Volcanoes & Earthquakes

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To see Global Grade 3's original post, click the link below

A Closer Look at MAPS!

Hello Global Grade 3,

I'll start by repeating the wonderful quote from Henry Miller at the beginning of you post...

The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself. 

~Henry Miller

I saw your post entitled "The Power of Observation and Wonder" and found it very interesting to read. I was going to write a reply because, as the previous Global Grade 3 class knows, I am interested in many things including stones but I have been very busy filming and making DVDs for schools. However, your "A Closer Look at MAPS!" post again caught my attention so I thought I'd write a short post about maps.

I have seen many types of maps including the types you have studied. Perhaps my favourite modern maps are the types I used as a Scout. I would say, "Give me a good map and a compass and I can usually find my way around."

I have scanned an old topographical map I used in the 1970s. It was measured in miles and feet but we were changing over to kilometres and metres around then. Have a look at the map. Click on it to see it larger...

This is a scanned section of Central Mapping Authority of N.S.W. topographical map printed in 1970. I do not hold copyright over this image.

This is a scanned section of Central Mapping Authority of N.S.W. topographical map printed in 1970. I do not hold copyright over this image.

The map has a great deal of information. I can see red lines showing roads. Some roads are shown as white with red dashes to show they are dirt roads. There are thick black lines with small, double dashes along them to show a railway line. Blues lines show rivers and creeks. We can easily see Blackheath is a town but there are large areas without streets and those areas interest me as I have explored those areas.

Can you see the brown wriggly lines on the map?

The brown lines are contour lines. They show heights. Each line shows a height of 50 feet more or less than the next. Some of the lines have numbers such as 3200.  The 3200 tells me at that place the land is 3200 feet above sea level. Looking at the numbers and the lines can tell me if I will be going up or down when hiking. Let's look closer at a section of the map...

This is a scanned section of Central Mapping Authority of N.S.W. topographical map printed in 1970. I do not hold copyright over this image.

This is a scanned section of Central Mapping Authority of N.S.W. topographical map printed in 1970. I do not hold copyright over this image.

I have added the red numbers to help students find specific points.

See the black, single dashed lines?

They are walking tracks I have followed. I have walked down from number 1 to 3 and up from 3 to 2.

1 - The beginning of the track is about 3250 feet above sea level.

2 - The end of the dirt road is about 3200 feet above sea level

3 - Beachamp Falls is about 2650 feet above sea level.

The map shows me if I walk down from 1 to 3, I will drop 600 feet. If I then walk up to 2, I will go up 550 feet. Because the brown lines are close together, I know the track will be steep in places.

Do you notice one section is named Grand Canyon?

It's not even close to the size of the Grand Canyon in U.S.A. but it is steep sided.

Let's look at some photos I had taken around 1980 in the Grand Canyon and at Beauchamp Falls.

Starting down the steep track from 1.

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.

We pass through a small tunnel and behind waterfalls.

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

Deep down in the Grand Canyon.

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

Until we reach Beauchamp Falls at 3.

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

And now for two photos for your "The Power of Observation and Wonder" post. The photos show rocks that caught my eye but were left in place. They were in a national park so we are not allowed to take them. They were also far too big to carry.

The first shows a large sandstone rock.

Can you see the black mark?

It is the remains of a tree trunk buried under sand millions of years ago but now exposed after a rock fall. It is a fossil record of the tree.

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

The second shows an even larger sandstone rock.

Do you notice the ripples on it?

Millions of years ago sand was rippled by flowing water. A thin layer of mud covered the ripples and in time left a fossil record of water running over sand.

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

What is even more amazing is this sandstone was sand under the sea millions of years ago but it is now lying 2650 feet above sea level. These rocks of sandstone certainly caught my eye and the eyes of the children I had taken there as we thought of their long history.

When we then walk the 550 feet in height (but much longer along  track) back up to 2, this is what we see when looking north.

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.

...and now your interesting questions...

How long does it take to study a place and then make the map?

For early map makers, they might have to walk, ride or travel by ship in order to make maps so it could take a long time to make a map.

Back in August 1768, Captain James Cook set sail from England. He was taking scientists to Tahiti to observe Venus crossing the Sun. Once the scentists had finished their observations, Cook's orders were to sail south to find Terra Australis Incognita, the unknown southern land, some people thought must exist.

