Tag Archives: NASA

Celebrate Earth Day 2020!

Earthrise by Apollo 8 Astronaut William Anders/NASA

This Wednesday (April 22, 2020) will mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. While many of the large scale celebrations will have to be postponed; here are some ideas for ways to celebrate in your home or neighborhood.

#EarthDayAtHome with NASA – this website has a great collection of activities to explore our world. Here are a few that you might want check out: Terrestrial Tournament (vote for your favorite Earth images), Hit the Bricks (instructions for creating LEGO models Model 1 and Model 2), NEMO-NET (mapping coral reefs), download the ebook “Earth at Night” to view amazing images of our planet at night.

Water Rocks!, an Iowa based water education campaign, has two exciting Earth Week art contests.
1) Create a sidewalk chalk masterpiece showing your love for natural resources or ways to help protect planet Earth.
2) Gather interesting objects you find outside to create art from nature!
Check out the Water Rocks website for full details: https://www.waterrocks.org/earth-week-chalk-challenge

ISU’s Live Green Monthly Newsletter is also another resource to find ideas for celebrating Earth Day. It is filled with practical tips for living more sustainably, fun DYI Green activities, opportunities for living green as well as other interesting articles.

Have a happy Earth Day!

Citizen Science during the Total Solar Eclipse

You might have heard by now that in just under two weeks there will be a total solar eclipse of the sun!    

2008 Solar Eclipse Diamond Ring, Credit : The Exporatorium, https://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/eclipse/eclipseimages.html

NASA is encouraging people to use this opportunity to join in a citizen science experiment to record the air temperature and surface temperatures as well as cloud cover and type at intervals before and after the totality of the eclipse. For more information about how to participate in this excellent experiment read these handouts: 1)GLOBE Solar Eclipse Instructions and Links sheet, 2)GLOBE Solar Eclipse Data Collection Worksheet, and 3)Citizen Science Solar Eclipse Handout.  Thank you to Kevin Czajkoski, from OhioView, for sharing these handouts.

Total Solar Eclipse Diagram
By Andrew Fraknoi and Dennis Schatz
From the National Science Teachers Assoication, http://static.nsta.org/extras/solarscience/SolarScienceInsert.pdf

Check out this map to see where you are located in relation to viewing the total eclipse.  Here in Ames, Iowa, we should see between 90-95% of the total eclipse.  

Another really cool video that I recommend checking out is from the PBS show, Steven Hawkings – Genius – in this clip the researchers are trying to create a model of the eclipse to understand how far the Earth and Moon are from the sun in the middle of the desert in Utah.  At the end of the video they use a computer model to extrapolate the whole solar system.  It is an amazing visual!  CHECK IT OUT!!!

Earth Week 2017: Adopt the Planet

Happy Earth Week! This year NASA has created unique opportunity just in time for Earth Day for interested participants to “Adopt the Planet.”  There are 64,000 locations available from adoption.    

Credit: NASA https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2017/nasa-celebrates-earth-day-by-letting-us-all-adopttheplanet

When you visit the website you can fill in your name and then receive a certificate with your adopted patch of Earth.  The adoption certificate gives you specific coordinates of your location on our globe as well as satellite data layers relevant to your piece of Earth.  You can use WorldView, NASA’s web-based satellite viewing application, to explore your adopted point over time and with different layers.   

I received a point on the coast of Antarctica.  It was cool to explore a part of our planet that I don’t normally think about on a daily basis. With the WorldView application I was able to see how it changes over the seasons from solid ice to open ocean. WorldView even has the ability to animate these observations.

This outreach event allows us the appreciate our planet from space and helps us learn about some of the space instruments that are continuously monitoring and circling our planet.

To adopt your piece of Earth, visit: https://climate.nasa.gov/adopt-the-planet/#/

Credit: NASA https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2017/nasa-celebrates-earth-day-by-letting-us-all-adopttheplanet