Tuesday, August 7, 2012
This past weekend, the ASP held a Galileo Teacher Training Program Workshop, where 40+ teaching professionals and educators gathered together to learn and discuss inquiry-based, hands-on astronomy activities. It was an awesome group that I was proud to be a part of.
Sunday evening kicked off an event at Flandrau planetarium, before the extremely exciting Curiosity landing on Mars. It was a wonderful experience to gather around with all of these astronomy lovers to watch the successful landing of Curiosity on Sunday night. I'm including my favorite photo from Curiosity is below:
(From the JPL site on the Curiosity mission: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/)
I love that you can see the rover's shadow in the photo, as well as the beautifully detailed surface of Mars. And look at that peak in the distance! How exciting! Better yet, these photos are the lowest resolution images that we'll be seeing from Curiosity (this camera is purely intended for looking out for rocks and debris in the path of the rover). Just this morning, the first color images from Curiosity have been taken.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are chock-full of exciting lectures, panels and interesting conversation. Keep checking back for updates on some of the sessions!
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Monday, July 30, 2012
Currently I am trying to get everything in order before going to the ASP's annual meeting in Tucson, AZ. The conference's theme is "Communicating Science" and I'll be presenting a poster and making contacts that will hopefully help me get a job post-graduation next May. I'm really excited for all the lectures and poster sessions. Just printed up some business cards, and I'm ready to mingle!
Monday, July 16, 2012
Throughout the day, I also showed off the Kepler and Exoplanets apps. I ended up chatting with Dr. Frank Drake of the famous Drake equation (!), who was presenting at one of the panels later on at the convention. It was definitely a starstruck moment (pun intended). I remember attending an astronomy class at a college I visited during high school, and during that lecture we went over the Drake equation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_equation) and the notion of intelligent life in our Universe. It was pretty full circle when I showed him and his wife the apps, and had a discussion about how I got into astronomy. Both lovely people, and I had a great time talking it up with them. I’ve included some photos below:
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Thursday, July 5, 2012
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Monday, June 18, 2012
When looking at objects to observe in the springtime, I came across this photo of the Whirlpool galaxy, also known as M51. This was the Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) image from July 24, 2000. It's a beautiful spiral galaxy, 23 million miles away, and 65 thousand light years across. To put this in perspective, the distance from Earth to the Sun is just 8 light seconds! I couldn't stop staring at this photo; not only is the spiral particularly beautiful in this image, but the interaction with the second galaxy on the left is especially cool.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Great article by "Bad Astronomy" blogger, Phil Plait.
"Bad Astronomy" is a Discovery Magazine blog that has a lot of interesting posts on astronomy, space science, and just science in general: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/.
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Tuesday was the final transit of Venus until 2117! The ASP had an event at UC Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science. Throughout the afternoon and the late evening, there was an array of viewing stations with solar telescopes set up and wonderful ASP staff members to help and explain the transit. Over the course of the day, we estimated that there were a couple thousand or so people at the event! It was a wonderful day, and very exciting for everyone.
I've included some of my favorite snapshots:
(Can you see Venus??)
I spent the rest of the week researching and adding to my multicultural astronomy document, and helping the office out with a mailing. (I found the postcard addressed to Neil deGrasse Tyson - so fun!). I also worked on my application to get funding to go to the annual ASP meeting, with this year's theme as "Communicating Science" - hopefully everything will work out! Had an interesting staff meeting today; very cool to see the non-profit and fundraising side of the ASP.
All in all, a great first week!
Monday, June 4, 2012
I spent today researching Native American Astronomy traditions, legends and activities. It's been so much fun; I got to read a myriad of folklore on astronomical topics, and all were very interesting. I've started compiling this information in a document that is broken up into five sections: legends/folklore, videos, journal articles, activities, and useful links. My hope is to be able to add to this document throughout the summer, make similar documents that pertain to other cultures, and using these, maybe put together a small program that might include a folk tale with accompanying videos, activities, etc so that they can be more easily used in an educational setting.
For some samples of Native American sun-related folklore, check out this link.
Tomorrow, I'll be going with the rest of the ASP crew to help out with a transit of Venus event at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, CA. This is the last time you'll be able to see a transit of Venus in your lifetime -- the next transit will be in 2117! To learn more about the transit of Venus and find a viewing time (depending on location), check out this article.
Looking forward to the rest of my summer working here!