In September, 1769 he reached New Zealand and set about mapping its islands.

In April 1770, he reached a land he named New South Wales. It was really the east coast of Australia. He sailed north along the coast mapping as he went. Cook and his ship didn't return to England until 12th July, 1771. It had taken him and his crew three years to make the journey and return with the maps he had made.

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

Today, with satellites, GPS and Google Earth, we can map the world from our own homes.

How many different kinds of maps are there?

Interesting question and makes me wonder what a map might be. We know most types but is a plan for a house a map? Is a design for a new machine a map? They also show where things are.

Are there maps about SPACE?

Now this is complicated. In your post , you noticed the maps you saw were two dimensional flat maps. In order to find a place on a map, you needed to know how far up or down and side to side a place is.

To accurately map space, we would need a three dimensional map and it would have to be huge because space is huge. Using computer models, there are space maps. Here is a link to a 3D space map animation representing 400,000 galaxies. Remember our Sun is just one star amongst possibly hundreds of billions in just one of those galaxies.

Amazing Universe Fly-Through

How do pilots use maps?

Have a look at this aviator's map. It's how a pilot might plot a course using information on their computer.

SkyVector Areonautical Maps

Of course, pilots in early days didn't have computers. They would look down to the ground and possibly follow roads or railways to their destination or they might use a compass so an old fashioned paper might might have helped.

Do we have maps for EVERYTHING?

WOW! Maps of everything? Even on our own Earth there are places no one has ever been so, for example, there are no accurate maps for some of the deepest places in our oceans. What about other planets, stars, galaxies? We may not have maps for everything but we do have maps of very many things but there is still so much more waiting for someone like you to map.

What jobs need maps?

Cartographers (map makers), pilots, sailors, explorers, delivery drivers, police, ambulance, fire fighters, tow truck drivers...   There would be so many jobs where we might need maps at some time.

How old is the OLDEST map?

A link if you want to see old maps....   Early World Maps

Look at these three maps...

These maps were sourced through Wikimedia Commons where they are listed as in the public domain.

These maps were sourced through Wikimedia Commons where they are listed as in the public domain.

The first shows the world as known by the Greeks perhaps 3000 years ago. It shows the Mediterranean Sea.

The 500 BC map from around 2500 years ago shows the Red Sea and the opening into the Atlantic Ocean.

By 150 AD Europe, parts of Africa, and Asia has appeared on the maps. Notice Terra Incognita at the bottom right of the map. It's what Captain Cook was sent to find or show wasn't there.

How many countries are there in the world?

Interesting... The United Nations has 193 countries as members. My blog has had visits from 193 countries and I have seen 196 listed as the number of independent countries in the world. Here is a link for you...

The Number of Countries in the World

Do maps ever change? (This one brought up some VERY interesting conversations around Bombay, Calgary, Nunavut and the NEW islands that VOLCANOES create!!!)

Maps have to change when what has been mapped changes.

Yes, volcanoes can create new islands.

1996 Hawaii Lava flow 01

You know about the big island of Hawaii. Did you know deep under the ocean around 30 kilometres south of The Big Ilsand there is a new volcano rising around 10,000 feet from the ocean floor with only about 3100 feet before it reaches the surface? If in the future it does break the surface, Hawaii will have a new Island.

The islands of Hawaii were formed in this way and will eventually erode into the ocean as many have already done over millions of years. Look at the Google Earth image below. The Hawaiian Islands are in the middle at the bottom. Look carefully and you can seen now submerged volcanoes moving off to the left  as you go north. They may once have been islands as is Hawaii.

Volcanic hotspots

When we have changes in the level of the sea, land also changes. In times of ice ages, sea levels can be much lower and expose more land. When the first people came to Australia around 30,000 years ago, they were able to walk from New Guinea into Australia and cross to Tasmania by land. Now you would need boats.

The opposite happens when sea levels rise. Some islands in our oceans are now underwater but were once above. It worries island nations in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Another country I find interesting is the Netherlands (Holland). Over generations, they have taken back land from the sea using dykes and sea walls. In the news recently there have been stories of islands being built by the Chinese government in the South China Sea.

And in your own part of the world, when new suburbs, roads, streets, airports, railways, etc are built, maps need to change.

Do maps ever change? They have to if they need to be accurate.

