posted November 18, 2010 at 09:13 PM GMT-5 •
comment (3) • Reads 74
A newly discovered comet glows in the morning sky
Grab your telescope and take a peek at Comet C/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami) as it hangs low in the predawn sky near Saturn.
By Richard Talcott — Published: November 5, 2010
The first week of November is turning out to be a banner time for comet lovers. Comet 103P/Hartley currently glows around 6th magnitude — bright enough to see through binoculars or a telescope — near the bright star Procyon in Canis Minor. This region rises near midnight and climbs high in the south before dawn. This comet also stars in the latest images from NASA’s EPOXI mission, which flew past the comet’s nucleus November 4.
But Comet Hartley has to share the spotlight this week. Working independently, Japanese observers Kaoru Ikeya and Shigeki Murakami just discovered a new visitor from deep space: Comet C/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami). Ikeya first spotted the comet November 2 through his 10-inch (25cm) reflector at 39x. Murakami saw it the next night through his 18-inch (46cm) reflector at 78x. This was Ikeya’s seventh comet discovery, and Murakami’s second. Ikeya is most famous for co-discovering the 20th century’s brightest comet, C/1965 S1 (Ikeya-Seki).
At the time of discovery, both observers estimated the comet’s brightness at 8th or 9th magnitude, although more recent measurements place it between 10th and 12th magnitude. You might be able to spot it through large binoculars, although a modest-sized telescope will make the task easier. It currently lies near the bright planet Saturn, which appears low in the eastern sky before dawn.
A preliminary orbit calculated by Brian Marsden at the Minor Planet Center assumes that C/2010 V1 is making its first trip into the inner solar system. Marsden’s orbit shows the comet came closest to the Sun October 18 at a distance of 159 million miles (257 million kilometers) and is now moving away. However, some astronomers suspect this could be a short-period comet experiencing an outburst. Only more observations will settle the matter. Unfortunately, in either case, the comet should dim further in the coming weeks.
1.How do you think a comet is formed?
2.Why do you think the more recent measurement of the comet’s magnitude was higher than the original one?
3. Why do the astronomers suspect that this could be a short-period comet?
Article posted November 18, 2010 at 09:13 PM GMT-5 •
comment (3) • Reads 74
Article posted October 26, 2010 at 05:31 PM GMT-5 •
comment (3) • Reads 106
Aliens, are you serious?!! This isn't even a topic worth talking about. This is how many ordinary people would react to the topic on aliens. On the other hand, I think aliens are a very interesting topic. Earth cant be the only planet with living organisms. Especially with the new world just found, this can very much be true. The Gliese 581g is the “first world discovered beyond Earth that's the right size and location for life.” I agree with Steven Vogt that this planet certainly can have life on it. Even though the planet is 20 light-years away, it is in just the right spot to have liquid water on it. The planet most probably has life on it because it has all the components for it, for example it has water. If you don't agree, it will be much harder to prove that there isn't life of this planet rather than proving that there is life. I agree with the astronomer Paul Butler, that life requires liquid water. In addition, Earth is actually a very unique planet because not only do we have living organisms, but part of these organisms are humans. I Also, I think that there are many other planets out there. To prove this, astronomers have found more than 370 planets that are moving around the stars such as “hot Saturn” and “hot Jupiter”. If you are like many other people and didn't believe in life beyond Earth, I hope that this blog entry changed your mind.
~Another entry in Science Through the Eyes of Jazzyfizzle- Alien Invasion Style
Article posted October 18, 2010 at 07:07 PM GMT-5 •
comment (3) • Reads 50
Hey everyone!!! This has nothing to do with science but it is very enjoyable. Mr. Ullrich liked it so now I’m posting it on my blog for everyone to see it. In addition to showing this to Mr. Ullrich today, my friends and I made a dance to go along with my blog's name.:) If you’re interested in learning this dance, I’m always available. Just another fascinating post brought to you by Science Through the eyes of Jazzyfizzle.
Article posted October 9, 2010 at 10:33 PM GMT-5 •
comment (6) • Reads 73
Hi everyone. Thank you for visiting my blog. My name is Jasmin, but some people like to call me jazzy or jazzyfizzle. Some of my interests are singing, dancing, and designingclothing. I like to watch television shows such as Project Runway, Glee, American Idol, and many more. I enjoy hanging out with friends and listening to music. I like rap, hip hop, and RnB. Myfavorite subject in school is art. I find drawing and painting to be relaxing. In addition, I am a very good student in school and I work very hard. I am looking forward to learning earth science this year. My goal is to domy best and get good grades, but at the same time enjoy theexperience.Wellthats it for now, but come back soon for another amazing journey through Science in the Eyes of Jazzyfizzle.
Article posted October 9, 2010 at 10:33 PM GMT-5 •
comment (6) • Reads 73