Technology

8 Comments

200th Post

This post is the 200th to be posted on this blog. It's been a wonderful journey of sharing. 🙂

Mrs Jordan and Year 4, take a look at the "Post 201: About Bilbies and 200 Posts" post for a surprise.

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A class posed the question, "What technology did you use when you were younger?" To see their original post, click on their question.

What technology did I use?

Let's take a journey back to the 1950s. When I was born, radio and going to the cinema, drive in or live performances were the normal entertainment. Computers were around but they were big, heavy and very expensive yet your mobile phone of today is far more powerful. These computers were only found in big companies or universities, not in homes.

Let's see some of the changes I saw.

1950s

Telephone - Telephones had been around for a long time before I was nborn but my family was the first in our street to have a telephone so neighbours would make and receive calls to our house. I still remember our phone number. It was UY 5734. That's right, we had letters and numbers and the phone had a rotary dial. It could be very awkward if it was a cold, rainy night when someone called for a neighbour and my father had to go and get them.

By Louise Docker from sydney, Australia (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Louise Docker from sydney, Australia (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Television - They started to appear in Australia in 1956. We, like the phone, were the only home with television in our area. It was black and white and not a very big screen. My father would arrive home from work to find people everywhere in our loungeroom trying to look at the TV screen. At first, they were just looking at photos such as of the Sydney Harbour Bridge until one night on 16th September, 1956 a man named Bruce Gyngell appeared to welcome us to television. Television had started so we could watch the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. For us in Sydney, our first TV station was TCN-9.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Record players - My parents owned a radio/record player for music and news. My mother had 78rpm* as well as 33 1/3rpm LP* records.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Games - They weren't electronic. We had board games such as Monopoly, checkers, chess and Ludo.

Cameras - We had film cameras we would use to take photos. Once taken, we would send the rolls of film away to be processed and printed. There were no video cameras but we did have movie cameras. The home movie cameras used 8mm film (see below). However, some people used 16mm film in cameras. They gave better pictures but were much more expensive. My first photo camera looked more like a black box and didn't take very good photos but my father had a better camera.

8mm movie camera and film 

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Here is a scan of some 8mm film frames. It's from a Popeye cartoon.

8mm film scan

Movie film shows 1 frame (picture) at a time. When chaning quickly, the pictures seem to be moving. Here is a video clip showing how 8 frames from above can seem to move.

We would watch the 8mm movies projected on a screen.

*rpm - revolutions per minute - the number of times it turns in one minute.

* LP - long playing

There were no computers, iPads, and mobile phones in homes back then.

1960s

I was in primary and high school in the 1960s. Classes could have 40 children.

Pens and ink wells - At first, we had pencils but no ball point pens in class. In Year 3, I was an ink well monitor. My job was to fill the inkwells so students could dip their pens in to write. It was late 1963 when the school allowed students to use ball point pens. The only other way of writing was if we had a typewriter.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Computers - It was in the late 60s I saw my first computer at a science fair at high school. It was huge and could only play noughts and crosses. By the late 60s I had an interest in electronics so the big machine with valves in it reminded me of inside TVs of the day.

Transistor radio - The 60s was also the time I bought my first transistor radio. Imagine being able to hold a radio in your hand and listen to music.

1970s

This was when technology started to take off for me.

TV Games - I bought an electronic kit and was able to make a very simple game I could play on a TV. A small, very simple motorbike would move across the screen as you twisted a knob on the control box I built. You had to jump small "buses" that looked like white blobs.

The game looked a little like this on the screen.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Computers - In 1971, I visited the Atomic Energy Commission at Lucas Heights south of Sydney. I saw my first nuclear reactor and serious computer while there, a computer no one could afford to have in the home. The programs were on a series of cards. Programmers punched out holes in them. Hundreds might be needed for a big project so they would be left to run overnight. If one card had a mistake, the whole computer stopped and waited until the car was fixed.

This is what a programming card looked like.

This image was sourced through Wikimedia commons where it is listed as being in the public domain.

This image was sourced through Wikimedia commons where it is listed as being in the public domain.

Computers and me - It was in the 70s I first had the chance to use a computer while studying science at Sydney University. We didn't have floppy disks, hard drives, CDs, DVDs, USB devices or computer screens. There was a very large typing machine where you would type in your program. To have a copy of the program, a long strip of thick paper tape was fed through the printer and holes were punched in it. Graduates had something special, they had cassette drive but I was an undergraduate and had to stick to the tape.

The first computer I used at university (college) looked a little like this.

This image was sourced through Wikimedia commons where it is listed as being in the public domain.

This image was sourced through Wikimedia commons where it is listed as being in the public domain.

Teaching technology - When I started teaching in the 70s, I was a high tech type of teacher. Back then it meant I used a cassette player/recorder, a slide projector, and 8mm movie projector and an overhead projector in class. I wasn't able to use computers in class in the 70s but I did build some simple electronic kits for the children to use.

Audio cassette.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

35mm Slide Projector. It still works.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

8mm Movie Projector. It still works.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 Overhead Projector. It still works.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Television - Colour TV started in the mid 70s.

Calculators - I was able to buy my first calculator in the 1970s. It could only add, subtract, multiply and divide. Around 1975, I bought my first scientific calculator. It could do much more. It's old and very worn but I still have it. Before calculators, I used a slide rule and logarithm tables.

My old calculator is 40 years old but still works. Good one Sharp!

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Cameras - I have a few cameras to take still photos in the 70s. All used rolls of film.

Floppy Disks - Cassettes had been used to store program for computers since the early 70s but, by the late 70s, we had floppy disks to store programs. They came first in 8 inch, 5.25 inch and 3.5 inch sizes.

5 1/4 inch (13cm) Floppy Disk

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

1980s

Now we were starting to get really serious.

An Apple II computer.

Rama [CC BY-SA 2.0 fr (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/fr/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

Rama [CC BY-SA 2.0 fr (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/fr/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

Computers in class In 1981 - I was in a small country school in western N.S.W. We had one Apple II computer we shared with five other small schools. There was still no internet, our class TV only had one channel if the weather was good, and the phone was oen where you would wind a handle and ask the operator for a number. It was in this year I wrote a couple simple programs for the children to use on the computer. One was a treasure hunt game and I always managed to beat the class members. Remember, I was the programmer so I programme d the computer to give me hints only I understood. Did that make me a cheat? 🙂

Video camera - It was in 1982 I bought my first video camera. It was large and had a heavy side pack you carried over your shoulder. Batteries were large and had lead inside so they were heavy. Back then, people thought I was with a televison station because video camera were very rare. I was visitng the town of Bathurst with my school that year when Queen Elizabeth II visited. Seeing the camera, police let me through the barrier so I could take a close up of the Queen. I'm sure they also thought I was from a TV station.

This is part of the video clip  taken in 1982 during the Queen's visit to Bathurst. It was converted from VHS to digital.

Video Cassette Recorders (VCR) - These appeared in the early 80s and we could finally record programmes and watch movies. With my video camera and VCR, I was able to edit video I had taken. With my school Apple II computer and a small program I wrote, I could even add titles to the videos.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Computers in Schools - I helped introduce computers to two schools in the 80s. I was called a computer coordinator back then. As well as teaching, it was my job to care for the computers in the schools. Because of my electronics hobby, I was often able to fix computers with problems.

Computers and me - It was in the late 80s I bought my first computer. It was an Apple IIGS. With a printer (black and white only), I was able to print worksheets and dislpays for my class and other teachers . With only one computer in the school for classes to share in my first year there in 1988, I bought an Apple IIC computer for my class to use. I was really hooked on how they could be used in class.

An Applie IIGS computer just like the one I owned.

By Alison Cassidy (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Alison Cassidy (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

1990s

Computers in schools - In the 90s, the number of computers I owned grew as I bought or was given computers needing repair. The computer room I ran for a few years had 16 computers but only one was owned by the school. It was also in the early 90s I first used the internet with classes. I would roll my Apple IIc computer and modem down to an office and connect to a phone line. It was slow and could only show text. There was no graphics, music or video and I paid $5 an hour for access. By the end of the 90s, I had installed the first network room in the school and we then had a whole school network installed with internet access.

Computers and me - By the end of the 90s, I owned about 45 computers. I would have some of them in my classroom and lend others to the students in my class to use at home. The computers included Apple II, Apple Macintosh, Atari, Commodore, Acorn and a few other types as well as Sega and Gameboy handheld game devices. At home, I was using Apple Macintosh and Windows computers.

Handheld Gameboy Advance games machine.

The copyright holder of this image, Christopher Down, allows anyone to use it [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons

The copyright holder of this image, Christopher Down, allows anyone to use it [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons

Cameras - In the 90s, I ran after school computer classes for students, the money I raised bought the schools first digital photo camera. The camera wasn't of great quality but the Apple Quicktake 100 meant I could load photos straight into a computer. In the late 90s, I also bought my first digital video camera. The photo quality was much better than the old video camera.

By Gmhofmann at de.wikipedia (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Gmhofmann at de.wikipedia (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Phones - In the 1990s, I bought my first mobile phone. You had to carry it like a small bag as it was large and weighed around 1kg but it was mobile and it worked.

Scanners and printers - In the 90s, I bought my first scanners and colour printers and had fun scanning photos and making changed photos for the student newspaper. Scanners were able to read printed writing so I didn't need to type everything.

CDs - Music CDs appeared and we were able to use these instead of vinyl LP records. We were even able to burn our own CDs .

This graphic came from a Corel graphics CD purchased in the 1980s under the Totem set of graphics.

This graphic came from a Corel graphics CD purchased in the 1980s under the Totem set of graphics.

DVDs - DVDs appeared in the late 90s and we were able to record movies from TV or add videos we made to them.

2000s

in these years I was retired from teaching by the end of 2005.

Computers in schools - Whole school networks, internet, You Tube, editing video on computers, digital cameras, small mobile phonesetc... The growth has been amazing. I moved to a new school and allowed children in my old school who had borrowed my computers to keep them. I had way too many for moving house and made a rule I should own no more than 10 for use in home and school.

Computers and me - I added my first laptop computer in this era.

