[ECP] SCIENCE: Space Weather /\ NOVA

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  • Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2007 05:00:00 -0500


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Space Weather

Right now there is a bright comet visible in both the morning and
evening sky, called Comet McNaught.  It's close to the sun, so only
visible shortly before and after sunrise and sunset, but bright enough
to be seen easily and even photographed with a handheld camera.
(Warning -- don't use binocs or a telescope near the sun when the sun is
up!  You could be blinded quickly.  But you knew that.)

I haven't seen it yet (back luck on clouds near my office the last
couple of evenings), but my eight-year-old daughter spotted it looking
out the window of our apartment last night, so it must be easy to find.

http://www.space.com/spacewatch/070104_comet_mcnaught.html has slightly
better finder charts.

It's moving rapidly, so go look in the next day or two, before it
disappears!  I think it's still on its inbound track; the charts I've
seen so far don't show expected position or brightness outbound.

NOVA scienceNOW

     Will research into "longevity genes" help us live longer and
     healthier lives?

     Space Elevator
     Can we build a 22,000-mile-high cable to transport cargo and
     people into space?

     NASA archeologists use satellites to pinpoint ancient ruins
     buried deep in the jungle.

     Profile: Bonnie Bassler
     Her insight into how bacteria "talk" has launched a revolution in
     biological and medical research.

 "Prisoners of the Ice" chronicles the tragic voyage of Sir
John Franklin and his 128-man crew as they attempt to find and travel
the fabled Northwest Passage through the island maze of Arctic
Canada. (The second hour airs next week.) (Subjects covered: Earth
science, navigation, forensics, social studies, world history)

In the coming weeks:

Jan. 23 --  Arctic Passage: Ice Survivors (R)

Jan. 30 --  Crash of Flight 111 (R)

Feb. 6  --  Forgotten Genius

NOVA Presents "Arctic Passage: Prisoners of the Ice"
Broadcast: Tuesday, January 16, 2007
(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.)

     Future of the Passage
     Will rapid Arctic melting turn the Northwest Passage into a busy
     shipping route? Find out here. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

     Franklin's Provisions
     See a list of the supplies brought along to sustain Franklin's
     expedition. (Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

     Norway's Reluctant Hero
     Find out from polar historian Roland Huntford what it was about
     Amundsen that enabled him to conquer the Northwest Passage, the
     North Magnetic Pole, and the South Pole. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

     My Life As an Explorer
     Read about what inspired Amundsen to be an explorer, how he
     pursued that passion, what he encountered during his Northwest
     Passage journey, and more in these excerpts from his
     autobiography. (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

     Remnants of an Expedition
     Listen to and view this five-segment audio slide show that
     chronicles Franklin's expedition with photos and period
     illustrations. Total running time: 10 minutes 15 seconds. (Flash
     plug-in required.) (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

     Tracing the Routes
     Follow the Franklin and Amundsen expedition routes -- and learn
     why the path taken made all the difference. (Flash plug-in
     required; printable version available.) (Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

     The Note in the Cairn
     Take a look at the only written record ever found of the
     disastrous Franklin Northwest Passage expedition. (Flash plug-in
     required; printable transcript available.) (Grades 6-8, 9-12)

     Igloo 101
     See how much you know about igloo building in this eight-question
     quiz. (Flash plug-in required; printable version available.)
     (Grades 9-12)

     Teacher's Guide
     In this classroom activity, students plan a survival pack for
     severe Antarctic weather. (Grades 6-8)

     Program Transcript
     The site includes a complete narration for this program.

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