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  • Date: Mon, 09 Oct 2006 20:06:32 -0400

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NASA Science News for October 3, 2006

The most powerful volcanic eruption of the 20th century happened in
Alaska at a volcano named Novarupta. Because Novarupta was located so
near the Arctic, it did some curious things to Earth's climate. Almost
a century after the blast, researchers are beginning to understand
what happened.


Hilton Pond 09-22-06 (Goldenrod Predators)

Although Carolina habitats might not be all that scary for humans,
even such seemingly innocuous sites as Goldenrod patches can be places
of no return for many small organisms.

For a close look at some of the denizens that lurk among the
Solidago and raise havoc with everything from Honeybees to aphids,
please visit the 22-30 September 2006 installment of "This Week at
Hilton Pond".

Following the photo essay we include our usual tally of birds
banded during the period, as well as a list of recaptures and
several miscellaneous nature notes. Of particular interest is a
follow-up note about Kudzu.


Space Weather News for Oct. 6, 2006

HARVEST MOON:  Tonight's full moon has a special name--the "Harvest
Moon." It is the full moon closest to the northern autumnal equinox.
Long ago, before electric lights, farmers relied on the Harvest Moon
to light up their fields at night, allowing them to harvest autumn
crops even after sunset.
The Harvest Moon of 2006 is a big one--almost 12% wider than some full
Moons we've seen earlier this year. Why? Because the Moon is near
perigee, the side of the Moon's lopsided orbit that comes closest to Earth.


Next on NOVA: "The Viking Deception"
Tuesday, October 10 at 8PM ET/PT on PBS
Check your local listings as dates and times may vary.

There are few more tantalizing or notorious historical documents
than the Vinland Map. A faded, yellowing scrap of parchment bearing
a faint tracery of lines, the map apparently shows part of the
eastern seaboard of North America -- yet it was purportedly drawn at
least half a century before Columbus reached the New World. It seems
to present unshakeable proof that the Vikings were the real
discoverers of the Americas. But for 40 years, a bitter debate over
its authenticity has raged among cartographers, historians, and
scientists. Despite chemical analysis and radiocarbon tests, the case
remained unresolved. Now, in an exclusive investigation, NOVA
presents fresh evidence confirming that the map was probably one of
the cleverest forgeries of all time, and probes who might have
wanted to carry out the deception.

Here's what you'll find online:

    The Forger's Inspiration
    Early Viking tales and genuine medieval maps likely influenced
    the Vinland Map's author.

    Who Were the Vikings?
    Smithsonian archeologist William Fitzhugh reveals what drove the
    Vikings on their unquestionably real adventures to distant shores.

    The Map in Question
    Is it authentic? Examine the entire map -- and the telltale
    evidence -- and decide for yourself.

    Famous Fakes
    Hitler's diaries, Howard Hughes's autobiography, and other
    famous forgeries were made for money, power, or simply the
    thrill of the hoax.

[EDInfo] Teaching Resources: Earth Science, Cancer, the Brain

"Arctic and Antarctic"
     looks at research being conducted in the two polar regions of
     earth.  These vast, icy, inhospitable environments provide
     "natural laboratories" for scientists to study basic
     questions:  How did the universe begin?  Is earth's climate
     changing?  What are the limits of life in extreme
     environments? (NSF)

     provides an overview of research aimed to anticipate disasters
     and minimize their effects.  Learn about research on
     hurricanes, earthquakes, and volcanoes.  See what scientists
     are discovering about how and when tornadoes will form.  Watch
     a simulated fire spread up a hill.  (NSF)

"Climate Discovery Teacher's Guide"
     includes lessons on how the sun's magnetism interacts with the
     earth's magnetic field, how scientists study ancient climates,
     how the earth system works, how climate changes over time, and
     how climate models are used to predict the future of earth's
     climate.  (NSF)

"Inside Cancer"
     Inside Cancer uses animations and videoclips of experts to
     reveal what is known about cancer. Learn about kinds of
     cancer, how they start (cell mutations), and their
     distribution worldwide. Explore cancer related factors --
     smoking, inheritance, diet, and others. Find out about
     diagnosis and treatment. See animations of key concepts; hear
     experts explain them.  (NIH)

"MaudNESS Cruise"
     tells the story of a 56-day cruise into the Southern Ocean
     (Antarctic) to learn about conditions and events that cause
     ocean circulation, a key factor in setting the climate around
     the world.  The story is told through the journal of a 5th
     grade teacher aboard the icebreaker ship.  Learn about crew
     members (their roles and backgrounds).  See instruments used
     to measure salinity, oxygen, ice, and weather.  Discover what
     the crew learned.  (NSF)

"Monarchs in the Classroom"
     focuses on research and understanding of monarch butterflies.
     Learn about their growth, natural enemies, interactions with
     milkweed, migration, population dynamics, and more.  (NSF)

"Neuroscience for Kids"
     explores the brain and nervous system.  Learn about brain
     development, brain lobes, the cerebral cortex, the skull,
     blood supply, brain fitness, neurons, the autonomic nervous
     system, sensory systems, the spinal cord, laughter and the
     brain, the musical brain, face recognition, drug effects,
     neurological and mental disorders, and more.  (NIH)

     provides the latest news on developments in life sciences,
     physical sciences, and technology.  Sort articles by topic --
     genetics, animals, the brain, chemistry, physics, earth,
     oceans, astronomy, climate, engineering, biotechnology,
     computers, nanotechnology, and others.  See articles on cancer
     causing genes, music for pain, fat vaccine, biofuel energy,
     no-mow grass, liquid armor, fouled beaches, phones and
     driving, auto-focus eyewear, activity breaks and memory, and
     more.  (NSF)

"Visualization Projects"
     includes simulations of more than 40 phenomena:  sea ice and
     CO2, climate change (230-year period), clouds and
     precipitation, coral reef evolution (starting 21,000 years
     ago), universal fire shape, fire twirl and burst behavior,
     tornadoes, thunderstorms, typhoons, El Nino events, greenhouse
     gases and sulfate aerosols, polar vortex breakdown, CO2 and
     temperature, CFCs in the ocean, cloud evolution (7-day
     period), daily weather in the U.S., and more.  (NSF)

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