Cameras - I bought my first digital SLR* camera and could simply plug it into the computer to load and edit photos and started buying extra video cameras for making DVDs and CDs for schools and community groups.

I have only just replaced this camera with a new digital SLR camera able to record HD video as well as photos.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Internet - was a part of everyday life.

Mobile phone - Mobiles were now much smarter and started to access the internet.

* SLR - Single Lens Reflex - It meant a type of camera where so look through the camera lens when taking a photo.

2010s

We're up to the current era.

I started blogging in 2012 and still am a keen techie type of person but no longer need all of the equipment I used while teaching but still have enough for producing filming and photographing performances as well as making CDs and DVDs for school and community groups.

So much has changed since I was your age. It makes you wonder what we might have in the future.

Will one of you invent something or create a brilliant app in the future?

2 Comments

Mrs. Watson's K/1/2/3/4 class shared a wonderful post on some claymation they prepared. They were inspired by the Wallace and Gromit style of claymation ..

Watch Out Wallace and Gromit!

Hello K/1/2/3/4,

I was fascinated by your post about claymation animation. Cartooning and animation has been one of my hobbies for some time. I thought I would share some of the activities I have had with classes in the past. This first video clip was used to show how a simple object like a stapler can come to life through stop motion animation...

In 2003, my class had the chance to try their own stop motion. They used either objects or drawings to make their animations. They positioned the objects, took a photos, numbered the photos to make a sequence then used Quicktime's "Open Image Sequence" to animate them. Sound was added. Here are their results...

My favourite stop motion animation with a class was made back in 2000. All of the students in the sequence are now adults so I can share the result. We used the school playground. Each student positioned themselves as though sitting on a motorbike. I would take a photo, call out "next", they would move slightly then freeze, another photo would be taken and so on until the sequence was made. At the end, one unfortunate student forgot to check before crossing the road. We should always look carefully before crossing roads. Like the above stop motion, the photos were numbered to make the sequence and Quicktime was used to animate. Here is the result...

With such an interesting post, I can't wait to see the claymation animations you produce. 🙂

2 Comments

3/4B, 4T and 3SF visited the Penrith University of Western Sydney Observatory and share their experience in a blog post. They also asked questions and I loved the challenge of trying to answer them. To see their post…

Bloggers of the Week: Our Excursion to the Observatory

To see Part 1 of this comment...

Observing Space, there’s so much of it out there – Part 1

Hello 3/4B, 4T and 3SF,

Here are some possible answers to the second set of questions.

1. How many more years until we have to pack up and move to another planet, because the sun died?

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Firstly, let's look at how our Earth is thought to have come to be. Heather and Keira from California had challenged me to explain how the Earth had begun. Here is a link to the post I wrote for them if you are interested.

How Did the Earth Begin?

... and here is a link to a Wikipedia post looking at history of the Earth. It is about  Earth from its formation to now.

History of the Earth

Okay, we have an idea how our Earth began but how might it end? As our planet's birth was linked to the formation of our sun, the sun is also involved in its suspected end.

Back in 1987, I was able to look into the night sky and see a "new" star. A star astronomers named SN 1987A had gone supernova. It is about 168,000 light years* from Earth and could not normally be seen without a powerful telescope. It is again too dim to be seen without a telescope. Had it been our star, our planet would have been destroyed.

Then what about our Sun? How old is it? What might happen to it? When might it happen?

This is a NASA photo released into the public domain. It was sourced through Wikimedia Commons. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Sun_by_the_Atmospheric_Imaging_Assembly_of_NASA%27s_Solar_Dynamics_Observatory_-_20100819-02.jpg

This is a NASA photo released into the public domain. It was sourced through Wikimedia Commons.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Sun_by_the_Atmospheric_Imaging_Assembly_of_NASA%27s_Solar_Dynamics_Observatory_-_20100819-02.jpg

Our Sun is thought to be about 4.6 billion (4,600,000,000) years old. I had to do a little research about the Sun to find out what might happen. I found interesting information suggesting our Sun is becoming brighter by about 10% every billion years and it's surface is slowly becoming hotter. As it gets older and burns more of its hydrogen fuel it will grow in size to eventually become a red giant. By this time Earth, if it still exists, will not be able to support life.

The video clip below shows what might well happen when our to end of world. Duration: 3:04 minutes.

It replaces the original linked video clip now blocked from viewing in Australia due to copyright issues.

This is not my video clip.

Should we worry?

It is thought it could take about 5 billion (5,000,000,000) years before our Sun is a red giant and perhaps 1 billion (1,000,000,000) years before the Sun's rising temperature means all water will evaporate away from Earth. A billion years is a very long time. However humans develop in that time, we can only hope they have solved the problems. For a time until the sun gets too big or hot this might mean people moving to Mars but to go to other stars people might have to spend a very long time in space. By the time people reach other stars, they could be the great, great, great, great,... great, great, great, grandchildren of those who left Earth.

But I've seen movies where they move through gates or hyperspace at faster than the speed of light and arrive quickly...

The movies love finding ways to arrive quickly. Who knows what science might discover in a billion years. For now, the idea of travelling close to the speed of light is beyond us. Whatever the future brings, I have faith humans will find a solution if there's one to be found. I know NASA engineers are looking at ways it might be one day possible to warp space and make travel to the stars real. 🙂

168,000 light years* - as explained in Part 1, a light year is the distance light travels in a vacuum in one Earth year. While I saw the supernova as a bright star in 1987, the light had started on its way 168,000 years ago. When we look at stars, we are looking back in history. Even light from our own sun started its journey about 8.3 minutes before we see it.

2. Did you know that there are many different galaxies in space?

Yes. Too quick an answer? 🙂 I'll share some NASA galaxy photos using links.

The two galaxies shown here are in the early stage of an interaction that will eventually lead to them merging in millions of years. The two galaxies are about 450 million (450,000,000) light years from us. If you look carefully you can see other galaxies in the distant background.

UGC 9618, Chandra + Hubble

By Smithsonian Institution [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This second photo shows galaxy M33. It is about 3 million (3,000,000) light years from Earth. The really bright stars are young, very large stars. Yes, stars are still being made in our universe from the remains of other stars.

Galaxy M33 Chandra X-ray Observatory

By Smithsonian Institution from United States [see page for license], via Wikimedia Commons

The third photo shows galaxy Centaurus A. If you can see what looks like a line of white light coming from its centre, that's the result of Centaurus A having a supermassive black hole at its centre.

Centaurus A Chandra

By NASA/CXC/CfA/R.Kraft et al (http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2008/cena/) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Galaxies are not all one size. Dwarf galaxies might only have as few as 10 million (10,000,000) stars whereas giant galaxies might have up to 100 trillion (100,000,000,000,000) stars. There are estimates the might be up to 170 billion (170,000,000,000) galaxies in the observable universe . There may be very many more but they are so distant their light still hasn't reached us, they're not yet observable. That's a lot of galaxies.

I like looking at big numbers so let's look at big numbers. I have said their might be 170 billion (170,000,000,000) galaxies in the observable universe. I also said galaxies could have from 10 million to 100 trillion stars. Let's say the average galaxy has 1 billion (1,000,000,000) stars.

How many stars might their be in the observable universe?

170,000,000,000 galaxies x 1,000,000,000 average stars = 170,000,000,000,000,000,000 (I make that 170 quintillion stars.)

In Part 1 of these answers to your questions I mentioned it has been said there are more stars in the universe than all of the grains of sand on every beach on Earth. Would one of you start counting so we can check? 🙂

Below is a You Tube video clip from NS showing galaxy M31 known as the Andromeda Galaxy. It is the nearest large spiral galaxy to our own. Our galaxy, The Milky Way, is also a spiral galaxy. Duration: 3:06 minutes

This is not my video.

3. Did you know that Pluto has 2 more moons?

Yes, but I found there seems to be more discoveries when I was researching. In order of distance from Pluto they are Charon, Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra. It is possible more small "moons" might be found. Click to read Moons of Pluto on Wikipedia.

In this photo taken by NASA in 2005, the two dots listed as candidate satellites
Pluto system 2005 discovery images

When Pluto was discovered in 1930, its brightness suggested it was much larger than it was found to be but that was because it is icy. Charon was discovered in 1978. I always found its name was a great choice. In ancient Greek mythology, Pluto was the god of the underworld where people went when they died. To reach there, you had to cross the River Styx. This could only happen if you had a coin to pay the boatman, Charon. It was common for ancient Greeks to bury their dead with a coin so they could pay Charon. This is why I thought the name is a good choice. Pluto and Charon are together in ancient Greek mythology.

One unusual piece of information I read was about Pluto and Charon. Moons orbit around their planet as does our moon but Pluto doesn't seem to be the centre of Charon's orbit. The centre of orbit is somewhere in between but closer to Pluto. What a strange place Pluto would be.

While searching online, I found an animated file showing a computer generated rotating image of Pluto you might like to see. It's based on NASA images of the surface of Pluto. This an embedded NASA file in the public domain.

Pluto animiert 200px
By Aineias, NASA, ESA, and M. Buie (Southwest Research Institute)  derivative work: Aineias, Ilmari Karonen (Pluto_hubble_photomap.jpg via Pluto_animiert.gif) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

4. Did you know that Neptune's ring is made out of ice particles?

Below is my favourite image of Neptune. NASA released this image into the public domain. Neptune's atmosphere seems to be mostly hydrogen and helium. "The interior of Neptune, like that of Uranus, is primarily composed of ices and rock." (Wikipedia). Remember, ices aren't necessarily only water. Have you heard of dry ice we can buy here on Earth? It isn't water. It's icy carbon dioxide. For Neptune, the ices are thought to be mostly water, ammonia and methane. The core of the planet is said to be rocky.

Neptune

By . (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00046) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The next NASA image was taken by the Voyager 2 and shows the rings on Neptune.

Neptune rings PIA02224

By Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech (http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA02224) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The rings are thought to probably contain large amounts of micro-dust as well as ice.

