Tag: NASA

Friday Factoid Week 25

Hey all you star-gazers young and old!  Did you know that April is International Astronomy Month?  To celebrate, we’re stepping away from our usual Apologia course material and participating in some great events happening all around the globe but accessible right from our laptops.  However, the best way to participate of course, is turn the computer off altogether, go out side, and look up!

First I’m going to post a few links to help get you inspired.  If you’ve never visited the Hubble Space Telescope site, do that first.  Just scrolling through their archive of images will leave you in absolute awe of what lies beyond our field of vision.  Click here to go straight to their gallery.  Here’s just a sample of a few of our favorite Hubble images.

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The NASA site is like a black hole.  It will suck you right in.  Click here, but with caution 🙂

Another fun thing to do is to celebrate International Astronomy Month with the astronauts currently on board the International Space Station. You can track the space station and find out how to spot it in the sky.  We did this while living in Hawaii and it was really cool.  Click here to read the blog post.  Click here for the ISS site where you can also view their live video stream.

Next is Astronomers Without Borders.  They have links to citizen science activities and a cool art and poetry contest.  The boys have been busy this week working on entries to both contests which we will post on next Friday’s Factoid.

 

 

Friday Factoid Week 22

Neptune is the furthest planet from the sun, besides Pluto.  It takes 164 earth years for it to orbit the sun.  It is spinning the same direction as the earth except for it’s all wobbly as it goes.  It is bright blue because it is made of methane.  Neptune also has 2 rings made of dust particles.  They are 33,000 and 39,000 miles away from Neptune.  Neptune used to have a Great Dark Spot on it which was a storm as big as the whole earth but now its gone  (by Nathan, age 11).

PIA01492

Neptune has 13 known moons, the largest of these is Triton. It is the coldest object that any spacecraft has ever visited.  The average temperature on Triton is 400 degrees F below zero.  It is also moving closer and closer to Neptune every day.  These two facts make most astronomers think that Triton was not originally Neptune’s moon, but was probably pulled in by Neptune’s gravity.  Another interesting thing about Triton is that it is full of geysers, which probably spew a mixture of chemicals instead of hot water (by Joel, age 13).

PIA02215

I’m adding this link to a flashback from our Hawaiian homeschool 6 years ago.  In it, Titus (age 9 at the time) mentions that it rains diamonds on Neptune.  When I reread this I was incredulous myself, wondering if I had let some misinformation slip into the blog.  It turns out that after that particular post, more studies emerged to support this theory.  You can read about it yourself in this Washington Post article .

Friday Factoid Week 17

Did you know that stuff in space actually does make noise?  NASA has recorded some of the sounds made by planets in our solar system, stars and even mysterious sounds in interstellar space.  Isn’t it cool to think that Earth has it’s own special song?  What must this cosmic orchestra sound like to God?  You can click on the following links for a small taste of “The Music of the Spheres.”

Earth’s Song here

Sounds of all the planets here

Intersteller space sounds here

If you’ve never heard it before make sure you also listen to this clip from a message by Louis Giglio about the sounds of the stars.

Louis Giglio here

And here’s a Flashback to go along with next week’s readings on the heavens giving praise.  If you’re into history you’ll love this seldom-heard story!