I'll end with a quote, not from some famous philosopher or writer but from a character in the movie, "Superman", released in 1978...

“Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.” – Lex Luthor

Both your quote at the beginning and this at the end tell me the key to learning is to keep our minds and senses open to all around us for, if we do, we will begin to see our world and those beyond as containing mysterious, awesome and magnificent opportunites just waiting to be discovered.

OH DEAR!

At the beginning I said I'd write a short post about maps. I do get carried away when I see something as interesting as your posts. 🙂

To see the 2013 post where Keira left her comment and questions...

What Stone Is That?- A Follow Up Post for Keira

This photo was supplied by Mrs. Yollis and class.

This photo was supplied by Mrs. Yollis and class.

Hello Keira,

In one of your comments you mentioned you had a plethora of questions. A superabundance of questions is the sign of an inquiring mind. It seems as though your questions have turned from astronomy to geology. As before, your words will appear in bold blue text.

Since the day I found the rock that you mentioned in the post at a camping site, I have treasured it. Recently, I went camping at the same exact site, and I found many more rocks that seem to have some kind of beautiful mineral inside of it. In fact, I collected a rock that is made out of all gem. I am a little disappointed that in comments, you cannot post pictures with the text. If I could, I would take a picture of all the rocks I collected so you could see them for yourself.

You have discovered the reason this blog was formed. I also found comments on blogs generally couldn’t include photos, videos or sound and were limited to only one link. A blog allows it all providing we know about being safe online.

When I stumble upon an interesting rock, I tend to have the instinct to pick it up. I know that you probably have that same instinct too, because you are like a walking encyclopedia, always gathering up new information. I said this because I wanted to know if you have either found or bought any new rocks yet. I also want to know which one you most likely do to collect rocks: Do you buy them from rock sellers more often, or do you collect them on your own outside more?

While I have collected rocks in the field, I am unable to travel as much as I once had so these days I am more often to buy samples if I find them interesting. I have recently added some interesting stones. See if you find these samples interesting…

The first photo shows flourite (calcium flourine) crystals. The green mat they're on have 1cm squares so you can see their size. Each crystal has 8 facets (faces), i.e. they are octahedral crystals. They have not been cut. A collector was selling some of his samples at a local country show.

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

In my area, different towns have markets on weekends. When visiting one, I found a man was selling geodes from Queensland. While I already had some, I was fascinated by this sample because it looks as though two fused together when they were formed perhaps 200 million years ago.

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

Here is one from my collection that has been broken open. They aren't as impressive as my Brazilian geodes but I like the Australian samples because they are from home.

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

I have yet a few more questions to ask you. Have you ever found a rock from a volcano? I think it would be most likely that you have because, in one of your posts, you said that you had seen a few volcanoes erupt. If, a couple months later, you had gone down to examine the area near the volcano, and you found a interesting rock, I think you would have kept it and put it in your collection. I know that if I found one, I would definitely keep it.

When collecting any stones, we must be aware whether or not we are in national parks where we are not permitted to collect stones and rocks. There are places where you can collect stones, including igneous (volcanic) rocks. When I can, I have collected stones but I have also bought many.

My favourite item from a volcanic area in New Zealand was collected by me (with permission). It was collected near a fumarole where the sulphur (U.S. spelling: sulfur) crystals were forming. Because sulphur crystals break down and lose their shine if exposed to water or moist air, the below sample has been kept in a perspex box since I found it over 30 years ago. The crystals still shine as you can see.

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

I have already written a number of posts on volcanoes. Below are links to some of the first posts written for this blog back in 2012...

Volcanoes Post 1

Scree and Obsidian

Aa and Pahoehoe from Hawaii

Pumice and New Zealand Iron Sands

Geological Hot Spots

New Zealand

Final Volcano Post

Another question is have you ever been in a cave where jewels were growing naturally? I asked that question because I heard on a science show that people can explore caves with jewels in them. I doubt that you have ever been in one, but I can not know for sure until you tell me the answer. If you have been in one, what kind of minerals did you see?

A cave of jewels… what a wonderful thought reminding me of the first time I saw the 7 dwarfs working in the jewel mine in Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” when I was about your age. I dreamed of finding such a mine back then but I know finding a mine with gem quality stones is hard enough without expecting more than one type of gem. A diamond mine would be nice. 🙂

Below is an item in my collection measuring 5cm diameter across the top. Unfortunately, it is only a glass replica.