 

5. Did you know that it takes 1 month for the moon to orbit around the earth?

Wikipedia reference for the different types of months and years: Month

This embedded graphic shows the phases of the Moon seen as it orbits the Earth. Do you notice we only see one side? The other side is often called the dark side. It also comes into sunlight but, since it faces away from Earth, we don't see it.

File:Lunar libration with phase Oct 2007 450px.gif

This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Tomruen. This applies worldwide.

This is an interesting question even if it sounds simple. Rather than say "yes" or "no", I might ask what type of month?

I know the months we talk about run from January to December. February has 28 days or 29 in a leap year. The others have either 30 or 31 days. The average number of days in a month is about 30.4 days. If you mean one of our Gregorian Calendar months we use, the answer is not quite a month.

When compared to the position of stars, the Moon takes about 27.3 days to orbit the Earth but Earth is also moving through space so the time between two full moon is about 29.5 days.

Did you know there was something known as a lunar calendar?

The calendar we use is a solar calendar. It's based on the time it takes for the Earth to complete one orbit around the Sun. Lunar calendars are different because they are based on cycles of the Moon.

Many cultures have had lunar calendars.  One of the important examples is the Islamic Calendar. A year has either 354 or 355 days where as the Gregorian Calendar has 365 or 366 days based on a solar year. If you have Muslim friends, you might know the first day of their new year is a different day on our calendar each year. This happens because their lunar year is 11 days shorter.

The Gregorian solar year has an average of about 30.4 days per month giving us about 365 days a solar year.

The Islamic lunar year has an average of about 29.5 days per month giving us about 354 days a lunar year.

Can you see the solar calendar gives us about the time it takes for the Earth to complete an orbit of the Sun while the approximate number of days in a lunar month is how long it takes the Moon to go from one full moon to the next?

The embedded diagram below shows how the phases of the Moon come about while the Moon orbits Earth.

Moon phases en

By Orion 8 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

6. Did you know that (it takes) a year for the earth to orbit around the sun?

Our Gregorian solar calendar is based on how long it takes the Earth to complete one orbit of the Sun, that is it takes about 365.25 days for Earth to orbit the Sun. We call that a year of 365 days with a leap year helping us catch up on the extra bits by having an extra day.

UpdatedPlanets2006

By Adam850 at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

What would a year be on other planets and dwarf planets?

Here are the other planets and known dwarf planets in our Solar System with how long their years would be in our Earth years (Ey).

Mercury ....................... 0.24 Ey (88 days)

Venus ........................... 0.62 Ey (226 days)

Earth ............................ 1.0

Mars ............................. 1.88 Ey

Ceres (dwarf) ............... 4.6 Ey

Jupiter .......................... 11.86 Ey

Saturn ........................... 29.46 Ey

Uranus .......................... 84.01 Ey

Neptune ....................... 164.8 Ey

Pluto (dwarf) ................ 248.09 Ey

Haumea (dwarf) .......... 282.76 Ey

Makemake (dwarf) ...... 309.88 Ey

Eris (dwarf) ................... about 557 Ey

A little extra...

In July last year a class asked some questions about space. I didn't add and pictures to the post but you might like to see their questions and my answers...

Wonderings About Space

* * * * * * * * * *

And one final You Tube video clip answers,

"What Is Space?"

Duration: 55:43 minutes

This is not my video clip.

3/4B, 4T and 3SF visited the Penrith University of Western Sydney Observatory and share their experience in a blog post. They also asked questions and I loved the challenge of trying to answer them. To see their post...

Bloggers of the Week: Our Excursion to the Observatory

To see Part 2 of this extended comment post...

Observing Space Part 2

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes. This is not a real star photo but one I created.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes. This is not a real star photo but one I created.

When we look out at night, staring into space, we come to realise space is big, very BIG. I have heard it said if we were to count all of the grains of sand on all of the world's beaches there would still be more than that number of stars in our universe. This helps us realise there is so much more to know than we can possibly see.

At the end of last year, I prepared a short video clip about a small community known as Earth. It was for a class looking at ways of making a difference globally. It shows we can start by looking at ourselves and as we expand our view we move out into the universe.

Schools and students have permission to use this video clip for non-commercial, educational purposes.

As there is quite a lot to cover, this comment has been broken into 2 parts, each dealing with 6 questions on the class blog.

Hello 3/4B, 4T and 3SF,

I was fascinated by your post entitled “Bloggers of the week: Our excursion to the Observatory”.  I have very many interests in many subjects but the sciences are particular favourites. While I was a primary school teacher before retiring, I held a degree in science. Seeing your questions, I knew I had to try to give answers to as many as possible.

Let’s start with one you have answered…

1. How do solar eclipses happen?

“Solar eclipses happen when the Moon crosses over the sun and shines a shadow over a part of the earth.” I have prepared a diagram you can use if you wish...

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

If you look at the diagram, it shows the shadow of the Moon cast on the Earth. In the centre of the shadow there is a very dark area know as the umbra. The umbra is the area of total eclipse. The lighter shadow area is the penumbra or area of partial eclipse. The faint lines I have added help show why we have darker and lighter areas.

WARNING: You all know you should never look directly at the sun. The light entering your eyes can cause blindness if you stare at the sun. Only when there is a total eclipse is it safe to look but only until the sun is about to reappear. You cannot even look at the Bailey's Beads or Diamond Ring effect as this is still direct sunlight.

One of the most amazing parts of viewing a solar eclipse is when the sun starts to reappear. The Moon's surface isn't smooth. There are craters, mountains and valleys. Light first appears through gaps. Light appears in what is known as Bailey's Beads. When only one bead is left we have what is known as the Diamond Ring Effect. Here is another diagram I drew to show what the Diamond Ring Effect can look like.

 

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes. This not a photo but a created graphic.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes. This not a photo but a created graphic.

Did you also know there are lunar eclipses?

In a lunar eclipse, the Earth passes between the Moon and our sun. You can find out more with the link.

The video clip below comes from You Tube. It shows the 2012 total solar eclipse filmed in Northern Queensland. Once the eclipse is total, the camera person swaps filters and you can see the total eclipse more clearly. Keep watching and you will see the "diamond ring". Duration: 4:35 minutes

2. Can you bungy jump on the Moon?

I loved this question. There might be some tourism potential there.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

I see it’s been suggested you can’t because there is nothing to land on but I think it would be possible. You may have read gravity on the Moon is only about one sixth that of Earth. That would mean someone weighing about 36kg on Earth’s surface would weigh only about 6kg on the Moon. Of course, there is very little atmosphere on the Moon and solar radiation would be a big problem so a space suit would be necessary and that would add weight. Okay, we have gravity and weight to make us fall. What next?

Bungy jumps on Earth are usually over water from a bridge. If the cord breaks, you get wet. On the Moon, the only suspected water would be in craters where direct sunlight doesn’t hit but it would be ice so there is no liquid water. A broken cord would mean hitting the ground. You might be much lighter but it would still hurt but what a thrill to be the first.

Height is not a problem. There are craters, peaks and valleys on the Moon so in the future some enterprising tour company might be able to set up a bungee site. Look at the below photo from NASA released into the public domain…

This is a NASA photo released into the public domain. It was sourced through Wikimedia Commons. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lunar_crater_Daedalus.jpg

This is a NASA photo released into the public domain. It was sourced through Wikimedia Commons.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lunar_crater_Daedalus.jpg

Now here’s a thought in a different direction. When astronauts have gone on “space walks” tethered only to their spaceship by a cord, are they bungy jumping or going space skiing?

While no one has been able to bungy jump on the Moon, back in 1971 Alan Shepard (Apollo 14 astronaut) hit two golf balls on the Moon. Duration: 1:35 minutes

This is not my video clip.

3. What is the biggest gas planet?

Wikipedia reference: Gas Giant

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Again I see an answer has been given. I agree. Jupiter is the largest gas planet in the Solar System. Planets larger than around 10 times Earth's mass are said to be giants.

There are four in our Solar System: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. To be a gas giant, they have to be mostly gaseous.

Jupiter and Saturn are mostly hydrogen and helium. Each of these are gas giants.

Uranus and Neptune could be called ice giants. They are thought to have a hydrogen atmosphere but icy cores of water, methane and ammonia.

Did you know stars are gas giants? Huge masses of mostly hydrogen is found in newer stars. If a gas giant is big enough, a nuclear reaction known as fusion can start and a star is born. It's estimated a gas giant about 13 times the size of Jupiter might be big enough to start fusion. Imagine if Jupiter had been big enough. Our sky would have our bright sun and a less bright star known as Jupiter.

Jupiter is the biggest gas planet but our sun is the biggest gas object in our Solar System. Astronomers tell us compared to the largest stars in our universe, our sun is really small. There's a lot of gas out there. 🙂

This You Tube video clip shares some information about the four gas giants in our Solar System. Duration: 8:19 minutes

This You Tube clip is not my work.

4a. What is the smallest planet in our Solar System?

Another answer has been given, Pluto. I will give an answer but to do this I will answer a question out of order. Above is 4a and below is 4b.

4b. Why isn't Pluto considered a planet anymore?

Wikipedia reference: Pluto

In my book library, I have some old science books. One set of five was published in 1919 and the other was a book published in 1930. In 1919, science spoke of the eight planets in our Solar System. In order from our sun, they were Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Mercury, closest to the sun, was the smallest planet.

Some astronomers noticed something unusual in the orbit of Neptune. They suspected there was another planet. The 1930 science book mentioned the possibility of a ninth planet. It was in that year the discovery of Pluto was announced. It became the ninth planet and was listed as the smallest.

This is a NASA photo released into the public domain. It was sourced through Wikimedia Commons. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pluto_System.jpg

This is a NASA photo released into the public domain. It was sourced through Wikimedia Commons.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pluto_System.jpg

So why isn't it a planet now?

Pluto is now known a a dwarf planet. It is only one five hundredth Earth's mass. Think of it this way. If Earth's mass was one hundred $1 coins, just one $1 coin would be the mass of five Plutos.

We didn't really know how small Pluto was until the late 1970s. Since then Charon has been discovered as a moon of Pluto, followed by two more moons named Nix and Hydra in 2005. Other large objects almost the size of Pluto had also been found. Astronomers believed there are many large objects (watch the video clip below). They realised it was probably only a matter of time before an object larger than Pluto was found. This happened with the discovery of Eris in 2005. Astronomers decided there had to be a way of saying whether objects were planets. This was done in 2006.

