How do you measure big forces accurately? By calibrating your force transducer on the world’s biggest weight – 1,000,000 pounds of force. This machine ensures planes don’t break apart, jets provide required thrust, and rockets make it to their destination. Continue reading
In 2020, NASA will send a new rover to the Martian surface with one of its objectives to search for evidence of ancient life on the planet. I made this clip as a correspondent for Bill Nye Saves the World on Netflix. Continue reading
On April 26, the Cassini spacecraft flew closer to Saturn than ever before — between the gap that separates the planet from its rings.
Since then, Cassini has been transmitting dozens of images of Saturn’s surface. Here, NASA has compiled all the images into one, incredible video that reveals exactly what Cassini saw.
One of the sights that surprised scientists most was the sharp edges of Saturn’s hexagon and its central vortex. Saturn’s hexagon is a giant cloud system on Saturn’s north pole, and it contains a central vortex.
The sharp edges scientists saw in these latest images suggests that the cloud system and its vortex are not mixing with their surroundings. But what’s preventing the clouds in the hexagon from mixing with the clouds right next to it is a mystery.
This first dive marked the beginning of the end for Cassini. For the last 13 years, Cassini has explored Saturn and its moons. But its time will come to an end this September, when it will enter Saturn’s atmosphere and burn up.
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The zero-g plane allows for a lot of experiments to be conducted without the expense of getting equipment into orbit. Continue reading
In interpreting space or aerial photos, it’s important to notice where the source of light is originating. Noticing the light source is what helps you determine whether an object is a depression like a bowl, or a projection above ground such as a mound or dome.
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Students use electrical devices every day. An essential safety component of any electrical device is the fuse. Demonstrate what it means to “blow a fuse” and show why fuses are important safeguards against electrical fires. Courtesy of Flinn Scientific Canada.
How fuses work – Click here to download
An atom is mostly empty space, but empty space is mostly not empty. The reason it looks empty is because electrons and photons don’t interact with the stuff that is there, quark and gluon field fluctuations. Continue reading
The big bang theory is the most accepted theory for the formation of the universe. The “big bang” is a misnomer because there was no explosion, but rather a rapid expansion. It is not known what existed the moment before the big bang, however the evolution of the universe from the first instant after the big bang and onwards is well understood. There is considerable evidence supporting the big bang theory, including the following observations:
- There is an abundance of light elements (hydrogen and helium) in the universe. This is as predicted by the big bang theory.
- The universe cooled as it expanded so that today the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation corresponds to a temperature of 2.7 K. This is consistent with scientists’ predictions of that an expanding universe would by now have cooled to a temperature in this range.
- The universe is expanding and the galaxies appear to be moving away from us at speeds directly proportional to their distance from us.
This balloon activity models the universe: once compact but now expanding.
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