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

I have been in gold mines, coal mines and a couple other mines but the closest to a jewel mine would have been an opal mine. There are mines all over the world where jewels are found, some very unsafe for the miners. I only enter mines welcoming visitors on guided tours.

Perhaps Australia’s most famous jewel mine is the Argyle Diamond Mine in Western Australia. It is an open cut mine where they dig down making valleys not dig tunnels.  Here is a link to their website.

Argyle Diamond Mine

You might know diamonds can be different colours other than clear. Argyle’s most famous colour is pink. Click on the link below to see some of the colours in Argyle diamonds…

Argyle Pink Diamonds

This is the last question I have before the last question I want to ask you. I want to ask you if you have ever mined any type of mineral. If so, what did you mine?

When out hunting for stones, I often have my geologists hammer with me. The pointy end is use to chip into rocks and the flat end to break rocks. You could say I have used this in mining in a small way. The picture is below…

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

I have also panned for gold in old gold fields and hunted for rocks, crystals and fossils in many locations.

Gold

Some of this sample has been panned by me. Much was bought.

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

I bought this sample of gold in quartz from a place called Hill End where there was an active gold mine. I have been in a mine in the area but not the active mine.

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

A gold nugget from New Zealand, it is about 1.5cm across.

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

Fossils

The two fossils below were found by me at a rock fall site many years ago. The first shows a fossilised leaf and the second is part of a fossilised tree trunk.

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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.

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

 In this sample I picked up, you can see shells in the stone. Rather than fossils, they are still real shells embedded in stone.

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

I picked up the following shell embedded in rock from an open cut mine.

Shell 30,000 years old

Finally, I want to ask you if you have ever cut a rock open and discovered gems inside?

A gem is a stone used in jewellery so it can be anything from quartz to diamonds, emeralds and rubies. I have found quartz and amethyst in rocks as well as in rivers where they have been washed. Some of my stones are of gem quality but I have never found anything really valuable.

This quartz crystal sample might be of gem quality in part if it was cut but I like it as it is.

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

As you said in your post, you do not have a diamond cutter, but have you ever used one? If so, was it hard to cut the stone open?

I have seen them used but I haven’t used one. It’s a skill to be able to cut a stone well. I have stones I collected so I could use them if I had access to a diamond saw. They are known as chert and are reasonably easy to cut and polish but aren’t worth much. My samples have colour bands through them so they might look good cut, shaped and polished into cabachons.

Diamonds are not made into cabachons nor are other gems such as emerald and rubies. They are faceted. This means they are cut and polished to have faces. Turquoise, agate and opal are examples of stone often made into cabachons. Look at the images of assorted cabachons below.

CABACHON SAMPLES

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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.

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.

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.

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

A diamond saw is used on most stones, diamond being the hardest stone we can find. It uses a special saw blade embedded with diamonds. Before you think this is a waste of diamonds, most diamonds found are not of gem quality. They are industrial quality. I have seen websites selling these low quality diamonds for as little as $120 to $180 per kilogram.

If you have never cut a stone open, would you ever like to cut one of your stones open?

While I would like to be able to cut my own stones, time to do so and the money to buy the equipment means this isn’t possible. I have broken open some samples to look inside but mostly I keep them as I found them. One of the problems with being interested in so many things is finding the time to do them all but it is fun doing what I can.

Keira also had questions on a geology post. Here are some possible answers...

Curious Keira Asked About Geology

For a class looking at Rocks and Minerals...

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Below are links to "Rocks and Minerals posts I have made over the last year.

In 2012, I sent some rock samples to a class in England. I followed up with a series of posts examining what was sent...

This is the first of some posts I will make on my experiences with volcanoes. Looks at the samples sent.

Samples – Scree & Obsidian samples

Samples – ‘A’a and Pahoehoe

Iron Sands (NZ) and Pumice Stone

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Location: Mt. Tarawera, New Zealand

Looking at Volcanoes - Some links to post

Hotspots (Geological not internet)

New Zealand

A final volcano post of You Tube links

More on Volcanoes for Global Grade 3

New Zealand’s Beautiful landmarks – for B4 and Bradley

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The Earth

How did the Earth begin? – A challenge from Heather and Keira

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Examining Some Rock Samples from Canada - Are they fossil rocks or volcanic?