From Wikipedia, here is what a mass needs to be if it is to be called a planet...

  1. is in orbit around the Sun,

  2. is nearly round in shape, and

  3. has "cleared the neighbourhood" around its orbit.

Wikipedia reference: IAU Definitiion of Planets

Pluto passed 1 and 2 but failed 3 and so is now known as a dwarf planet. Mercury is again the smallest planet in our Solar System.

Since then, other dwarf planets have been identified. They are Eris, Ceres, Haumea, and Makemake. The closest dwarf planet to Earth is Ceres. Ceres is in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. When it was identified as a dwarf planet, it became our closest.

In the video clip below, "Why Pluto is Not a Planet", it's explained why Pluto is now known as a dwarf planet. Duration: 4:54 minutes

This is not my video clip.

5. What is a light year?

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

A suggested answer was, "A  light year is the speed of light when light travels."

Let's look at this.

Some people make the mistake of thinking of a light year as time or speed. It isn't. A light year is a distance. It is the distance light travels through a vacuum (no air) in an Earth year. The suggested answer wasn't correct because it suggests a light year is a speed.

How far is a light year?

In just one second, light in a vacuum can travel almost 300,000km. Do you think a police officer would be able to catch speeding light?

According to Wikipedia, a light year is a distance of a little under 10 trillion kilometres.

1 light-year = 9,460,730,472,580,800 metres

1 light-year = 9,460,730,472,580.8 kilometres

If your family car was able to travel into space for one light year distance at an average speed of 100kph, it would take you around 95 trillion years. Can you imagine how much the fuel would cost and how many times you would ask your parents when you will arrive? 🙂

Our sun is about 149,600,000 km from us. Your family car would take around one and a half million years to reach it if your car travelled at 100kph but light only takes around 8.3 minutes.

With next closest star to us being about 4.37 light years distant, I think you might start to understand why travelling to planets around another star is way beyond what we can do.

BUT WAIT... I found this video clip on You Tube while looking for other information. A NASA engineer was interviewed this year about the idea of warp space. It's said we can't travel at the speed of light for reasons I won't explain here but the engineer was talking about warping (expand and contract/grow and shrink) space. If this is one day possible, travelling to the next nearest star to our Sun might be possible in weeks or months but this is a long way off if it's possible.

This is not my video clip.

 

 

Yunus left a comment on an earlier extended comment where he commented and asked for more information. Here is a link to the post. scroll down to find his comments...

Yunus on "What technology did I use when younger?"

Hello again Yunus,

"The Video Cameras were really small but very interesting."

Rather than the video (movie) cameras being small, it was the film used in them. The cameras really worked by taking many small photos. They were one after the other on plastic film. Each photo in the film was only 8mm wide. When they were run through a movie projector, they flashed on the screen one after the other quickly enough so we saw them as moving pictures (movies).

Look at this animation I made showing a drawing of a projector. On the left you can see a small movie playing. It was made with an 8mm movie camera. When using a movie projector, you would make in look larger  when the projector showed the movie on a screen. Until recently, cinemas used movie films and large projectors. The only difference is their film used a 35mm series of photos. There were some cinemas using even larger film.

Now I will show you some photos. I still have the movie projector I used in schools back in the 1970s. An uncle also gave me his old 8mm movie camera. I have put a ruler in the photos so you can see their size.

Super 8mm Movie Camera. This one also recorded sound. There was a tiny magnetic strip on the film for the recording of sound. It was like a tiny strip of cassette tape if you have seen them. You can see a reel of 8mm movie film beside the camera.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The second photo is the 8mm movie projector I used in schools all those years back. You can see a blue film reel and a black one on the projector in the left. Many projectors had one reel at the front and one at the back like the cartoon drawing in the video clip above. The film would be loaded into the projector. Little cogs would catch into the holes on the side of the film and the film would be pulled through  the projector and out of the projector. The extra film reel would be winding the film up as it came out of the project after being seen.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The next photo shows you a scan of some 8mm movie film and a ruler. You will see the film is 8mm wide. I have shown four sections of the film.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Now let's look closer at four pieces of 8mm film I have magnified. You can see it is a series of pictures. To save on drawing of cartoons, cartoon films like this used two of each picture. You can see slight changes in the frames. When each picture is projected quickly in turn, we see them as a moving picture. Click on the film to see it larger so you can have a closer look at each frame (picture). The third strip of film shows a scene change after two frames. You can see a car on a road changes to a flying saucer.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

To show you how the brain is fooled by the pictures, here is a video clip looking at the eight frames of the first of the pieces of scanned film.

Let's look at another video clip made using 14 frames from an 8 mm showing a person. You will see the film at 2 fps (frames per second), 6 fps and 12 fps. When we had film taken on a camera and not a cartoon, each frame is different as a person or thing moves.

"How did you have to use the Hole Punchers?"

I think you must mean the holes punched in the film. If you look at the film scan above, you can see holes on the left hand side of each film strip. The projector cogs would grab these holes to pull the film through. Notice each hole is in the middle position to each frame. This makes certain  each picture appears correctly.

Why were the videos silent like Charlie Chaplin?

Film history reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_film

Charlie Chaplin reference:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Chaplin

The first movie camera appeared in the 1880s. The camera operator would wind a handle. A shutter would open then close to expose a frame of film. The film would then move to the next frame. Frame after frame the films were made as the camera operator turned the handle. At this early stage, movie cameras were more like a novelty. The earliest known film comes from 1888...

The first films were just of everyday scenes but some realised films could be made to tell stories. Here is a film made in 1902. Again there is no sound. Cinemas would have musicians playing music and possibly people making sound effects as the movie played. This clip has no sound. The film is called "Le Voyage dans la Lune" (A Trip to the Moon).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YH0hKrOsBvo

There were attempts to record sound but it wasn't recorded by the camera. The early attempts had trouble keeping the sound in synch (in the right place) in the movie*. By 1923, they had worked our how to synch sound and in 1927 "The Jazz SInger" was released as the first movie with sound.

Charlie Chaplin first appeared in a film in 1914. When sound came along he, like many others, thought it wouldn't last. People, they thought, would always prefer silent films. He continued making silent films into the 1930s but in 1940 he produced what was probably his first talking movie, "The Great Dictator". He wanted to make a film condemning Adolf Hitler before America entered World War II. I have this film in my DVD library. It is my favourite of all of his films.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

* Synching sound means putting the sound to a film so the people's mouths move to the sound as they should and music plays in time with dancers or people playing musical instruments. From my first video camera I owned I was able to record sound but the quality wasn't always good. There could be, and still is, a problem with noises from the audience.

In 1985 I filmed my first school production. A high school known as Prairiewood High in Sydney knew of my filming and asked me to make a VHS tape for them. Wanting better sound, they gave me an audio cassette tape of the production. It contained the sound from the microphones so little could be heard of the audience. In order to synch the sound, I had to drill a hole through a cassette player and tighten or loosen a screw to slow (tighten) or speed up (loosen) the sound.

These days I use a digital audio recorder and can line up sound on the computer.

25 Comments

To see the original 4KM and 4KJ post, here is a link...

What technology did you use when younger?

Dear 4KM and 4KJ,

I just saw your post on technology. I set out to remember how much has changed over the years since I was born in 1954 in Sydney?

1954 - Australia didn’t have television, home computers or the Internet. Telephones had numbers including letters. My first phone number was UY5734. To call long distance, you would contact an operator to be connected. Overseas calls would need to be booked, the operator contacting you when they got through.

We had radios but they were much bigger than the radios of today. Rather than circuit boards and computer chips, they had large glass valves that would take some time to warm up before you heard the radio. Shopping was done at the corner store because we didn’t have supermarkets or shopping centres (malls). Big department stores weren’t in the suburbs and there were no credit cards.

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VALVE

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1956 - Television arrived. They were very expensive to buy but my family had one, not because we were rich, because my grandfather owned the local electrical goods shop. People would come to our house from the neighbourhood to watch television. Sometimes there could be forty or fifty people there even though at first the TV only showed still pictures of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Guess what? They were black and white TVs. We didn’t have colour television. Colour wasn’t available until around 1970.

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1960 - I started school. My Kindergarten (Prep/Reception) class had 38 students. There were no photocopiers or computers but we did have slide projectors and movie projectors. We did have pencils and crayons.

I'm the student top left near the teacher. Other faces have been blanked out.

This graphic should not be copied.

1963 - I lost my job as inkwell monitor. It had been my job to make certain there was ink in each desk’s inkwell in the mornings. We were now able to use the latest writing technology in class, ballpoint pens.

1971 - I saw my first computer. It was at the Lucas Heights Atomic Energy Research Centre. It was large and had a room of its own. We didn’t have CDs, DVDs, Bluray, hard drives or disks. The computer used cards with holes punched in them. You might stack a hundred or more of the cards into the computer to run one program.

PUNCH CARD - Not a real One.

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1975 - I was in university and had use of a PDP8 computer. It was like comparing a candle to a theatre spotlight when thinking of computers today. It wasn’t very powerful by today’s standards but it started my interest. We didn’t have a computer screen or sound. The computer just had a big machine like a typewriter, a telex printer.  This is how I would type in programs. Without disks, programs were stored as holes in long tapes of thick paper.

1978 - saw me start as a casual teacher. I would arrive with an overhead projector, movie and slide projector and a cassette player. That was pretty high tech back then.

I thought I would create this little video clip to show what an 8mm movie and projector looked like.

1981 – I used a computer with a class for the first time. It had a floppy disk drive and a printer. We didn’t have many programs so I wrote some for the class. It was also this year I started using a video camera with a class. Home video cameras were very new and people thought I was from a TV station when I used it.

FLOPPY DISK

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1983 – I introduced computers to another school. Children were now writing stories on them and printing them.

