TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique: “Stranger Than Fiction: A Journey Through The History Of Life”

Saturday – October 21, 9:30-11:00am

Please RSVP to jrcafe@tacny.org

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


View Larger Map

Speaker: Emily J. Judd, PhD Candidate, Department of Earth Sciences, Syracuse University

Overview: The Earth is very old – 4.56 billion years old, to be exact. Yet it took about a billion years for life to first appear, and another 3 billion years or so to evolve to the complex forms we see today. Together we will journey through geologic time, from the very beginning of life through to the appearance of humans. We will explore the interactions between organisms and the Earth around them -not only how they’ve adapted to changing environments, but also how they’ve caused changes to the environment, from altering the landscape to oxygenating the atmosphere. Through the lens of the fossil record, we will look at the explosion of complex, multicellular life more than 500 million years ago, the transition from life in the oceans to life on land, the rise (and fall) of dinosaurs, the diversification of mammals, and eventually, the evolution of humans.

Biography: Emily Judd is a PhD candidate in the Department of Earth Sciences at Syracuse University. Before coming to Syracuse, she earned her BS in Geology, with a minor in Philosophy from the Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. Emily’s primary field of research is paleoclimate, or the reconstruction of ancient climates. Her research focuses on greenhouse climate intervals – times in Earth’s history when there was no ice near the poles, but instead there were palm trees and crocodiles. She looks at chemical signatures in fossils from these warm intervals to investigate how different environments respond to large-scale changes in climate, so that we may be able to better predict those changes in the future. These days, much of Emily’s work involves looking at 50-million year-old clams from Antarctica to assess seasonal changes in temperature and precipitation. When not in the lab, Emily enjoys exploring the great outdoors, be it hiking, mountain biking, or rock climbing, as well as reading, traveling, and spending time with her giant 12-year-old dog.

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.

T-2 Years? The Anticipated Fizzle-Out Of The Iridium Flares – Do Not Take Them For Granted!

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

The following thoroughly depressing link was sent off – with a specific mention of the possibly extra-short future of the Iridium Flares many of us enjoy observing at night – by Kopernik member (and celebrity volunteer! – featured in a great article last month readable at pressconnects.com) George Normandin earlier this year. We’ve potentially lost 7 months already from the possible countdown with this approximate-ish late post to the CNYO site (my bad).

Iridium satellite #6 (upper) and its replacement, #51, flaring 6 seconds apart in a 21.4-second exposure. The bright object on the right is Jupiter. Arcturus is the bright star at about the 7 o’clock position. Spica is just out of view in the lower right. The satellites were moving left to right. Image by Jud McCranie.

For the record, the bbc.com article title was a little less dramatic than the also excellent nationalgeographic.com and spaceflightnow.com articles about the same.

From the article at bbc.com:

One thing the new [Iridium NEXT satellites] satellites will not be capable of doing, however, is producing Iridium “flares”. These are the flashes in the sky that result when sunlight glints off the antennas of the old spacecraft.

The new satellites do not have the same configuration, so once the original constellation is de-orbited the flashes will cease.

“I’m afraid those who’ve been tracking that phenomenon over the past 20 years have another year or two to see it,” Mr Desch told BBC News.

“As someone who’s seen a couple myself, you can imagine what a thrill it is to be the CEO of a company like this and watch your satellite go overhead. But we weren’t going to spend money just to make angular shiny things on our satellites, so that phenomenon will go away – but it’s been fun.”

For the full article: www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38613275

Iridium Flares are very easy to find once you know where – and when – to look. Predictions for your locale are easy to obtain from www.heavens-above.com/IridiumFlares.aspx.

Popular Astronomy, Fall 2017 – New/Reboot Magazine Available For Free Download

The announcement of the rebooted Popular Astronomy was made on 15 July 2017 but has only recently made its way to my inbox thanks to postings on the ASRAS email list (and Dave Mormuth’s post to the SAS website). Having signed up for the free subscription service, we’ll keep track of this magazine’s availability as we do the bi-monthly Free Astronomy Magazine posts.

From the site announcement post:

Magazine PDF link (direct download button in upper-left corner):

issuu.com/technica_curiosa/docs/popular_astronomy-fall2017-v1n1?e=30247351/50903469

Issue Highlights

* Dava Sobel’s original new essay inspired by her best-selling book, “The Glass Universe.”

* Dr. Michael Summers on exoplanets and “Diamond Worlds.”

* Dr. Jeffrey Bennett brings a cosmic perspective to the study of exoplanets.

* Best-selling author John Read delivers the perfect orientation to telescope selection —and astrophotography.

* Geoff Cottrell gives us a tour of the next big telescopes.

* Martin Griffiths takes us deep inside the nebulae.

* The legendary Wil Tirion guides us through the history of celestial cartography.

* Peter Pesic provides a fascinating historical perspective on music and the making of modern science.

* Astrophysicist Neil Comins brings the concept— and experience—of space tourism into focus.

* John Fossett shows us how to create an astronomy club through your local library.

* Jeff Bennett returns with a complete guide to Eclipse 2017.

* John Schroeter on the history of radio telescopes and the detection of mysterious fast radio bursts.

* George Musser’s “Einstein’s Castle in the Air” questions the essence of space and time.

* A special Popular Astronomy eBook recounting the history of Mars exploration – popularastronomy.technicacuriosa.com/history-future-mars-exploration/

And don’t forget to register for your FREE subscription!

And for a little about the publisher (the site contains a number of space and technical posts – worth checking out!).

“The home of Popular Electronics, Mechanix Illustrated, and Popular Astronomy”

Technica Curiosa is the new and exciting hub of a highly-connected family of iconic media brands—brands endowed with rich legacies of world-changing, decades-spanning influence. As such, they are among the world’s most recognized, respected, shared, and deeply read titles. By consistently and creatively tapping into readers’ innate curiosity, imagination, and inventiveness, our brands have in turn inspired the creation of entire industries. No question, the road to innovation is quite literally paved with the content published in these exceptional titles.