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Steam clouds projects – Weather science

By |2018-05-31T11:49:31+00:00August 20th, 2017|Physics|

See the steam coming out of this kettle? You can make your own clouds and see how they work. Just take a tea kettle and fill it full of water and put it on the stove to boil (make sure this is okay with your folks). When the steam comes out, it makes a white cloud - that's the [...]

Ear popping – Atmosphere – Weather science

By |2017-08-20T13:42:54+00:00August 20th, 2017|Physics|

The view from the top of the Gheralta massif in Ethiopia. You can feel for yourself that the atmosphere gets thinner as you go higher above the earth. If you drive or hike to the top of a mountain (or just take an elevator to the top of a tall building), you can [...]

Cirrus clouds – Weather science

By |2017-08-19T09:58:53+00:00August 19th, 2017|Physics|

Cirrus clouds in a blue sky Most of the time, you see cirrus clouds very high up in the sky, looking thin and wispy, like someone pulled a bigger cloud apart into little bits of cloud. Cirrus (SIR-russ) clouds look thin because they are made of ice crystals, not water drops. They form where it is high enough to [...]

What’s the atmosphere? Weather science

By |2018-04-24T15:14:22+00:00August 19th, 2017|Physics|

Did the Earth look like this right after it cooled down? The atmosphere is the air that is wrapped all around a planet. Not all planets have atmospheres. In order to have an atmosphere, the planet has to have enough gravity to hold on to light atoms like hydrogen and helium. It has to keep those atoms from floating away into [...]

What is Time? – Time and space in Physics

By |2018-05-31T11:49:26+00:00August 19th, 2017|Physics, When|

Time and space: a sundial from Ukraine (ca. 1300 BC) - one of the two oldest sundials in the world Are time and space the same thing? Nobody knows what time is, or how it works. Time seems to be closely related to space, and it's possible that space and time are different ways [...]

Venus – Planets – Astronomy – Space science

By |2018-05-31T11:49:31+00:00August 19th, 2017|Physics|

This is what the planet Venus looks like from space. Venus is the second planet away from our Sun - Mercury is closer to the Sun, and then the Earth is a little farther from the Sun. Like the Earth, Venus probably formed about four and a half billion years ago, out of space dust in the same nebula. Venus is [...]

Uranus – Planets – Astronomy – Space science

By |2018-05-31T11:49:18+00:00August 19th, 2017|Physics|

Uranus, the second to last planet out from the Sun Uranus is between Saturn and Neptune, so it's the next to the last planet away from our Sun. It takes Uranus 84 years to go around the Sun because it is so far away. Like the other planets going around our Sun, Uranus (YER-ann-uss) formed about 4.5 billion years [...]

Supernova – Space – Astronomy

By |2018-05-31T11:49:31+00:00August 19th, 2017|Physics|

Supernova from space (thanks to NASA and the Hubble Telescope) What is a supernova? Supernovas are exploding stars. Red giant stars explode when they have used up their hydrogen and helium fuel, and converted most of their atoms to iron atoms. A red giant star explodes Red giant stars have a lot of gravity pulling them inward. Normally they don't collapse inward because the nuclear [...]

What’s the sun made of? – Astronomy – Science

By |2018-04-24T14:46:25+00:00August 19th, 2017|Physics|

The sun from space The Sun is a star, just like billions of other stars in the universe. Our Sun probably formed a little more than four and a half billion years ago, just a little bit before the planets formed around it. It's not one of the older stars in the Universe. Probably some of [...]

Different types of stars – Astronomy – Space

By |2018-05-31T11:49:31+00:00August 19th, 2017|Physics|

The Eagle Nebula Stars don't last forever, though they do last for billions of years. And they don't stay the same throughout their existence - they change over time. The earliest beginning of a star is called a nebula. A nebula is a cloud of hydrogen and a few helium atoms hanging in space. Sometimes a nebula just [...]