1988 – Introduced computers to a third school and the following year bought my first mobile phone. I was at that school until 2000. In that time, I showed children and teachers how to use digital cameras, video camera, scanners, modems, and the Internet. We worked with graphics children created on computers, produced a student newspaper on computers, sent emails and edited videos on computers. This was the first school where I was able to network computers in a room. I was also able to lend some of my computers to children so they could use them at home.  By 2000, our government installed a whole school network and children across the school had access to the Internet.

2000 – 2005 – I was in my final school as a full time teacher. By this time, all schools had computers so it was the first of my schools where I didn’t need to introduce computers or the Internet. I was able to spend more time exploring new things with my students and helping teachers who asked for help.

What is happening now I am retired? I now produce CDs and DVDs for schools and community groups using my equipment. I can photograph, film, record sound, edit the video, design and print covers and inserts for CDs and DVDs, order supplies over the Internet if I can’t find them locally, work on blogs, email, Skype, and research on the web. I have never been so in touch with the world as I am now.

What technology will I use in the future? I will use anything I can afford I think will be of help to others or me. How about you?

@RossMannell

Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia

To see the original post, click below...

Retracing Our Steps in the Evolution of Technology

Marc?

I found this post interesting. It made me consider how technology has changed throughout my years.

I was born in the time before Australia had television. It was to come along in 1956 because Australia was hosting the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne. My family was able to have one of the first TV sets in out area, not because we were wealthy and could afford the cost of six months of the average wage. My grandfather owned the local electrical store and set it up as an in house demo. Each day people from the neighbourhood would fill the room to stare at the box.

It was a time when phones in our area only had six digits, ours starting with UY rather than numbers. Neighbours would call in to make a phone call or we would take messages. We weren’t out in the countryside. This was suburban Sydney in the 50s. It was the late 50s Australia had its first supermarket.

I was in school in the 60s and, in 1963, was made class ink well monitor. My job was to check ink was in desk inkwells so pens could be dipped. It was late that year we were first able to use ballpoint pens in class and I lost my job. In the early 60s our first shopping centre (mall) was built. I was 10 and found the place pure magic.

It was 1971 when I saw my first computer when visiting the Atomic Energy Commission centre at Lucas Heights as part of a school visit. It was large and required punch cards to operate. I first used and programmed one when at university in 1975 but home computers were a long way off. It didn’t have a screen, hard drive or even disks. It had a telex printer and stored programs on cardboard tape.

It was in the 70s I started teaching. Many teachers in schools I visited considered me a techie. My multimedia lessons were well known. I used the latest gear, an overhead projector, 8mm movie projector and a cassette player.

It was 1981 before I gained a permanent teaching position in a small, isolated one-teacher country school in western New South Wales. Our phone was a party line. You would pick it up. If someone was on your would replace the hand set and wait. If not used, you’d replace the handset, wind the handle, pick up the handset and ask for a number from the operator. Television was one channel affair if the weather conditions were okay but we did have a Umatic 1” video tape machine to play tapes I could arrange to borrow. Of course I still had my 8mm projector.

It was the 80s tech took off. In 1981 I used my first computer with students. Because of limited software, I had written some of my own programs. The first VHS and Beta home video recorders appeared and I bought one. Movies cost $80 but only from a few outlets in my state. A rental could cost $10 to $20.

In 1982 I bought my first personal VHS video camera with its large side pack and lead batteries. People, on seeing me with the camera, would think I was from a television station. My first school video was shot in that year and still exists in my collection now transferred to DVD. Thirty years of filming in schools is stored in my media library.

In 1983 I returned to Sydney and introduced computers to another school and then a third school in the mid 80s. The 80s saw me send my first emails using an Apple IIc, 300 baud modem and a phone extension cord. I also bought my first mobile phone with its large lead battery. It was more the size of a handbag than mobile phone.

The 90s saw me introduce the internet, websites, digital photography, desktop publishing, digital video, digital audio to my lessons and to teachers. I even served as President of an educational computer group dealing with 150 schools so I could share my skills. My computer ownership reached its peak at 45 machines. Many would be lent out to students for home usage. The school computer lab had 16 computers, only one belonging to the school. I installed the first network in the computer lab and, once expanded across the school, managed sharing between classes and with teachers. I left this school in 2000 with a school wide network and lab with teachers using them as part of their lessons and to create presentations.

It wasn’t until 2000 I arrived at a school where computers were already in use and network with the internet was already installed. I was finally able to sit back and let others run the school while I could concentrate on developing presentations for classes, spend greater time developing their skills and promote new uses.

The 00s was the decade I retired from full time teaching because of health issues but my technology journey didn’t stop. These days I comment on student blogs around the world, operate my own blogs, a You Tube channel, and make DVDs and CDs for community groups and schools.

I was an analog and now am a digital native. Even retired, I seek ways to incorporate technology to enhance presentations and now share with the world. My outlook and use of technology hasn’t change. It’s only the technology that’s changed and allowed me even greater capabilities.

You asked, “What will we have to adapt to next?

I say bring it on and let’s see how it can adapt to me.

@RossMannell

Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia

 

This is an image taken from my first video made with my own VHS camera in 1982. The school was 100km (60 miles) from the nearest town. I lived next door to the school on a sheep station, a short 20km (12 miles) drive.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 

To see 2/1's original post, click below...

Class 2/1 = Our class bears

Hello 2/1,

Lily – I have never been to Brighton but I recognised the Brighton Pavilion and Brighton Pier from photos I have seen. It looks like you and Eleanor had fun. 🙂

Douglas and Max – The party looks like you had fun. I’m sure Max enjoyed being with you. 🙂

Douglas and Cara – Did Skyla or Max come along to keep you both company? Seeing penguins can be very interesting. I have seen them in Australia and New Zealand. If you see them underwater, they look as though they’re flying through the water. There’s even a colony of little penguins not too far from where I live. Here is a photo of a crested penguin I took in New Zealand.

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Douglas and Skyla – When I was in London, I made sure to visit the Science Museum and also have a photo of The Rocket. There were so many interesting things to see.

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Lily in Australia? I hope you had a wonderful time. Koalas do tend to sleep 20 to 22 hours a day but that’s because the eucalypt leaves they eat take some time to digest and aren’t packed with energy.

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Baby koalas (joeys) are born about the size of a peanut but grow in their mother’s pouch. When they are big enough, the babies start looking outside the pouch. If it’s okay for you to watch, here is a link to a video clip I made of Suzie the koala and her baby girl’s first look at the world.

Douglas and Charlie – I also visited the Natural History Museum and found it interesting. I see you are pictured with a whale model. Each year whales migrate along our coastline. From my town people can take boat or plane rides to see them. I didn't have a whale photo handy so I'll share one of dolphins I took from the beach.

 

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News from Lily – Wow! You certainly have been doing some travelling. Canberra is the closest city to where I live on the coast but it is a three hour drive from here. Snakes are a part of Australian wildlife. While out walking, I have seen diamond pythons (non-poisonous) , eastern browns (poisonous), black snakes (poisonous), and tiger snakes (poisonous). Around here, black snakes are the most common but they are shy and would rather keep out of our way. Here is a photo of Olivia. She is an olive python (non-poisonous) and is being held by a friend in a nature reserve...

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Crocodiles aren’t native to my area because they like warmer places but I have seen them. I also have seen many types of lizards in my area, the largest being goannas. Here is a collection of four I've photographed. The goanna is bottom left.This one was over 1m long...

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I see you are pictured with one of our flowers, although it isn’t a bottlebrush. They flower is a banksia. There are many types here and are beautiful to photograph. Here is a banksia I photographed near my home...

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Meeting an emu… When I was teaching in western New South Wales, I often saw emus. Did you know it’s the fathers that look after the babies? Mother emus lay their eggs in nests then leave. The fathers then take over. Sometimes a father emu looks after a crèche of babies. I can remember once seeing a father emu with about 15 babies following They are magnificent birds second in size to the ostrich (not a native bird here).

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We have termite mounds in my area but the biggest are to be found in northern Australia. The redness of the soil out has to do with iron in the soil (rust). We have red soils and ironstone in my area because millions of years back we had volcanoes around here.

@RossMannell

Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia

3 Comments

Here is a link to the original post…

http://passtheblog.creativeblogs.net/2012/07/25/our-wonderings/

 

NASA is always a good source of information on space.

I enjoyed reading your questions so much I thought  I would try to find some answers for you. I hope most if not all help but I’m not an expert in astronomy just someone interested in many things. I may update this post as I have time or if someone points out an error I've missed.

 

OUR WONDERINGS

 

How many times could you fit earth on the biggest planet Jupiter? You can fit 1000 earths on Jupiter-Jake

Here is a link to a site allowing you to compare the diameter of planets. Choose your planets then click on “COMPARE” to see. According to this site, Jupiter has a diameter 11.1 times that of Earth, i.e. it would take 11.1 Earths to reach from one side to the other through the middle of Jupiter.

http://sciencenetlinks.com/interactives/messenger/psc/PlanetSize.html

This site compares Earth to Jupiter. You will see Jupiter has a volume 1321 times that of the Earth. That is it would take around 1321 Earths to match the volume.

http://www.universetoday.com/22710/jupiter-compared-to-earth/

In the future could scientists invent a robot that could survive the winds of Neptune or land on the sun?

 That would be something very hard to do. The pressures on the giant planets would quickly crush anything we could currently make. Science fiction stories talk of future attempts to go deep into one of the giants. Maybe one day we might be able to probe deeper.

Did you know in 2003, NASA deliberately sent the Galileo craft into the atmosphere of Jupiter? It was crushed by the pressure. Here is a link from NASA…

http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/galileo/

When looking at Sol, our sun, we are talking about incredible heat and pressure. Did you know stars have “life” cycles. They burn their fuel but eventually run out and cool. While they might end up solid, they would still have incredible mass. Here is a link about stars…

http://www.seasky.org/celestial-objects/stars.html

How do astronauts live on spaceships when they are travelling through space?