Something Special from Canada

10 Comments

Dear Heather and Keira,

I never know when a post or comment from a student or class might prompt an extended comment. Something written makes me recall some information I have read or seen over the years and before long I find a comment growing longer or I want to include photos, videos, audio or links.

In the "How did the Earth begin?", the challenge was one I thought I could meet. Being keen on science and many other things, I had been following theories on the origin of the Earth and the universe. Once I have an idea for a post, I research my facts to try to make certain my thoughts are on the right track then start writing the post. I knew "How did the Earth begin?" would be a longer post because there is much to consider.

Geocentric is a term used to describe the belief the Earth is the centre of the universe and all planets, stars including our sun, and the moon orbit us. From research, I have found many people still believe in geocentrism today. For some, it may be a religious decision, others a firm belief they believe science can support, and for others it's more a matter of not knowing any other way.

We do live on the crust of the Earth. It's the solid part that is our land and the bottom of oceans and seas. Compared to the rest of our planet, it is very thin but I wouldn't have it any other way. If you cut an apple in half, you can see the thin skin (like the Earth's crust) covering the rest of the apple down to its core.

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The inner core is thought to be very hot but solid iron hotter than the surface of the sun. It's pressure keeping it solid. The outer core is still mostly iron but it is liquid and flows around the inner core. Remember, the Earth turns on its axis and this causes the spin and also gives us night and day. Think of stirring a drink. You can see the liquid moving around as you stir.

It's this movement of the outer core that gives our planet a magnetic field and protects us from much of the sun's dangerous radiation. Mars doesn't have this activity so has a weak field. Even if there was air to breath on Mars, we would probably still need special clothing to protect us.

The mantle is semi-liquid and is basically moving hot rock (magma).

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The mantle movement is known as convection. We can see this effect in boiling water. Below is a video clip I prepared for you. To see the movement of the water, some rice grains were dropped into the water. You can see them move to the side being heated, rise with the heated water then sink back down as the water cools a little. The same thing happens in the mantle. The hot rock (magma) sinks down as it cools a little, is heated near the outer core and rises again. There are many of these convection currents in the mantle not just one big one.

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

Sometimes this movement of the magma brings magma to the surface and it flows out as lava. I was on Hawaii (The Big Island) a number of years ago and took a helicopter ride over the Kilaeua and along the coast. Look in the photo below and you see see the lava pouring out into the sea. Kilaeua has had a very active period.

The photo is a scan of an old 35mm slide so the quality isn't the best.

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Location: Kilaeua, Hawaii, U.S.A.

Curiosity is a great gift. It's something still driving me to explore new ideas and things. I can see you both have curiosity. I wonder what great discoveries and learning is ahead for you? 🙂

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I had written a post on plate tectonics and continental drift for Mrs. Yollis and her class. Two students, Heather and Keira, challenged me to explain how the Earth began. This post is an attempt to provide an explanation according to my understanding of the science. To see the comment and challenge, click the link and scroll down to the comments.

Plate tectonics and our dynamic continents

How Did the Earth Begin?

Dear Heather and Keira,

There are so many stories of how the Earth began if we look though the amazing cultures in our world. It would be remiss of me not to mention one or two. Because of my home and yours, I have chosen stories from the native people of Australia and North America.

The Aboriginal People of Australia

Many people think there was one Aboriginal (native Australian) culture and one language but, before the coming of European colonists, there were many, many of those cultures now lost. One of the best sites I have seen comes from the Yolngu people of Ramingining in the northern part of Central Arnhem Land in Australia's Northern Territory.

For one of their creation stories, click the link Twelve Canoes and wait for the site to load. The picture below will appear. Once loaded, click on the picture indicated by the arrow to see a creation story.

This graphic should not be copied.

I think you will find many interesting things on this site as well as one of their creation stories.

Native American People

I found the following You Tube clip telling the story of creation of the Earth through the traditional beliefs of three Native American tribes, the Iroquois, Seminole and Cherokee.

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

Let's now start looking at what science is finding...

Let's start with some word learning. You have had many ideas in your life but have you ever heard someone say they have a theory? Many people confuse "idea" and "theory".

