Virtual Star Party – 23 December, 2012

In this episode of the Virtual Star Party, Scott Lewis and Dr. Thad Szabo work with astronomers Paul Stewart and Peter Lake and discuss their live observations. Paul Stewart first started the show by observing Venus live in the daytime from New Zealand, while Scott and Thad discussed it’s phase and how it’s actually possible to observe celestial bodies while it’s daylight out. From there, Paul moved along to the closest planet to the sun, Mercury, leading the discussion to why it appears so faint in the sky compared to Venus. This reason being that Venus is not only larger than Mercury and closer to Earth, but also is much more reflective of sunlight than Mercury is! After switching scopes and cameras, Paul observed our closest star, the Sun. His equipment observe light in Hydrogen Alpha, which is a very narrow band of light that is only emitted during a change in energy levels in a Hydrogen atom. The reason why this is beneficial for observing the sun is it allows us to see details of the Sun that are only visible in that range of light. Thad went along to discuss the differences in structures that we were observing on the Sun and the details of why imaging in Hydrogen Alpha is beneficial in many circumstances. Peter Lake, an astronomer from Australia, joined us at the end of the broadcast to share images from his remote observatory in New Mexico, USA. We had a brief discussion about our broadcast earlier in the month where we observed the transit of the exoplanet Qatar-1b. Peter wowed the audience, along the...

deSTEMber on Google+

The twelfth month of the year is deSTEMber! Over at one of my favorite places on the internet, Google+, we’re celebrating the month of December in style! deSTEMber has been an initiative of GirlStart, out of Austin, TX to engage, celebrate and fascinate everyone in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). In 2012, GirlStart partnered with Google Science Fair to spearhead a campaign over at Google+, bringing another layer of fascinating content for all to enjoy and participate in! It’s not only GirlStart and Google Science fair that’s involved, either. CERN, National Geographic, Scientific American, The San Diego Zoo, Accuweather.com, and CosmoQuest have partnered up with this amazing way of reaching out to the public to get everyone excited about STEM via Google+! Fascinating Hangouts On Air are being held the entire month and will be archived here, as well as the GirlStart website on their calendar. To access the recordings of the previous broadcasts, head on up to the menu for deSTEMber and click away!   deSTEMber Partners: GirlStart: (Official Site) (+GirlStart) Google Science Fair: (Official Site) (+GoogleScienceFair) Accuweather.com: (Official Site) (+Accuweather) AdaFruit: (Official Site) (+AdaFruit) CERN: (Official Site) (+CERN) CosmoQuest: (Official Site) (+CosmoQuest) National Geographic: (Official Site) (+NatGeo) San Diego Zoo: (Official Site) (+SanDiegoZoo) Scientific American: (Official Site) (+ScientificAmerican) Science Sunday: +ScienceSunday STEM Women on Google++STEM Women on...

deSTEMber Experiment with 2011 Google Science Fair Finalist

“Join +Google Science Fair 2011 Finalist and senior at Phillips Academy Andover – +Skanda Koppula – as he dives into “the force” of electricity and magnetism. He will be demonstrating the interconnection between these forces. Using these household items (a wire, a magnet and a light bulb) he will test some of the theories principles governing the connection. Bring your questions and curiosity to follow along with Skanda and the other #deSTEMber participants at 10 AM PST / 12PM CST / 1 PM EST. Keep tuning into the 31 days of #deSTEMber with +Girlstart and +Google Science Fair for more at-home experiments and STEM activities.”   Quote taken from Google Event Page created by Google Science...
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