The earliest astronauts and cosmonauts (Russian astronauts) relied on their space suits to survive. By the time of the Apollo missions to the Moon, the capsules had oxygen supplies so astronauts could remove their helmets but still had to keep the suits on in case of an emergency. Here is a link about the Apollo missions…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_program

These days, the International Space Station allows much greater comfort for astronauts. Here is a link from NASA…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_program

Why does Saturn have so many rings? -Mia   Nobody knows why Saturn has rings but they do know that Saturn's rings are 400,000 kilometres wide. That’s the length from earth to the moon-Jake

It has been suggested the rings could be the debris of a large icy moon that lost its icy shell before crashing into Saturn. Here is a wiki link looking at Saturn and its rings…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rings_of_Saturn

How do the planets stay where they are? Kaelen. It is all in the way the gravity holds them up but the planets are slowly moving but it is so slow you would think that are stiff.-Billy

Billy has the right idea. It’s the gravitational pull of the sun holding the planets in place just as Earth’s gravity stops us from floating off into space. Here is a link…

http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/solar-system

When our solar system was estimated to have started to form about 4.568 billion years ago, the planets and moons were thought to have formed from a solar nebula (cloud of dust a gas) left over from the formation of our sun. It’s thought they formed by accretion. Accretion is where dust or other particles join together. In these very early years, there would have been very many collisions where masses joined to form larger ones. Here is a wiki link about the formation and evolution of our solar system…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formation_and_evolution_of_the_Solar_System

Did you know it is thought our Moon was formed when two of these large masses collided? The debris thrown off in the collision became our Moon. Our Earth was a combination of the two large masses. Here is a link…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_impact_hypothesis

Is there intelligent life on other planets?

I love this question as it’s the same I asked when your age. It is said there are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on all of the beaches on Earth. We are talking huge numbers of stars out there. I have no doubt many would have planets around them and some planets would be in the Goldilocks Zone.

I like that term. The Goldilocks Zone is the position around a star where it’s not too hot and not too cold for a planet to be capable of supporting life/.

One of my favourite astronomers was a man named Carl Sagan. He was asked this very question. He said with all of the stars in the universe, if Earth held the only life, it would “sure seem like an awful waste of space.”

There is little chance of intelligent life on other planets in our solar system but there is a chance of simple life on Mars or perhaps in the possible water layer of Jupiter’s moon, Europa. Here is a link to information on Europa…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europa_%28moon%29

Intelligent life? I would like to think we aren’t the only beings in the universe to ask questions like yours. If we were, Carl Sagan would again be correct. What a waste of space.

Remember, even the closest star outside our Solar System, Proxima Centauri, is 4.22 light years distant. A light year is the distance travelled by light in one Earth year. One light year is around 9,460,530,000,000 kilometres. If you were able to drive you family car at 100 kph, it would take you 9,460,530,000 years and that’s to the nearest star. Wiki link on the light year…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light-year

Why does saturn have so many rings?-Anahera

Go to the link I provided Mia…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rings_of_Saturn

Where is the end and beginning of space?  Bridget

Now there’s a hard question. As we exist in the universe, there is no way for us to know what may be beyond the edge of our universe. I have read if we were to travel in space in a straight line for long enough, we would eventually arrive back where we started. In that sense, space would have no beginning or end.

Do any people live in space? -Laura

Men from NASA -http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/k-4/home/F_Living_in_Space.html lived in space and said that it was very different from living on Earth. Our bodies change in space. –Michaela

Well done, Michaela. There are people on the International Space Station who spend time living in space. Michaela is also correct about our bodies changing. Here is a wiki link looking at the changes we face in space…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effect_of_spaceflight_on_the_human_body

With water having been found on our Moon, we may one day be able to live there but we need to find more water. Here is a NASA link about water on the Moon…

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2162505/More-water-moon-NASA-finds-mile-deep-crater-ice-scattered-quarter-surface.html

Are there any ALIENS in space?-Laura

Alien simply means not born or belonging to here. Our search is on to find life on another planet, our best bet being Mars. All we need to do is find one simple life form, even a bacteria, on Mars to show life exists other than on Earth. Here is a link on NASA’s quest…

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/programmissions/overview/

If you mean like in the movies, we have no proof of life such as this but there are those on our planet who claim to have seen or been taken by aliens. I’m more from the science side of thought and would like to see definite proof.

I go back to an answer above… One of my favourite astronomers was a man named Carl Sagan. He was asked this very question. He said with all of the stars in the universe, if Earth held the only life, it would “sure seem like an awful waste of space.”

Is there any grass on the planets in space?-Laura

Grass is life just as animals and other plants are. We have no evidence of life on other planets as yet but there is a good chance of life on other planets because of how many there are thought to be.

Did you know grasses are thought to only have appeared towards the end of the Age of Dinosaurs? If we go back in time to early Earth, you would find it had no life. Doesn’t that make you wonder what the first life was like?

Abiogenesis is the study of how the first life might arise. Here is a link…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis

How was space created?-Laura

One of the leading theories of how space was created is The Big Bang Theory (no the television show). It is thought the universe was once in an extremely hot and dense state known as a singularity then rapidly expanded and cooled. This might have been as much as 13.7 billion years ago. As the energy from the singularity cooled, subatomic particles formed and eventually joined to form the first and simplest element, hydrogen with some traces of helium and lithium. Clouds of these elements would have collapsed under gravity to form stars and galaxies. Here is a wiki link to the Big Bang Theory…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang

As all of this expanded, space came into existence. It makes you wonder where the singularity came from, the moment it started to expand and what was there before it started its expansion. Our universe is still expanding.

Are there any multi coloured planets in space?-Laura

 Yes. Have a look at these wonderful photos and graphics from NASA…

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=NASA+planet+photos&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=EEh&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=imvnsu&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=zisXUMKHNcKoiAe264DwDg&ved=0CIQBELAE&biw=1513&bih=1233

Is there any water on mars?-Laura

Yes. Here is a NASA link looking not only at the possibility of frozen water but also flowing water…

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/MRO/news/mro20110804.html

How many stars are in space?-Josh

In another question I looked at an idea relating to the number of stars in the universe. I had read there are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on every beach on Earth. Would you like to start counting? 🙂

 I have read estimates of 125 billion galaxies in the universe. That is 125,000,000,000 galaxies. Now, if our galaxy, The Milk Way, has around the estimated 300 billion stars, that’s 300,000,000,000 and if we assume (probably wrongly) each galaxy were to have similar number of stars, that would be…

37,500,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the universe
A link about the number of galaxies…

http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_astro/answers/021127a.html

and our Milky Way galaxy…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milky_Way

How are black holes formed?-Josh There are many theories to how black holes are created but the most common is when a colossal star with a mass more than 3 times the Sun’s reaches the end of its life gets crushed under its own gravity leaving behind a BLACK HOLE. -Michaela

Great research Michaela. 🙂

The black hole isn’t the remainder of a massive star. It’s the singularity in the black hole that is what’s left of the massive star. Have a look at this link to see an animation of a black hole…

http://www.kidsastronomy.com/black_hole.htm

You can see there is a singularity in the middle. Around the singularity there is the inner and outer event horizon. An event horizon is the point of no return. If you were in a space ship and passed the event, there would be no escaping the gravitational pull. Within the event horizon, not even light escapes making the area within the event horizon appear black from outside.

Here is another link talking about time and event horizons…

http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_astro/answers/011024a.html

Are there any animals on the planets in space?-Josh

This is similar to other questions about life. With the likelihood there is life on other planets somewhere in our vast universe, animals may exist on a number of them but they wouldn't be too likely to look like the animals we know. In the movie, “Avatar”, tall, thin, blue human-like beings rode what looked like six-legged horses. What an animal might look like on another planet would be determined by how it evolved as animals on our planet do. If we look at Earth’s fossil record, there were some very strange animals in the past.

How hot is mars?-Billy Mars is actually colder than it is hot. The lowest temperature was minus 60 degrees celsius and the highest 70 degrees fahrenheit.-Josh

More good research, Josh. 🙂

As we learn more about Mars, we are able to better understand its climate and what difficulties might face when they go to Mars to live. Here is a wiki link on the climate of Mars…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_of_Mars

What is beyond space?-Billy

Bridget asked something similar. Here is what I wrote…

Now there’s a hard question. As we exist in the universe, there is no way for us to know what may be beyond the edge of our universe. I have read if we were to travel in space in a straight line for long enough, we would eventually arrive back where we started. In that sense, space would have no beginning or end.

How does gravity make things float?-Billy

It’s more the lack of gravity that would allow things to float. Any object with mass, including you, has gravity but for small objects like us we don’t tend to notice. Mass is different to weight. Weight comes from the effects of gravity on an object. Here’s a hard idea…

 If you were to mass 30kg on Earth, you would have a mass of 30kg on the Moon but your weight only be about one-sixth, i.e. about 5kg.

Have you ever been on a roller coaster and felt that feeling when you seem to rise off the seat as you go over a peak? This gives you the idea of weightlessness. Away from Earth’s gravity, you would float.

How much weight can gravity hold?-Billy

Interesting… As weight depends on gravity, gravity doesn’t hold weight. If you were able to stand on the surface of Jupiter you would be very heavy. You own weight would crush you as our bodies aren't made to stand such pressure.

Why is it black in space?-Billy

On our planet, we have an atmosphere containing gases and dust particles. As light from our sun travels through our atmosphere, it is scattered by what it hits. We see colour .

On the Moon, there is no atmosphere to speak of. Light shines straight down. If you were to look at shadows on the Earth, the scattering of light allows us to see inside shadows. Without an atmosphere, shadows on the Moon are too dark. We can't see inside them.

In space, there is little to spread the light so we tend to see it as black as in the moon shadows.

Is there any life on other planets?-Billy

Check some of the answers I’ve left for others. With all the expected stars and planets in the universe, it would be a waste of space if Earth was the only planet with life. We may first find life on Mars. It is our closest neighbour possibly able to support life and it has water.

How fast can a rocket go in space?-Billy

The first step for a rocket is to escape Earth’s gravity. This is known as the escape velocity. It’s no so much speed as the amount needed to pull out of our gravity. For Earth, it is something like 11.2 km/s while planets such as Jupiter might need 59.5 km/s. Taken from wiki link…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escape_velocity

 Once out in space, firing rockets can keep accelerating us. They can also use the gravity of a planet to make them go faster. This is known as gravity assist or slingshot effect.

