Archive for Science

The Moon Once Had an Atmosphere

It may not have been breathable, but it was once surrounded by a blanket of gas. That is according to this recent article – Lunar volcanism produced a transient atmosphere around the ancient Moon – from Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

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Free Online Science Encyclopedia

National Geographic hosts an online encyclopedia touching on many scientific disciplines. What is different about this work is that you can filter the articles by grade level, starting at grade three and extending past high school. The entries have vocabulary lists, embedded links, suggestions for other entries of relevance, and many graphical supplements. An informative and worthwhile site.

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Scientific Definitions

ScienceDirect has released its Topic Index that contains thousands of definitions and supporting material in the form of excerpted book chapters. Many scientific disciplines are included here – biology, chemistry, physics, etc.

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Today in History : Sputnik Launches the Space Age

Sixty years ago today, Sputnik 1 blasted into space. Here is how The New York Times reported it. Review these documents in the Sputnik and the Space Race site from the Eisenhower Presidential Library from American reaction. Also check out this section from the 1955-57 volumes of the FRUSUnited States interest in the scientific exploration of outer space.

To see early documents for the American space program, please peruse

Exploring the Unknown: Selected Documents in the History of the U.S. Civil Space Program: Volume 1. (The seven other volumes in this NASA history series are also available here.)

 

 

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Welcome to Zealandia, the Newest Continent

As published in GSA Today, Zealandia: Earth’s Hidden Continent, this landmass broke off of Australia tens of millions of years ago and is now 94% underwater. (The part of the continent above the water is New Zealand.)  The authors of this article state that “The identification of Zealandia as a geological continent, rather than a collection of continental islands, fragments, and slices, more correctly represents the geology of this part of Earth.” (Abstract)

While the existence of this continent had been known for years( Zealandia was first named by Bruce Luyendyk in his Hypothesis for Cretaceous Rifting of East Gondwana caused by Subducted Slab Capture written in 1995), the first scientific expedition to explore this area has just finished its survey, and that is why this is now newsworthy.

The JOIDES Resolution is the name of the survey ship; it has a YouTube channel with brief videos highlighting some of the work involved with this expedition. You can also read blog entries at the vessel’s site. Additional information at The New York Times, The Guardian, Smithsonian, and National Geographic.

 

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Isaac Asimov Memorial Debates

Speaking of Isaac Asimov, these debates are hosted by the American Museum of Natural History and moderated by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. They are certainly worth a listen.

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Live Broadcasts of the August 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse

Please come to this site for various options. The Guarini Library will be showing coverage of this event starting at noon in the Machuga Technology Center.

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