Category Archives: Education

International Astronomical Union 2018 Light Pollution Brochure – Available For Download

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

With thanks to George Normandin of the Kopernik Astronomical Society (and Art Cacciola for emphasizing the importance of getting this PDF distributed), we’re making mention here of the publication of a fairly recent (April, 2018) International Astronomical Union (IAU) report on Light Pollution.

The direct link and additional details are below.

As a more recent point of note, the recommendations of amber/yellow colors for “ecologically responsible and astronomically friendly LEDs” is a relevant extension to a June 2016 article in Sky and Telescope titled “Is Red Light Really Best?” where author Robert Dick presented quite compelling arguments for shifting your nighttime observing lights a bit towards amber.

2018 Light Pollution Brochure – Download

From the IAU website:

This publication is a compilation of important findings of experts worldwide in the area of light pollution. The information was gathered under the umbrella of the Cosmic Light programme, organized by IAU during the International Year of Light 2015. The goal of this brochure is to raise the profile of recent advancements in our understanding of light pollution, in particular regarding the use of LEDs, to support the astronomy community and increase public awareness of light pollution research.

You can download this brochure as a high resolution pdf or as a medium resolution pdf.

Credit: IAU Office for Astronomy Outreach

NASA Space Place – What Is The Asteroid Belt?

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 May, 2018.

By Linda Hermans-Killiam

2013february2_spaceplaceThere are millions of pieces of rocky material left over from the formation of our solar system. These rocky chunks are called asteroids, and they can be found orbiting our Sun. Most asteroids are found between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. They orbit the Sun in a doughnut-shaped region of space called the asteroid belt.

Asteroids come in many different sizes—from tiny rocks to giant boulders. Some can even be hundreds of miles across! Asteroids are mostly rocky, but some also have metals inside, such as iron and nickel. Almost all asteroids have irregular shapes. However, very large asteroids can have a rounder shape.

The asteroid belt is about as wide as the distance between Earth and the Sun. It’s a big space, so the objects in the asteroid belt aren’t very close together. That means there is plenty of room for spacecraft to safely pass through the belt. In fact, NASA has already sent several spacecraft through the asteroid belt!

The total mass of objects in the asteroid belt is only about 4 percent the mass of our Moon. Half of this mass is from the four largest objects in the belt. These objects are named Ceres, Vesta, Pallas and Hygiea.

The dwarf planet Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt. However, Ceres is still pretty small. It is only about 587 miles across—only a quarter the diameter of Earth’s moon. In 2015, NASA’s Dawn mission mapped the surface of Ceres. From Dawn, we learned that the outermost layer of Ceres—called the crust—is made up of a mixture of rock and ice.

The Dawn spacecraft also visited the asteroid Vesta. Vesta is the second largest object in the asteroid belt. It is 329 miles across, and it is the brightest asteroid in the sky. Vesta is covered with light and dark patches, and lava once flowed on its surface.

The asteroid belt is filled with objects from the dawn of our solar system. Asteroids represent the building blocks of planets and moons, and studying them helps us learn about the early solar system.

For more information about asteroids, visit: spaceplace.nasa.gov/asteroid

Caption:This image captured by the Dawn spacecraft is an enhanced color view of Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

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!

CNY Rocket Team Challenge Volunteers Needed! – 2 June 2018

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

This in from the TACNY list –

The MOST’s CNY Rocket Team Challenge (additional link) is approaching quickly, and we need your help! Volunteers are needed on Saturday, June 2, 2018 from 7:30 AM to 1:30 PM for a variety of roles during this annual event held at SU’s Skytop Field. Volunteers will be provided with lunch on the day of the event, as well as the opportunity to inspire the next generation of rocket scientists! For more information about the event, please visit the Rocket Team Challenge page.

Contact Emily Stewart (estewart@most.org) with your name and affiliation (employer, university, etc.), to request a list of volunteer roles, as well as to list role preference(s), no later than Monday, May 28.

As always, we are so grateful for the time and energy that you donate to the MOST and its outreach programs. These events couldn’t happen without you!

Thanks!

Emily & the 2018 CNY Rocket Team Challenge Organizing Committee

About TACNY

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.