A scientist has an idea after looking at the information available through study or research and proposes an explanation for what has occurred. Other scientists look at the conclusions and test the idea against other data or new information. This may lead others to agree with the idea. With other scientists agreeing and available evidence supporting, the idea becomes a theory. Science is a path to discovery. We learn more and more about how things work.

Did you know up until a few hundred years back people thought the Earth was the centre of the universe and all of the stars, planets and our Sun orbited around us? This idea is called Geocentric.

A Geocentric View of the Universe

This drawing is based on a map by Bartolomeu Velho (1568)

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A second geocentric model has Earth at the centre of the universe. The other planets orbit the sun and the sun and all the planets orbit the Earth.

It wasn't until about the 1500s more and more evidence was being gathered to show Earth isn't at the centre of the universe. It is a planet orbiting our Sun and now we know our Solar System is towards the outer edge of a double spiral galaxy we call, The Milky Way. We also know our galaxy is one of very many, probably billions, in our universe. We know this because of what scientists have been able to observe and because of the theories arising.

Watch the below video to see an explanation of what is thought to have happened to form our planet and others in our Solar System. Remember, you can click on the small box symbol on the bottom right of the video to watch full screen.

 Now let's look at the information in the video

* About 9 billion (9,000,000,000) years after the universe was born a massive start went Supernova - A supernova is an explosion of a star. It might have been caused by the collapse of the massive star's core. Radiation, energy and stellar dust explodes out from the collapsed star. Back in 1987, we were able to look into the sky and see a supernova astronomers named SN 1987A. Where once nothing could be seen, a star bright enough to be seen without a telescope had appeared. It is said to be 167,885 light years distance. This means the light took 167,885 years to reach us. The supernova happened a very long time ago.

* Gravity began its work on regions of the massive dust "cloud" sent out. The "cloud" particles started to gather. Pressure and heat increased. Our Sun was being formed.

* The temperature increased to about 10 million (10,000,000) C or about 18,000,032 F. About 4.5 billion (4,500,000,000) years ago our sun lit up.

* The Sun used much of the "cloud" leaving only 0.1%. Look at this picture. Imagine the cloud was made up of 1000 students in a school. 999 of them would go to make up the Sun. Just one of them would be left to make all of the planets and asteroids in the Solar System. The little guy in red looks a little lonely. 🙂

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

* The left over material was caught in the pool of the Sun's spinning motion. The left over material was spinning (orbiting) around the sun. The spin and gravity of the sun was drawing the material into rings (like Saturn's gravity has drawn material into rings around it). The way the material was orbiting the sun stopped it from being pulled into the Sun. I know this can be hard to understand so look at the next graphic I have prepared.

Imagine you are the Sun. You have a long, strong elastic attached to a tennis ball and you are spinning it around your head.

The ball is orbiting you. The elastic is your gravity trying to pull the tennis ball to you. The tennis ball is one of the planets. If the movement of the ball slows, the elastic draws it closer. If the ball moves faster, the elastic stretches further. Yes, in case you wonder, if the tennis ball was instead a basketball, the amount of stretch would be bigger.

Jupiter is said to be 317 more massive than the Earth. Imagine trying to spin 317 tennis balls on the end of the elastic. You wouldn't need to spin the balls as fast to keep the elastic as stretched as one tennis ball. Our Earth takes one year to orbit the Sun (that's what a year is, the time it takes our Earth to go once around the Sun). Jupiter takes about 12 years. If you could spin the tennis balls fast enough, the elastic would break and "Jupiter" would sail off into space.

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

* The debris in the rings around our sun started to collide and come together to form larger masses. Their journey to becoming planets had started.

Have you heard of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter? This ring of debris wasn't able to form a planet because it was being pulled from two sides, the Sun and Jupiter, the largest of our system's planets. Our ring was able to produce a planet which is fortunate for us or I wouldn't be writing this.

* From 4.8 to 3.5 billion years ago (4,500,000,000 to 3,500,000,000 years ago), the Earth was being bombarded from space. Combined with this bombardment, radioactive elements and pressure, Earth became a molten furnace. Heavier minerals like iron and nickel sank into the core and lighter minerals rose to the surface.

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

You have probably seen how certain things float while others sink. If you drop stones or pieces of metal into a container of water, they sink to the bottom because they are heavier. Put in olive oil and it will float to the top.

