Astronomy!

English403 - ÍMS

What is an eclipse, and how long does it last?

a)

An eclipse occurs when the moon is new and goes in front of the sun and casts a shadow on a limited area on the surface of the earth. An eclipse doesn‘t happen every month because a new moon is normally north or south of the earth and because of the deficit of the moon‘s track.

From Earths perspective, the apparent diameter of the moon is almost the same as the apparent diameter of the sun – about 0,5° - since the diameter of the sun is 400 times bigger than the diameter of the moon, furthermore, the sun is 400 times further than the moon. This coincidence causes the moon to „fit“ in front of the sun while the total eclipse occurs. For a few minutes, the moon hides the bright sunshine and that‘s pretty much it. The thin hot gas wich surrounds the sun, „sun crown“ so-called, can only be photographed from the earth in a short time while the total eclipse occurs.

A total eclipse of the sun is a very rare event on every place on the earth, in wich the shadow falls only on a small limited area. Theoretically a total eclipse could last the maximum 7 minutes and 31 seconds but normally they aren‘t any longer than 2 – 4 minutes. An eclipse has no special consequences other than animals change their behaviour while it lasts.


b)

Sólmyrkvar eiga sér stað þegar tungl er nýtt og gengur fyrir sólina og varpar skugga á takmarkað svæði á yfirborði jarðar. Þeir eiga sér ekki stað mánaðarlega því nýtt tungl er venjulega norðan eða sunnan við jarðbrautarsléttuna vegna halla tunglbrautarinnar.

Frá jörðu séð er sýndarþvermál tunglsins næstum því það sama og sýndarþvermál sólarinnar – um 0,5° - enda er þvermál sólar um 400 sinnum meira en þvermál tunglsins og jafnframt er sólin 400 sinnum fjær en tunglið. Þessi tilviljun veldur því að tunglið „passar“ yfir sólina á meðan á almyrkva á sólu stendur. Í nokkrar mínútur hylur tunglið bjarta sólskífuna og ekki mikið meira en það. Þunna heita gasið sem umlykur sólina, sólkórónuna svonefndu, er einungis hægt að ljósmynda frá jörðu í stutta stund á meðan almyrkva stendur.

Almyrkvar á sólu eru sjaldgæfir atburður á hverjum stað á jörðinni, þar sem skugginn fellur aðeins á lítið takmarkað svæði. Fræðilega séð gætu almyrkvar lengst varað í 7 mínútur og 31 sekúndu en venjulega eru þeir ekki lengri en 2-4 mínútur. Sólmyrkvar hafa engar afleiðingar í för með sér aðrar en þær að dýr breyta hegðun sinni meðan hann stendur yfir.


c)


The reason for picking this text is because an eclipse just occured here on Iceland on 20th march and also it is very interesting and informative. I used the online dictionary Snara to find the meaning of some difficult words, the Icelandic – English dictionary at home, and asked some of my friends for the meanings of some words if the dictionaries couldn‘t help me.


LINK: http://www.visindavefur.is/svar.php?id=3464

Mars has belts of glaciers consisting of frozen water!

a)

Mars hefur greinilega sjáanlega ísfleti á sér, en rauða plánetan hefur einnig belti af jöklum í miðri breiddargráðu í bæði sunnan- og norður hveli plánetunnar. Þykkt lag of ösku þekur jöklana, þannig þeir byrtast sem yfirborð plánetunnar, hinsvegar sýna mælingar ratsjáarins að undir öskunni samanstendur mikið magn af frosnu vatni (jöklar). Nýjar rannsóknir hafa reiknað út stærð þessa jökla og einnig magn vatnsins í þeim. Það jafngildir að öll Mars plánetan sé þakin yfir meira en 1 metra af ís!

Fáeinir gervihnettir snúast í kringum Mars, og á gervihnattarmyndum má sjá lögun jöklanna rétt fyrir neðan yfirborðið. Um langt skeið vissu vísindamenn ekki alveg ef ísinn væri búinn til af frosnu vatn (efnablandan: H2O) eða af koltvísýringi (efnablandan: CO2 ) eða hvort það hafi bara verið mold. Með því að nota ratsjáa mælingar frá frumkönnunar gervihnetti NASA hafa rannsóknir sannað það er ís undir. En hversu þykkur er ísinn, og eru jöklarnir á Mars svipaðir og jöklarnir hér á jörðu? Hópur rannsakenda hjá Niels Bohr stofnuninni hafa nú reiknað reiknað þetta út með því að nota ratsjáa athuganir sameinaður með ís rennsli líkani.


b)

Mars has distinct polar ice caps, but the Red Planet also has belts of glaciers at its central latitudes in both the southern and northern hemispheres. A thick layer of dust covers the glaciers, so they appear as surface of the ground, but radar measurements show that underneath the dust there are glaciers composed of frozen water. New studies have now calculated the size of the glaciers and thus the amount of water in the glaciers. It is the equivalent of all of Mars being covered by more than 1 meter of ice.

