Greetings: Happy Reading for today. <Karen> Space Weather News http://spaceweather.com BIGGEST FULL MOON OF THE YEAR:This week's full Moon (Oct. 25-26) is the biggest full Moon of 2007. It's no illusion. Some full Moons are genuinely larger than others and Thursday night's will be as much as 14% wider and 30% brighter than lesser full Moons we've seen earlier this year.
SPACESHIP SIGHTINGS: Space shuttle Discovery launched this morning from NASA's Kennedy Space Center on a two-week mission to the International Space Station (ISS). This means sky watchers should be alert for spaceship flybys in the nights ahead. Both Discovery and ISS will make favorable passes over many US cities with the possibility of double flybys later this week when the two spacecraft are about to dock. Subscribers to Spaceweather PHONE (http://spaceweatherphone.com) will receive email and telephone alerts of flybys in viewing range of their hometowns.
ERUPTING COMET: Astronomers in Japan and Europe report that Comet 17P/Holmes is undergoing a spectacular eruption. The 17th-magnitude comet has brightened by a factor of five hundred thousand or more during the past 24 hours becoming a naked eye object in the evening sky. This may signify a breakup of the comet's core or a rich vein of ice suddenly exposed to sunlight--no one knows. Look for a yellow 2.5th-magnitude fuzzball in the constellation Perseus after sunset. ("2.5th magnitude" means a little dimmer than the stars of the Big Dipper.) At present the comet looks more like a star than a comet; it does not have a discernable tail, but it might grow one as the outburst continues.
NASAApplications are currently being accepted for the 2008 CanSat Competition. Applications are due Oct. 31, 2007. Download the application, visit: <http://www.cansatcompetition.com/Main.html>http://www.cansatcompetition.com/ This annual competition is open to university students from the United States, Canada and Mexico. Teams of 2-10 students are required to design and build a space-type system called a CanSat. Each CanSat is the size of a soda can and must be built according to the specifications released by the competition organizing committee. Participants are involved in the end-to-end life cycle of a complex engineering project, from conceptual design, through integration and test, actual operation of the system, and the conclusion with a post-mission summary and debriefing. All teams entering the CanSat competition are required to have a faculty adviser. The faculty adviser shall oversee and be responsible for the conduct of the team at all times during the competition and is strongly encouraged to accompany the team to the competition.
NOVA NOVA presents "Marathon Challenge" Broadcast: Tuesday, October 30, 2007 http://www.pbs.org/nova/marathon (NOVA airs on PBS at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Check your local listings as broadcast dates and times may vary. This program can be used up to one year after it is recorded off the air.) Team NOVA http://www.pbs.org/nova/marathon/team.html Meet each of the 13 runners as well as the Team NOVA coaches and discover what motivated each person to take on this challenge. (Grades 6-8, 9-12) Marathon Diaries http://www.pbs.org/nova/marathon/diaries.html Watch short videos of four runners as they talk about their personal experiences and read their full stories in interviews, e-mails, and other notes. (Flash plug-in required to play videos.) (Grades 6-8, 9-12) The Training Calendar http://www.pbs.org/nova/marathon/calendar.html View the week-by-week training schedule that Team NOVA followed to prepare for the race. (Flash plug-in required.) (Grades 6-8, 9-12) Ask the Expert http://www.pbs.org/nova/marathon/expert.html Send in questions about exercise, training, and diet to Tufts professor, nutritionist, and marathoner Miriam Nelson. (Questions due by Wednesday October 31; selected responses will be posted on Tuesday, November 6.) (Grades 6-8, 9-12) Fit to Go the Distance http://www.pbs.org/nova/marathon/fit.html Learn about the physiological factors that influence the volume of oxygen an individual can consume, one measure of physical fitness. (Grades 6-8, 9-12) Ten Tips http://www.pbs.org/nova/marathon/tips.html Take a look at some advice for rookie runners. (Grades 6-8, 9-12) Mind of a Marathoner http://www.pbs.org/nova/marathon/mind.html Read and listen to Team NOVA coach and marathoner Ute Pippig as she reflects on the mental challenges and rewards of running a marathon. (Grades 6-8, 9-12) Teacher's Guide http://www.pbs.org/nova/teachers/programs/3414_marathon.html In this classroom activity, students take each other's pulses at rest and after exercise to determine recovery times. (Grades 6-8) Program transcript http://www.pbs.org/nova/transcripts/3414_marathon.html The site includes a complete narration for this program.