* Around this time a large object about the size of Mars collided with our early Earth. Part of the collided matter broke off to eventually become our moon. The Moon at first was much closer to our planet.

Remember the elastic experiment? Earth's "elastic" isn't quite strong enough so it is gradually "stretching" but the Moon isn't expected to break away, just reach a distance where there is a balance but this is billions of years into the future so we needn't worry.

* Because of all of the heat and volcanic activity throwing out gases, Earth's atmosphere was mostly nitrogen, water vapour and carbon dioxide. We couldn't have survived the heat let alone the poisonous atmosphere.

* As the bombardment of debris from the creation of the Solar System reduced, Earth's surface started to cool. Water vapour cooled and the first ancient ocean formed. The cooling crust of the Earth formed the first land, Pangaea. Remember the layers of the Earth?


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

In the  final video clip at the end f this post you will hear it said, if the Earth were a basketball, the crust would be thinner than a piece of paper on its surface yet that's where we live.

* The Earth had an atmosphere and water, conditions needed for the first life but that is another story.

Are there any other systems with planets or are our Solar System planets the only ones? Is there life on other planets in our universe?

I have a favourite quote from a man called, Carl Sagan. He was an astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist and author. He wrote a novel named "Contact". The quote comes from his book...

"The universe is a pretty big place. If it's just us, seems like an awful waste of space."

Many people had suspected other stars would have planets but it wasn't until 1988 the first planet outside our Solar System was found. Before this we simply didn't have the technology to do this. Now the possibility of around 2400 planets outside our Solar System are being investigated. It would seem planet formation as is said to have happened with our system is much more common that we had thought. You know I like numbers so look at this...

 

If there were only 1 billion galaxies in our universe each with 1 billion star, then there would be...

1,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars

(one quintillion stars)

Just say of these only 0.1% (like the amount of material left when our sun formed) had planets, then there would be...

1,000,000,000,000,000 stars with planets out there.

That is one quadrillion stars with planets.

Now just say of these only 0.0001% of the planets had life (that is not 1 out of a 1,000. It is 1 out of a million), then there would be...

1,000,000,000 planets with life.

That is one billion planets with life.

But there are probably many more than a billion galaxies in our universe and I suspect life is much more common than the above but reaching planets outside our Solar System to find life doesn't seem likely because of the vast distances between the stars and far greater between galaxies.

As you know, NASA has the Curiosity rover on Mars. Latest news shows it has found rocks on Mars have some of the chemicals necessary for life - sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and carbon. If we find evidence of life on Mars or that it once existed, we have proof we are not alone but don't expect Martian people. If life is found it will most likely only be something like bacteria.

Early Earth & Plate Tectonics

This one talks of the possibility of a number of land masses forming over time and gives them names. This is quite possible but I am happy enough with just Pangaea unless I find further evidence. The clip does show you how our Earth is protected from harmful radiation from our sun by it's magnetic field caused by our rotating liquid iron outer core. Mars's interior cooled a very long time ago. Solar radiation shed much of Mars's atmosphere but Earth has been protected. Our volcanoes, tectonic plates and earthquakes show us our world is still very active and I am thankful it is.

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

 New Video Clips to Watch

(added: March 24, 2013)

When checking through You Tube, I found this clip showing an animation of the Big Bang, and the beginning of our system, the Sun, Earth and Moon. This clip has nothing to read just images to watch as billions of years pass.

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

You know our Sun is much larger than the Earth. It's said it would take about a million Earths to make the size of the Sun but is our Sun a very big star? I found this video clip to show our Sun is so much smaller than the largest known star. This video clip shows just how tiny our Sun is compared to some other suns (stars).

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

11 Comments

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NUMBER 100: As the recipient of my 100th Extended Comment, Mrs. Yollis and class will be receiving a copy of “Wombat’s Secret” book, Bruce the Wombat, a Potoroo Palace souvenir (where I take many animal photos) and postcards of New Zealand including Mt. Cook mentioned in this post.

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To view the original post from Mrs. Yollis and class...

National Geographic's Giant Map of Asia

Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

Your map is most certainly not the size to put up on a wall in class.  🙂

When looking at your map of Asia, the continent closest to Australia, it made me think of the long history of the various cultures of Asia, the diverse landscapes, and the interesting people who have added so much to our world. I know my family can trace some of my ancestors back to Asia as would be true for so many of us.

