Stories tagged 100 Hours of Astronomy


May I have your attention, please?

(…Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?)

Very funny. But seriously, I’ve got breaking news!

The Institute on the Environment’s Dialogue Earth program is bursting into the online community. With their first press release, Twitter account, Facebook page, YouTube channel, and blog, they’re drawing attention, and new supporters, every day. They've even been featured on The Line, SUNfiltered, The Daily Crowdsource, and

Big things, folks. I’m telling ya: big things.

(Um, excuse me, KelsiDayle, but what is Dialogue Earth?)

Oh, gosh. I’m always getting ahead of myself. I’ll allow Dialogue Earth to explain for themselves:

“The Dialogue Earth™ team is working to increase public understanding on timely issues related to the environment by delivering engaging, trustworthy multimedia content to large, diverse audiences.”

Consider these three main ways people gather information about the environment:

  1. Personal experiences,
  2. Conversations with other people, and
  3. Media coverage.

Dialogue Earth is developing ways to monitor the ‘chatter’ from each information source.

For example, weather and gas price data sets allow Dialogue Earth to monitor these environmentally-relevant personal experiences.

Twitter provides the Dialogue Earth team with an intriguing sample of peoples’ conversations that have some connection to the environment. Dialogue Earth has developed a method of analyzing Tweets for sentiment through crowdsourcing.

Emerging or social medias, like blogs, are changing our understanding of what’s news, but there are still ways to understand the content, frames, sentiment, and assertions of stories. Dialogue Earth is working on developing a responsive and scalable method for so doing.

Eventually, Dialogue Earth hopes to help people process through the hot topics of the day, but for now Dialogue Earth is focusing on understanding what the big issues are and how people are communicating about them. Knowing these things first should help Dialogue Earth develop additional effective communication tools in the coming months. In fact, Dialogue Earth has already conducted their first experiment in crowdsourcing creative content via Tongal. Check out the winning science video on the topic of ocean acidification below:

Pretty great stuff, huh?

baby carbon nanotubes!
baby carbon nanotubes!Courtesy NASA

NASA has just come up with a material10x Blacker than the Blackest Black Paint; Spinal Tap's album cover just rendered "not as black as it could be."

The link to NASA's article also sports a killer video about how they grow the carbon nanotubes and use them in their equipment. Awwwwww, baby carbon nanotubes!

A storm... of mayflies: They're coming for you. Well, no, not really. Or are they? No.
A storm... of mayflies: They're coming for you. Well, no, not really. Or are they? No.Courtesy NOAA
I hope y'all have your Mayfly Apocalypse plans laid out. Quick! Raid the fly swatter store! Get used to mayfly burgers!

What you're looking at is a Doppler radar image from La Crosse, Wisconsin, from Saturday. Mayflies just hatched on that section of the Mississippi. The pink, purple, and white area along the river is where the insects were thickest, so thick that the Doppler weather radar picked them up. Wild. Cover your mouth, eh?


April 2-5, 2009

Last December I wrote that 2009 is the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009). This weekend wraps up an event called 100 hours of Astronomy.

Today, April 5, is SunDay

You can get some ideas about the sun on the Solar Physics Task Group website. The Astronomy Picture of the Day for SunDay, (April 5) is a cool video close-up of our sun.

Around the world in 80 telescopes

A live webcast from 80 different telescopes in 24 hours has now finished, but you can watch recordings from the 80 telescope locations which were archived. If you want to learn more about telescopes and astronomy I recommend watching some of these.