 Here is a link answering your question…

http://io9.com/5786083/what-are-the-fastest-spacecrafts-ever-built

Are there any other universes or planets out there?-Billy

Planets? There certainly are. Astronomers have now identified the existence of planets around other stars.

Universes? That’s another story. For us, the universe is everything we have and we are incapable of discovering anything beyond. In science fiction, there is talk of parallel universes where there might be an infinite number but there is no proof of this idea. Here is a wiki link looking at the idea of a multiverse…

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiverse

What are the planets/the moon/the sun made of?-Billy  

Every atom of you body and making up the world is said to have once been made in a star. The very basic element is hydrogen. Sun’s burn hydrogen fuel through something called nuclear fusion. From stars, all of the elements we commonly know had their origin. The elements found in planets and moons came from the reactions within stars.

Stars tend to form in gaseous clouds. Take a look at this link. You will see a small picture of the Pillars of Creation taken by the  Hubble telescope. In this area of the Eagle Nebula, new stars are forming…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_formation

How far away is space?-Billy You would have to travel 76 miles straight up to get to space.-Josh

If you look at this link, on the right hand side you will see a graphic showing the layers of Earth’s atmosphere…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_Earth

What is beyond a black hole/milky way?-Billy

The black hole and the singularity creating it is an occurrence in space. If you mean what’s beyond a black hole if you enter, some suggest they are a gateway to another universe. I tend to believe it’s a massive object that would crush us through gravity,

Beyond the Milky Way… The Milky Way is our galaxy and is said to be one of billions of galaxies. You would find little in intergalactic space until you manages to enter another galaxy. As we are no where near being able to travel to the nearest star to ours, journeys out of the Milky Way seem extremely unlikely.

What is at the end of a black hole?-Jake

With the singularity in a black hole not allowing even light to escape, going into one is a one way trip. 🙂

Is there any life on mars?-Jake

Others have asked that question and I have provided links but, in my opinion, there is simple life on Mars. We only have to find it. No, I don't believe there are little Martians running around.

What is at the end of the milky way?-Jake

The Milky Way is just a galaxy, one of billions in the universe. If we were to leave our galaxy, there would be a very long journey ahead of us before we reached the next galaxy. I think the Andromeda galaxy is the closest to our Milky Way. Here’s a wiki link…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andromeda_Galaxy

Will they ever send anyone to mars?-Jake

 Yes. There are already people looking into the possibility of sending people to live on Mars but we may go to the asteroid belt first. Here is a wiki link…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manned_mission_to_Mars

Why do stars only come out at night?  Because the clouds and the sun are in the way and it is not dark. Answer is by Laura (not the question)

Well done, Laura! 🙂

The stars are always there but light travelling through our atmosphere in the daytime prevents us seeing them.

Why does the sun only come out in the day?

The sun doesn’t come out nor does it really rise or set. Our Earth turns on its axis as it orbits the sun. As it turns, different parts of the Earth move into sunlight or pass into night. Here is a link to a You Tube video showing the revolving Earth…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3H5Tlw1Ozo&feature=related

Also, our Earth has a slight tilt to the plane of our orbit. As Earth moves around the sun, the north might have more sunlight and be in summer and on the opposite side of the sun, the south has more sunlight while the north has winter.

Here is a link to a post I made for a boy asking about seasons…

http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2012/05/23/for-royce-on-seasons/

Why does Saturn have rings?

This question was already asked so here is what was said…

It has been suggested the rings could be the debris of a large icy moon that lost its icy shell before crashing into Saturn. Here is a wiki link looking at Saturn and its rings…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rings_of_Saturn

Is there more than 1 universe out there?

Billy asked a similar question. Here is the answer I left…

Universes? That’s another story. For us, the universe is everything we have and we are incapable of discovering anything beyond. In science fiction, there is talk of parallel universes where there might be an infinite number but there is no proof of this idea. Here is a wiki link looking at the idea of a multiverse…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiverse

Can animals survive in space?

 In space, life can’t exist. For animals, they would need spacesuits to breathe and protect them from radiation. If we were dropped into space without a suit, we wouldn't survive.

 

Why does your head blow up if you don’t wear a space helmet? By Zara

What a gruesome question. 🙂 I have seen films showing this. They use the idea of the lack of pressure in space. Our bodies are suited to the atmospheric pressure on Earth. Our bodies hold us together. In space, where there is virtually no atmospheric pressure, our bodies would suffer but I’m not sure about the idea of heads exploding. Here is a link…

http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_astro/answers/970603.html

Is there alien life forms out in other universes-Gracin

As I don't believe there are other universes we can experience other than our own, I would say no but I did give a link to Billy looking at the idea of multiverses…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiverse

Can we ever travel to mars?- Callum

Yes. We have already sent unmanned missions to Mars. Manned mission would be something for the future. Here is a link to Mars missions…

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/

How are black holes formed?- Callum

A black hole form when a massive star collapses under its own gravity.

Is there water in space?- Callum

Yes. Comets for example tend to contain water ice.

Why can we not roll the moon- Zack

 I’m sorry, I didn't quite understand.

 

Does every star have a name-Thomas

Many stars simply have code names. SN 1979C was the name given to a star that went supernova in 1979. I was able to see its light at night without a telescope. It is no longer visible without powerful telescopes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SN_1979C

What is the hottest planet-Thomas The hottest planet is Venus with temperatures up to 464 degrees celsius.-Josh

Here is a link looking at temperatures of the planets…

http://www.universetoday.com/35664/temperature-of-the-planets/

How small are the stars- Zack

There is a large variation in star sizes from dwarf to super giant stars. Have a look at this link…

http://www.co-intelligence.org/newsletter/comparisons.html

Is there an order of planets- Brya

Planet order normally looks at a planets location to its sun. For our Solar System, the order is…

 Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Pluto is no longer classed as a planet. Here is a link …

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/astronomy/planets/

How small are the planets- Brya

In 1930, Pluto was officially discovered and was called a planet, our ninth. In more recent years it has been renamed a dwarf planet. Here is a link showing what a planet now needs to be…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IAU_definition_of_planet

You will see it has to satisfy three points…

1. It must orbit a sun

2. It must have sufficient mass to take on a nearly round shape

3. It must have cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit (meaning no other smaller bodies share orbit)

Why do planets have to be spaced out.-Ciara

 If planets are too close to each other, their gravities will interact. They may be drawn together and collide. This is thought to have happened to two bodies in the early Solar System history. On collision, material was thrown into space to become our Moon and the rest made up our Earth.

 

Why do we have to use a spaceships into space why not a plane-Ciara

Spaceships are designed to make life possible in space. Without them, we would not be able to survive the radiation, cold and lack of air to breath. As there is no air and planes need air to fly, they wouldn't work. Planes can fly by their engines forcing air over their wings to give them lift. No air, no lift, no flight.

Why is there no gravity in space-Ciara

In order to have gravity, there must be mass. When out in space away from any large objects we would simply float for an eternity.

 

How do we float when the gravity has stopped-Ciara

Gravity pulls us towards the centre of our planet. When we are too far away, there is no gravity and we can float. If you have every ridden one of those rides where you are lifted high in the air on chairs then suddenly dropped, you can get the feeling of being weightless.

 

Why can’t planets move around, Why do they stay where they are-Ciara

They don’t. All planets, including our Earth, are in motion. They spin on their axes giving day and night and they orbit the sun. Our Solar System is also moving as it circle around the centre of our galaxy, The Milky Way.  Our galaxy is also moving as it continues its journey away from where the universe all began.

We are certainly moving.

Will the sun ever die?-Kurt

 When the sun eventually runs out of hydrogen fuel, it will eventually ‘die’. Stars also have a life cycle. Some end up cooling and grow cold while large stars can end in massive supernova.

Here is a link on the life cycle of the sun…

http://www.universetoday.com/56522/life-cycle-of-the-sun/

How many stars are there?-Kurt Answer:There are thousands of Millions of stars alone in the Milky Way, but nobody knows for sure how many there are in the Galaxy probably millions of millions!-Michaela

Here is an answer I shared with Josh…

I have read estimates of 125 billion galaxies in the universe. That is 125,000,000,000 galaxies. Now, if our galaxy, The Milk Way, has around the estimated 300 billion stars, that’s 300,000,000,000 and if we assume (probably wrongly) each galaxy were to have similar number of stars, that would be…

37,500,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the universe
A link about the number of galaxies…

http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_astro/answers/021127a.html

and our Milky Way galaxy…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milky_Way

Why is the Sun the biggest planet - why can't pluto or earth be?

The sun is a star and not a planet. It is large enough to start burning the hydrogen fuel it contains. Jupiter was not quite large enough. Had it been, there might have been two stars in our sky.

If earth had been the size of the sun, we wouldn't be able to live on it due to the pressure and temperature.

 

Are UFOs real.-Sam

UFO means Unidentified Flying Objects. In that sense I have seen many. I look up into the sky and see something I can't recognise and therefore it is an UFO. If you mean alien spacecraft, many believe they are true and exist. My problem with the idea is the distance they would have had to travel to reach us from even the nearest star to our sun. It would take a huge amount of time so we would need to ask, why would they come?

Do I believe? I don't disbelieve but I have never seen anything I consider absolute proof.

How much gravity is there in space.-Sam

Away from any objects with mass, there is no gravity. Gravity needs objects with mass in order to exist.

Why do we weigh less in space.-Sam

Weight comes when gravity acts on mass. When we are away from our planet, we have the same mass but, without gravity, we don't have any weight.

Are there different types of star and do they have names. Lorie

There are a number of star types. Some have been named but many simply have codes. I calculated the possible number of stars in the universe as 37,500,000,000,000,000,000,000  Imagine trying to come up with names for each. 🙂

Here is a link showing some star types…

http://space.about.com/od/stars/tp/What-Are-The-Different-Types-Of-Stars.htm

Why did they call that group of white stars the milky way. Lorie

Our own sun is part of the Milky Way. Our Solar System orbits the centre of our galaxy where they believe there is probably a massive black hole. If you are out in the countryside away from city and town lights, on a clear night you can see what looks like a cloud amongst the stars. This is the glow of billions of stars.

