Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Astronomy For Everyone!

Judi Provencal of the University of Delaware, Mt Cuba, and Director of the World-Wide Telescope project joined us for a discussion of the Kepler telescope and made a call for help in finding new planets.  Yes, you can comb through the Kepler data yourself and help the search for Goldilocks planets.  (Not too big, not too small, not too cold, and not to hot for liquid water to exist.)
Click through the above slides for Bob's introduction: from the size of Delaware all the way up to the size of the Universe.

Judi's Presentation:
Some links:
    Thie 'Zooniverse' site has a bunch of things to help Astronomers - there aren't enough of them to do everything that needs to be done.  You can:
  • Search the surface of the Sun, the Moon and Mars
  • Find new stars
  • Look for exoplanets
  • Classify galaxies
  • Search for gravitational lenses in galaxy clusters  - but out of data for now!
  • Look for black holes in the Universe

Microsoft has a free telescope application available here:
Download and install to explore the Universe from planets to galaxies.  Or run directly from the browser - a bit slower, but still impressive.

"Test Drive" was an Pepsi commercial in which Jeff Gordon, the NASCAR driver, took an unsuspecting car salesman on a wide ride.  The Internet quickly exposed it as a fake: Although Gordon was in the ad, it was not him driving and all the other people were actors.  Apparently Gordon was not happy that it was exposed as a fake, and decided to do it 'for real.'  The unsuspecting victim: the blogger that exposed the original as a fake.  Test Drive 2:  Poor Travis writes about the experience here:

Check the last slide of the intro for links to:
    A computer generated Audrey Hepburn - impressively real
    The PianoGuys with a Let it Go / Vivaldi mashup
    'This is why we fly' for what it looks like from above Queenstown, New Zealand.
    Plowing the line at the Strasburg Railroad
    'Hazmat Highway to Hell' - don't go there!

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