Several satellites orbit Mars, and on satellite images, researchers have been able to observe the shape of glaciers just below the surface. For a long time, scientists did not know if the ice was made of frozen water (H2O) or of carbon dioxide (CO2) or whether it was mud. Using radar measurements from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, researchers have been able to determine that it is melted ice. But how thick is the ice, and do the glaciers resemble glaciers on Earth? A group of researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute have now calculated this using radar observations combined with ice flow modeling.


c)

The reason for me choosing this text was because it is very interesting to think about glaciers on Mars. It makes us think if someday, we will be able to live there on that red planet. The methods I used were the online dictionary Snara, my sister, who helped me with the vocabulary and my english dictionary at home.



LINK: http://www.astronomy.com/news/2015/04/mars-has-belts-of-glaciers-consisting-of-frozen-water

Some beautiful photographs!

The interview!

Interactive interview with NASA

a)
The reason for me picking NASA is because it is the biggest "astronomy" like federation out there. Every astronomy fanboy/girl wants to work there in the future. Hopefully some day I will work there too.

I emailed them two weeks ago and finally got a reply on 30th April. They sent me to a website where all my question could be answered.

b)
I am an international student. Am I eligible for NASA employment?

I want to be an astronaut. How can I get more information?

Where can I find information about non-summer internships?

c)
NASA states that to be able to work for their company you are required to currently have and maintain at least an overall 2.9 GPA and you must be a United States citizen.

NASA, says that they're always seeking outstanding scientists, enginners, and other talented professionals to carry forward the great discovery process that its mission demands. You have to be creative, show ambition, teamwork and a sense of daring, and of course a probing mind. That's what it takes to join NASA, one of the best places to work in the Federal Government

NASA also says that the most important subjects are physics, astronomy and chemistry. It is crucial that a person has a high knowledge in these subjects if they EVER want to become an astronaut. NASA is also looking for people with a whole variety of backgrounds: they are looking for medical doctors, microbiologists, geologists, physicists, electrical engineers.

TED summaries!

1)

a)
http://www.ted.com/talks/carolyn_porco_could_a_saturn_moon_harbor_life

b) Carolyn Porco tells us about her research on the Saturn moon, Enceladus. She has discovered some chemical mixtures there. The moon's icy geysers may suggest that there is an ocean under Enceladus's surface that could harbor life. More researches will be done in the future.

c) Interesting informative and enjoyable are the reasons for me choosing this TED talk.

2)

a) http://www.ted.com/talks/joel_levine#t-954367

b) Joel Levine talks about that there might be some kind of life on Mars. There is evidence of ancient oceans 4.6 billion years ago on Mars. But where did it all go? Most of it is under the surface of Mars and so, Joel is sending a space airplane to go and investigate and find out hints of life on the surface on Mars.

c) Always liked the little red planet and who doesn't want to know if there is life outside of Earth?

3)

a) http://www.ted.com/talks/deep_ocean_mysteries_and_wonders

b) David Gallo talks about the myesteries that the ocean has to offer. He says that we have only explored 5% of the sea, what's that other 95%? David tells us about flowing rivers beneath the ocean, erupting volcanoes, a huge waterfall near Iceland. Maybe we shouldn't focus so much on space exploration that we should sometimes look down aswell.

c) The ocean has a lot of secrets, just like the space. That's why I chose this lecture because I wan't to know more about the universe!

Self Assessment

17th April, created the website, chose fonts and a background picture, emailed NASA.

20th April, found a text about eclipses and glaciers on Mars.

21th April, teacher approved, emailed a proffesor at the university of Iceland. Still no replies from NASA. started to translate the text about what an eclipse is and how long it lasts. Didn't finish.

22nd April, finished translating the eclipse text, started on the Mars text and finished it. Web assignment due to 4th May.

27th April, finished listening to all TED talks and write about them. Still no replies.

30th April, got a reply from NASA, they told me to visit their website where all my questions could be answered. Finished the interview.

1st May. Handed in the assignment