On June 4, 2012, there’s going to be a full moon. According to Native American folklore it’s the Strawberry Moon, so-called because the short season for harvesting strawberries comes during the month of June.
This Strawberry’s going to have a bite taken out of it.
At 3:00 a.m. PDT, not long before sunrise on Monday, June 4, the moon passes directly behind our planet. A broad stretch of lunar terrain around the southern crater Tycho will fall under the shadow of Earth, producing the first lunar eclipse of 2012. At maximum eclipse, around 4:04 a.m. PDT, 37% of the moon’s surface will be in the dark.
In this episode of NASA Now, Sam James explains why NASA engineers build model aircraft. James talks about how models are tested in wind tunnels and why it’s important to create models that are proportional to full-scale aircraft. He discusses why models are an inexpensive alternative to full-scale aircraft during the redesigning stage of the engineering design process.
This program is available on the Virtual Campus beginning May 30.
Preview of NASA Now: Model Aircraft
To celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the United States’ Landsat Earth-observing program — which first rocketed into space on July 23, 1972 — NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey are giving something special to a few members of the American public. We will create customized Landsat chronicles of changing local landscapes for six U.S. citizens who enter the “American Landscape” contest.
To enter, all you have to do is send an e-mail and tell us about the local landscape changes you are interested in where you live and what you hope to learn about them from Landsat’s four-decades of observations from space.
Deadline for submissions is Wednesday, June 6. Contest winners will be announced live on NASA Television at a Landsat 40th anniversary press briefing in Washington on Monday, July 23.
For more information visit https://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/landsat_contest.html
On June 5, 2012, Venus will transit the face of the sun in an event of both historical and observational importance. The best places to watch are in the south Pacific, but travel is not required. The event will also be visible around sunset from the USA. The next transit of Venus won’t happen again until December 2117, 105 years from now. (Note: The pattern is + 8 + 105.5 + 8 + 121.5 +…)
ScienceCasts: The 2012 Transit of Venus
Video Chat: Robonaut Technology Aboard the Space Station
May 18, 2012, from 1-2 p.m. EDT
Students in grades 6-12 can ask CJ Kanelakos questions about designing, testing and building a lower body for R2 that will enable it to be more mobile on the International Space Station.
Video Chat: The Amazing World of Nanomaterials
May 23, 2012, from noon-1 p.m. EDT
In recognition of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, NASA Explorer Schools is offering students in grades 9-12 an opportunity to ask questions of Mia Siochi, a research materials engineer working on nanotechnology, self-healing materials and other emerging aerospace materials and systems of the future.
Professional Development Seminar: Ultraviolet Radiation and Yeast: Radiation Biology Web Seminar
May 23, 2012, at 8:15 p.m. EDT
The student activity featured in this seminar demonstrates the effects of radiation on living organisms. Learn how sun-screening materials protect live yeast cells from harmful ultraviolet, or UV, radiation, countermeasures for UV radiation and discuss phenotypic changes in yeast as a result of radiation damage. Also see how you can expand the range of items tested in this lab by using different sun protection materials. Use this activity to establish a connection for your students between science and a real-world situation.
NASA Now: Cryogenics Testing
May 23, 2012
Wesley Johnson, a cryogenics engineer at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, describes the three methods of heat transfer, shows samples of various insulation materials and demonstrates what happens to a flower exposed to extreme cold. Find out why NASA researchers study fluids and materials at super cold temperatures for applications on Earth and in space.
Link to the NES Virtual Campus home page.
On Sunday, May 20th, the Moon will pass in front of the sun, transforming sunbeams across the Pacific side of Earth into fat crescents and thin rings of light.
In the United States, the eclipse begins around 5:30 pm PDT. For the next two hours, a moon-shaped portion of the sun will go into hiding. Greatest coverage occurs around 6:30 pm PDT.
Solar Eclipse this Weekend
Nancy Hall, a research scientist at NASA Glenn Research Center, discusses the different ways matter acts in the gravity on Earth and the microgravity of space and how she uses a drop tower for testing.
This program is available on the Virtual Campus beginning May 26.
Preview NASA Now: Microgravity Drop Tower
NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has detected light emanating from a “super-Earth” beyond our solar system for the first time. While the planet is not habitable, the detection is a historic step toward the eventual search for signs of life on other planets.
The planet, called 55 Cancri e, falls into a class of planets termed super Earths, which are more massive than our home world but lighter than giant planets like Neptune. The planet is about twice as big and eight times as massive as Earth. It orbits a bright star, called 55 Cancri, in a mere 18 hours.