TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique: “The Earth History Of Oxygen”

Saturday – February 17, 9:30-11:00am

Please RSVP to jrcafe@tacny.org

Milton J Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology – Syracuse, NY


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Speaker: Zunli Lu, PhD, Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Earth Sciences, Syracuse University

Overview: Oxygen is an essential gas for many life forms on Earth today, but it did not exist in the atmosphere during early episodes of Earth history. Geochemists invested great amount of effort to study how trace level of oxygen first appeared at about 2 billion years ago and then rose to its concentration of modern atmosphere. Even when the atmosphere was rich in oxygen, global oceans experienced catastrophic oxygen losses in the last 100 million years. Last but not least, on-going global climate change and nutrient pollution are leading to the expansion of marine dead-zones and more frequent hypoxia. This talk will explore the Earth history of oxygen, addressing causes and evidences for changes in oxygen levels.

Biography: Zunli has been with Syracuse University since 2011 after obtaining his PhD at University of Rochester and completing post-doctoral research at University of Oxford (England). He is interested in using chemical analyses and computer simulations to solve puzzles in the Earth system at different time scales. He is in charge of a clean lab and mass spectrometer to measure trace elements in water, rock and fossil samples. Climate change and oceanography are his main areas of teaching at SU. Other than research, writing and teaching at university, Zunli plays volleyball, table tennis, and particularly enjoys fishing. He’s also learning skating and skiing with his 5 year old boy.

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique, a program for middle-school students founded in 2005, features discussions about topics in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an informal atmosphere and seeks to encourage students to consider careers in these areas. Students must be accompanied by an adult and can explore the MOST at no cost after the event.

Technology Alliance of Central New York

Founded in 1903 as the Technology Club of Syracuse, the nonprofit Technology Alliance of Central New York’s mission is to facilitate community awareness, appreciation, and education of technology; and to collaborate with like-minded organizations across Central New York.

For more information about TACNY, visit www.tacny.org.

Free Astronomy Magazine – January-February 2018 Issue Available For Reading And Download

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

The most recent issue of Free Astronomy Magazine (January-February 2018) is available for your reading and downloading pleasure at www.astropublishing.com (click the link to go directly to the issue).

Free Astronomy Magazine was featured as the first of a series of articles on great free online content for amateur astronomers (see A Universe Of Free Resources Part 1) and we’ll be keeping track of future publications under the Online Resources category on the CNYO website.

You can find previous Free Astronomy Magazine issues by checking out our Free Astronomy Magazine Category (or look under the Education link in our menu).

For those wanting a quick look at what the issue has to offer, the Table of Contents is reproduced below.

January-February 2018

The web browser-readable version of the issue can be found here:

January-February 2018 – www.astropublishing.com/1FAM2018/

For those who want to jump right to the PDF download (27 MB), Click here: January-February 2018

NASA Space Place – Sixty Years Of Observing Our Earth

Poster’s Note: One of the many under-appreciated aspects of NASA is the extent to which it publishes quality science content for children and Ph.D.’s alike. NASA Space Place has been providing general audience articles for quite some time that are freely available for download and republishing. Your tax dollars help promote science! The following article was provided for reprinting in January, 2018.

By Teagan Wall

2013february2_spaceplaceSatellites are a part of our everyday life. We use global positioning system (GPS) satellites to help us find directions. Satellite television and telephones bring us entertainment, and they connect people all over the world. Weather satellites help us create forecasts, and if there’s a disaster-such as a hurricane or a large fire-they can help track what’s happening. Then, communication satellites can help us warn people in harm’s way.

There are many different types of satellites. Some are smaller than a shoebox, while others are bigger than a school bus. In all, there are more than 1,000 satellites orbiting Earth. With that many always around, it can be easy to take them for granted. However, we haven’t always had these helpful eyes in the sky.

The United States launched its first satellite on Jan. 31, 1958. It was called Explorer 1, and it weighed in at only about 30 pounds. This little satellite carried America’s first scientific instruments into space: temperature sensors, a microphone, radiation detectors and more.

Explorer 1 sent back data for four months, but remained in orbit for more than 10 years. This small, relatively simple satellite kicked off the American space age. Now, just 60 years later, we depend on satellites every day. Through these satellites, scientists have learned all sorts of things about our planet.

For example, we can now use satellites to measure the height of the land and sea with instruments called altimeters. Altimeters bounce a microwave or laser pulse off Earth and measure how long it takes to come back. Since the speed of light is known very accurately, scientists can use that measurement to calculate the height of a mountain, for example, or the changing levels of Earth’s seas.

Satellites also help us to study Earth’s atmosphere. The atmosphere is made up of layers of gases that surround Earth. Before satellites, we had very little information about these layers. However, with satellites’ view from space, NASA scientists can study how the atmosphere’s layers interact with light. This tells us which gases are in the air and how much of each gas can be found in the atmosphere. Satellites also help us learn about the clouds and small particles in the atmosphere, too.

When there’s an earthquake, we can use radar in satellites to figure out how much Earth has moved during a quake. In fact, satellites allow NASA scientists to observe all kinds of changes in Earth over months, years or even decades.

Satellites have also allowed us-for the first time in civilization-to have pictures of our home planet from space. Earth is big, so to take a picture of the whole thing, you need to be far away. Apollo 17 astronauts took the first photo of the whole Earth in 1972. Today, we’re able to capture new pictures of our planet many times every day.

Today, many satellites are buzzing around Earth, and each one plays an important part in how we understand our planet and live life here. These satellite explorers are possible because of what we learned from our first voyage into space with Explorer 1-and the decades of hard work and scientific advances since then.

To learn more about satellites, including where they go when they die, check out NASA Space Place: https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/spacecraft-graveyard.

Caption: This photo shows the launch of Explorer 1 from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Jan. 31, 1958. Explorer 1 is the small section on top of the large Jupiter-C rocket that blasted it into orbit. With the launch of Explorer 1, the United States officially entered the space age. Image credit: NASA

About NASA Space Place

With articles, activities, crafts, games, and lesson plans, NASA Space Place encourages everyone to get excited about science and technology. Visit spaceplace.nasa.gov (facebook|twitter) to explore space and Earth science!