 

How far apart are the planets. Mason

Here is a link giving information of the distance of each planet from the sun…

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_distance_of_all_planets_from_the_sun

What does  space look like. Mason

Look up in the sky at night. If you were out in space, you would see the lights of many stars.

 

Why is there gravity on earth but not in space.-Georgia  The force of Gravity changes the further you get away from Earth. –Michaela

Well done, Michaela.

 

Why is there water on mars is there life on mars.-Georgia

Now we know water exists, our next step is to find life. With water, there is a chance but don’t expect more than perhaps bacteria.

 

Is there people on mars. Chelsea

From what we know of Mars, complex life like ours never had a chance to evolve.

 

Is there a order of planets. Chelsea.

Brya asked  the same question. Here is what I wrote…

Planet order normally looks at a planets location to its sun. For our Solar System, the order is…

 Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Pluto is no longer classed as a planet. Here is a link …

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/astronomy/planets/

How did space get made?-Janaya

Laura asked a similar question. Here is the answer…

One of the leading theories of how space was created is The Big Bang Theory (no the television show). It is thought the universe was once in an extremely hot and dense state known as a singularity then rapidly expanded and cooled. This might have been as much as 13.7 billion years ago. As the energy from the singularity cooled, subatomic particles formed and eventually joined to form the first and simplest element, hydrogen with some traces of helium and lithium. Clouds of these elements would have collapsed under gravity to form stars and galaxies. Here is a wiki link to the Big Bang Theory…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang

As all of this expanded, space came into existence. It makes you wonder where the singularity came from, the moment it started to expand and what was there before it started its expansion. Our universe is still expanding.

 

How did space get named? -Janaya Maybe it’s just because there is a lot of SPACE in space. –Michaela

I like this question and love Michaela’s answer. 🙂

 

Is it possible to count the stars, if so how many are there? It is impossible to humans being able to count the stars because there is thousands of millions of stars! -Michaela

Josh asked a similar question. Here is the answer…

I have read estimates of 125 billion galaxies in the universe. That is 125,000,000,000 galaxies. Now, if our galaxy, The Milk Way, has around the estimated 300 billion stars, that’s 300,000,000,000 and if we assume (here probably wrongly) each galaxy were to have similar number of stars, that would be…

37,500,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the universe
A link about the number of galaxies…

http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_astro/answers/021127a.html

and our Milky Way galaxy…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milky_Way

Do the stars move every time they appear? -Michaela

Planets, stars, solar systems and galaxies are all moving. When pour planet rotates on its axis, we have day and night as the Earth’s surface moves around in the sunlight. As Earth orbits around the sun, we have the seasons. With all of this movement, the stars seem to move but it is really us. They are too far for we wo be able to see their movement.

Will and how will we find water-Ciara

Water has already been found on the Moon and Mars. The question now is how much. If there is enough water, people will one day live on Mars and the Moon.

How is a black hole made-Ciara

Josh asked a similar question…

The black hole isn’t the remainder of a massive star. It’s the singularity in the black hole that is what’s left of the massive star. Have a look at this link to see an animation of a black hole…

http://www.kidsastronomy.com/black_hole.htm

You can see there is a singularity in the middle. Around the singularity there is the inner and outer event horizon. An event horizon is the point of no return. If you were in a space ship and passed the event, there would be no escaping the gravitational pull. Within the event horizon, not even light escapes making the area within the event horizon appear black from outside.

Here is another link talking about time and event horizons…

http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_astro/answers/011024a.html

Is there life in different universes and if there is are they more intelligent-Gracin

We don’t know of any life outside Earth at this time. It’s always possible there are many more planets with life, hopefully many with intelligent life. What a waste it would be if we were the only planet with intelligent life.

Is there a water supply on different planets-Gracin

We only know of water on Mars but it has also been found on the Moon and on Jupiter’s moon, Europa. A link for Europa…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europa_%28moon%29

What do aliens look like-Gracin

As yet we haven’t found any so we don’t know. 🙂

 

How do aliens get a supply of food-Gracin

You are looking at something called exobiology, the study of life not on Earth. We haven’t found any life outside Earth yet but it would be interesting to study when we do.

Is there other planets that we haven't discovered yet-Gracin

With so many stars in the universe, the are huge numbers of planets to discover. If you mean in our solar system, there is an area known as the Kuiper Belt where there are many objects thought to be more like asteroids. The Kuiper Belt is out beyond all of the planets. Here is a link…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuiper_belt

How does saturn keep the rings around it stable-Gracin

Gravity holds them in place but they will eventually either fall into Saturn or escape into space.

Where does a black hole lead to? Gracin

Some have suggested black holes might lead to other universes but I think most believe as trip into one is a one way trip. We would be crushed.

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

One World, One Classroom

 

The Global Classroom Project July chat on the Global Classroom .

Some notes.

 

When seeing the Twitter chat ( #globalclassroom ) planned for July I thought I would take the chance to join a session. For those of you aware of me through comments on your class/school blogs, it’s probably not surprising to see I prepared this post in my “Extended Comments for Students” blog.

For others, I am retired from full time teaching in N.S.W., Australia yet am still involved with schools as a member of my local school’s Parents & Citizens and as DVD producer for school performances in our area. As such, my contribution to the chat is more from the point of view of a person who comments on blogs rather than has children involved.

My blogging experience only started just over a year ago when I was curious on seeing a tweet with a reference to a school blog. I visited the blog and saw they were seeking comments. In order to leave a comment, I found I had to join a blog provider. I left a comment and found the process fascinating.

The problem was, the blog provider kept reminding me I could set up a blog of my own. Finally, I gave in and set up one to write educational thoughts although I found more interest in commenting and creating posts for classes than “thinking educationally” in any formal sense. A second followed so I could share the stories I enjoyed writing. A third was made when I found schools were seeking information on topics I enjoyed and had some knowledge. A fourth arrived as I wanted to be able to share experiences classes might find useful such as the replica of Captain Cook’s “Endeavour” when it visited a local bay for a few days.

Once you take the first step, you will see the advantages in the reaction of the children when they receive comments from around the world. Of course, you may need to promote their posts by gathering a following and perhaps requesting comments on Twitter and via other classes with which you might be willing to share.

Some activities you might find useful as a way of sharing…

Quadblogging

100 Word Challenge

Student Blogging Challenge

Now to the chat questions…

 

Blogging is a valuable tool because it allows students to:

  • reflect upon and share their discoveries with a global audience

  • explore and wonder about questions and big ideas

  • write authentically and publish to a global audience

  • create dialogue with a global audience

  • connect in a meaningful and personalized way with the curriculum

  • educate others and spread awareness

  • enhance their communication skills

  • further develop digital citizenship and online safety skills in an authentic context

  • explore multiple modes of expression

(from “The Global Classroom Project" )

What do you think?

How can a classroom blog deepen your global citizenship inquiry?

One of the greatest assets I’ve found in blogging is the ability children have to see similarities and differences in other classes around the world as they expand into the global classroom. They may share experiences or learning through posts and comments or perhaps even Skype sessions.

Starting with an Apple II in a classroom back in 1981, I've seen educational computing grow almost exponentially. It's a long way back to that country school where you had to have an operator connect you when phoning. The isolated school now has a satellite dish and internet access. Even 100km (60 miles) from a town, they can be part of the global classroom.

 

How will students write? Large group, small group, individually?

On visiting many blogs (I’ve lost count), I’ve seen each approach in use. Classes/schools share group experiences, small groups of children report on their findings in studies, and individuals share their more personal experiences (with preparation by the school so they are aware to keep very personal information to themselves). All options work. It depends on how you might like to approach blogging.

A suggestion might be to start with a class blog where you moderate what children post. As the children gain confidence, they might “earn” their own personal blogs, although the teacher would still need to moderate comments.

How do you keep up with all the comments left on your blog?

One safety factor is to make certain you can moderate comments coming into your class/student blogs. While I have seen most people visiting school blogs are benign, there are those out there who might need to be blocked.

As mentioned in the beginning, I am retired from full time teaching so I have more available time yet I don’t always have the time to comment on all I see. I tab a link to a blog on my browser and hope to return to it when I have time. If after a week I still haven’t had the chance to respond, I again might check to see what was posted. If the post was more general, I might delete the tab. My comments are prioritised. Blogs I visit regularly receive comments first as do those entries in the 100 Word Challenge  falling into my group as a member of Team 100WC.

How do you develop a “voice” as bloggers?

Many blogs I visit include stories from children or reports on lessons or outings. I try always to be supportive and positive in my comments because my aim is to encourage the children in their efforts. Many children have been excited to see someone from possibly the other side of the world has visited their blog and left comments.

Occasionally, I come across a blog that sparks my interest. The first of these came last year in the form of 6D from High Lawn School. They were looking for information on volcanoes, an interest of mine. I shared information and was able to send volcanic samples I had gathered from volcanoes in New Zealand, Fiji and Hawaii.

More recently, Global Grade 3 from Canada has gained extra commenting attention. I saw a post where they were explaining their efforts to help set up a library in the Peru. As with 6D, you can see the comments I sent to them on this blog.

The key is creating posts of interest to readers. Adding questions at the end of a post encourages readers to interact. The blogger, in order to encourage future visits, needs to reply to comments so a reader knows they have been noticed. It can be pleasantly surprising when we see a dialogue develop and the interest in the eyes of a student.

How do you find the time to post regularly?

Even when retired, time can be a factor, especially when I have filming and producing DVDs for schools. Being a night owl, I can sometimes be up to around midnight or later then rise again around 6am. Mostly, posts are created in the morning or evening when the activities of the day subside. Commenting is both a hobby and passion of mine.

 

The remaining questions more relate to the experiences within the class so I will await to see what might come of them. ** The encounters on today's 3rd chat for July were fascinating. I don't always have the chance to find out what is happening behind the scene at blogs I visit.

I’ll sign off with what I commonly leave at the end of comments on school/class/student blog.

 

@RossMannell

Teacher, NSW, Australia