Greetings! Welcome to the 4th edition of Science Talk!
If you had a chance, as I did, for a second to see the Transit of Venus congratulations! It was overcast most of the day and actually rained an hour before the start of the transit! What I watched of it was the sun peeking through the clouds and only for about a minute. I had a filter and used the pinhole method! One day, hopefully, I can afford some good optics but I don’t think I will make it for the next transit! But we are in luck because the next full solar eclipse will be August 21, 2017, centered over Kentucky so I will be taking a little road trip!
Here is a great video from SDO or Solar Dynamics Observatory youtu.be/4Z9rM8ChTjY please check it out and see it on the highest quality that you can!
Did you know that China has a very active space program? If you didn’t know, this might be a surprise to you. Next week they have scheduled a launch to take three astronauts to their space station the Tiangong-1. This will be a first for China. Not only are they the third nation ever to place people into orbit, and to dock with a space station, it also will be their first female astronaut. So good luck to you China! The Tiangong-1 is a test platform for their technology, not a full blown station like the International Space Station. But, according to MSNBC.com/Space.com, China is planning on a 60 metric ton space station by 2020. Along with the space station they hope to be on the Moon one day. Who knows we may once again see human presence on the moon!
Could trees tell us when a giant super nova occurred? Well scientist at Japan’s Nagoya University believe so. They have found radioactive carbon-14 atoms that are 20 times the norm in some 1,200 yr old trees according to NationalGeographic.com.
The study states that cosmic radiation from a supernova could have caused the
increase in the carbon-14! Imagine a star that went supernova. It would have been within 650 light years of our planet. According to the article it would have been bright enough to see during the day! Wow! Talk about gigantic!
Some sad news this week, Author Ray Bradbury died He brought us such novels as Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles. One of the best Sci-fi writers of our time. Many of the Mar’s rover drives were inspired by his writings from The Martian Chronicles and he was honored a few years back at JPL and drove a simulated rover. Ray Bradbury will be missed, our sympathies to the family and friends of Ray, thank you.
So for now I am signing off until next time Good Bye, Good Science!