Category Archives: Education

9th Annual Girls Summit – STEM Career Exploration Day, 29 April 2017

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

This in from the TACNY list. One week to go before the 2017 Girls Summit, held on the SUNY ESF campus this Saturday. Please forward this along to anyone you think might be interested!

Details

Girls Summit is a career exploration day for girls in grades 6-10 on Saturday April 29th, 2017 at the College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) from 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM. The event’s GPS address is 1000 Irving Ave.

Girls Summit is organized by Girls Inc. at the YWCA in collaboration with ESF, Syracuse University, Syracuse University’s STEP (Science, Technology Entry Program), and New York State CSTEP (Collegiate Science & Technology Entry Program). Participants will attend hands-on workshops about a variety of STEM topics throughout the day and a panel discussion about the high school-to-college transition will close the day.

This event aims to (1) spark the spirit, trigger the imagination and encourage young women to consider new and exciting career opportunities; (2) increase a girl’s interest in math, science and technology and in persistence with school; (3) provide girls with opportunities to meet and form personal contacts with women working in non- traditional fields; and (4) provide hands-on learning about alternative careers in a format that is committed to benefiting girls of all ethnicities, races, religions, abilities, and backgrounds.

GIRLS SUMMIT SCHEDULE

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM: Registration
9:40 – 9:55 AM: Keynote Speaker
10:00 – 10:10 AM: Pre-Survey
10:10 – 10:55 AM: Workshop 1
11:00 AM – 11:45 AM: Workshop 2
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM: Lunch (will be provided on-site)
12:40 – 1:25 PM: Workshop 3
1:30 – 2:10 PM: Workshop 4
2:10 – 2:15 PM: Post-Survey
2:30 – 3:15 PM: College Readiness Panel Discussion
3:15 – 3:30: Closing Ceremony & Door Prizes!

PLEASE NOTE: Your registration will not be considered complete until a registration fee of $5.00 is made to the YWCA by cash, credit, check, or money order. Call our main office at (315) 424-0040 to make a payment by credit card. Please make checks out to “YWCA Syracuse & Onondaga County” and drop off in person or by mail to 401 Douglas St. Syracuse, NY 13203. If mailing in a payment, please include contact information for the participant. Payment may be made on the day of the event, however it is strongly encouraged to pre-pay via the above options.

If you have any questions please contact Liz Wierbinski at lwierbinskiywca@centralny.twcbc.com or by phone at 315-424-0040.

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.

“Upstate NY Stargazing In April” Article Posted To newyorkupstate.com And syracuse.com

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

The latest article in the Upstate NY Stargazing series, “Upstate NY Stargazing in April: Comet Hunting and the Lyrid Meteor Shower,” has just been posted to newyorkupstate.com and syracuse.com.

Direct Link: newyorkupstate.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2017/03/…the_lyrid_meteor_shower.html

Direct Link: syracuse.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2017/03/…the_lyrid_meteor_shower.html

* We extend last month’s discussion of Messier Objects by briefly discussing the objects Messier was most keen on finding – comets. Many thanks to Brad Loperfido for the kind reprint permissions of his excellent Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak et al. catch (below).

Caption: One-hour motion of Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak (left) within Ursa Major, including M108 (the “Surfboard Galaxy”, upper right) and M97 (the Owl Nebula, lower right). (Image by NY photographer Brad Loperfido on March 22, 2017)

* We continue our look north with Ursa Minor, the second of six constellations that are always visible in the nighttime sky from our latitude (readers then can guess where the next four articles are headed).

* This month, we await the Lyrid Meteor Shower, which peaks on the early morning of April 22nd. The Lyrids peak in the presence of a sliver of a waning crescent Moon – this is excellent news for observers annoyed by the many washed-out 2016 meteor showers, as the Moon will not be bright enough to dull bright Lyrid trails.

Caption: The Lyrid Meteor Shower radiant, roughly between the bright star Vega and the southern elbow of Hercules. Pending the skies and brightness, you may even be able to see Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak between the head of Draco and arm of Hercules that night. Click for a larger view.

NASA Space Place – What It’s Like On A TRAPPIST-1 Planet

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 March, 2017.

By Marcus Woo

2013february2_spaceplaceWith seven Earth-sized planets that could harbor liquid water on their rocky, solid surfaces, the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system might feel familiar. Yet the system, recently studied by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, is unmistakably alien: compact enough to fit inside Mercury’s orbit, and surrounds an ultra-cool dwarf star—not much bigger than Jupiter and much cooler than the sun.

If you stood on one of these worlds, the sky overhead would look quite different from our own. Depending on which planet you’re on, the star would appear several times bigger than the sun. You would feel its warmth, but because it shines stronger in the infrared, it would appear disproportionately dim.

“It would be a sort of an orangish-salmon color—basically close to the color of a low-wattage light bulb,” says Robert Hurt, a visualization scientist for Caltech/IPAC, a NASA partner. Due to the lack of blue light from the star, the sky would be bathed in a pastel, orange hue.

But that’s only if you’re on the light side of the planet. Because the worlds are so close to their star, they’re tidally locked so that the same side faces the star at all times, like how the Man on the Moon always watches Earth. If you’re on the planet’s dark side, you’d be enveloped in perpetual darkness—maybe a good thing if you’re an avid stargazer.

If you’re on some of the farther planets, though, the dark side might be too cold to survive. But on some of the inner planets, the dark side may be the only comfortable place, as the light side might be inhospitably hot.

On any of the middle planets, the light side would offer a dramatic view of the inner planets as crescents, appearing even bigger than the moon on closest approach. The planets only take a few days to orbit TRAPPIST-1, so from most planets, you can enjoy eclipses multiple times a week (they’d be more like transits, though, since they wouldn’t cover the whole star).

Looking away from the star on the dark side, you would see the outer-most planets in their full illuminated glory. They would be so close—only a few times the Earth-moon distance—that you could see continents, clouds, and other surface features.

The constellations in the background would appear as if someone had bumped into them, jostling the stars—a perspective skewed by the 40-light-years between TRAPPIST-1 and Earth. Orion’s belt is no longer aligned. One of his shoulders is lowered.

And, with the help of binoculars, you might even spot the sun as an inconspicuous yellow star: far, faint, but familiar.

Want to teach kids about exoplanets? Go to the NASA Space Place and see our video called, “Searching for other planets like ours”: spaceplace.nasa.gov/exoplanet-snap/

This article was provided by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Caption: This artist’s concept allows us to imagine what it would be like to stand on the surface of the exoplanet TRAPPIST-1f, located in the TRAPPIST-1 system in the constellation Aquarius. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle (IPAC)

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!