Looking at the map, it also made me consider what has often been called the Indian Subcontinent. Perhaps some of you have heard of continental drift? It’s where the surface of the world is really a series of “plates” floating on the magma (lava) layers below the surface. Scientists call the plates, tectonic plates.

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

India is on a separate plate to much of Asia, as is much of what many call the Middle East. Over many millions of years what was thought to be one large mass of land has broken up with sections drifting away. Some call that ancient land mass Pangaea. Here is a Wikimedia Commons graphic of Pangaea showing the positions of where today's tectonic plates might have been.

Pangaea continents

This is a Wikimedia Commons graphic.

For more information about Pangaea, here is the Wikipedia link.

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

According to Wikipedia, Pangaea started breaking up about 200 million years ago.  At that time, what was to become India was closer to Africa, Antarctica and Australia. India’s plate broke away and headed north eventually running into the Eurasian plate where we see it today. It’s this very slow collision of the plates that caused the great mountains of the Himalayas to rise, including Mount Everest.

I have read the Himalayas are still rising at about 15mm (0.6 inches) a year. It may not sound like much but, over 10,000 years, that would be 150,000 mm or 15,000cm or 150m (that is about 6000 inches or 500 feet).

Don’t you love the numbers involved? A small amount can, given time, become a big amount.

If you look at the following picture from Wikipedia, you can see the positions of the modern tectonic plates. You will see you’re on the North American plate and it is pushing along the Pacific plate. You would all know one of the places where this is happening. Have any of you seen the San Andreas Fault?

Plates tect2 en

This is a Wikimedia Commons graphic.

Looking at some of your buddy classes in “Our World, Our Numbers” you can see Canada is also along the same plate border with you. Your New Zealand buddies are also on a border but their border is between the Australian and Pacific plates. Your Australian and United Kingdom buddies aren’t on the border of their plates.

Imagine, without this movement we wouldn't have magnificent mountains like New Zealand's Mt. Cook...

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

Location: Mount Cook, New Zealand

Here are two videos showing information about plate tectonics. The first link is to an easy to understand animation.

http://www.makemegenius.com/video_play.php?id=138&type=0

The second video gives extra, harder information…

This embedded You Tube clip is not my video.

@RossMannell

B4, as part of their collaborative project, "Our World, Our Numbers" posted an image of Pancake Rocks and suggested other landmarks in New Zealand. Bradley responded to my comment. To see their original post...

New Zealand Landmarks

Dear Bradley,

In a way I did see a dinosaur at Pancake Rocks but only when watching a documentary on dinosaurs.

In 2000, BBC Worldwide Ltd. released a twin DVD set named, “Walking With Dinosaurs”. Wanting a scene for the great southern land at the time of the dinosaurs, they chose New Zealand. An ornithocheirus appeared on the rocks care of computer animation. The scene appears in “Episode 4 – Giants of the Skies”.

I have found the episode on You Tube. You should ask your teacher before viewing it to make certain you have permission. I think you will quickly recognise Pancake Rocks. 🙂

This video is not mine and should not be copied. This is only a link to a BBC You Tube video.

In reality, the dinosaurs were long gone before Pancake Rocks started to form.

You live in an amazing country, Bradley. There are so many landmarks to see. I'll share my photos of some of my favourite places in New Zealand. I think you'll know some of them.

The South Island

Pancake Rocks is also one of my favourites.

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

Living on the east coast of Australia, I had seen sunrise over the ocean but my first ocean sunset was seen at Geymouth.

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

Climbing on Franz Joseph Glacier was a real experience.

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

Cruising on board the TSS Earnslaw on Lake Wakatipu.

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

Riding on board the Kingston Flyer.

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

Visiting Milford Sound.

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

Walking the valley towards Mt. Cook.

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

and on the North Island

Looking across Lake Taupo to the snow-capped volcanoes of Tongariro National Park.

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

Visiting the Whakarewarewa thermal area and seeing the Pohutu Geyser.

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

Walking down Waimangu Valley thermal area and seeing steaming cliffs and hot water streams.

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.

Exploring the volcanic crater of Mt. Tarawera. The arrow is pointing to some people on the far rim. Can you see them?

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

@RossMannell

For the Roadrunners original post ...

ROAD RUNNERS

For the Extended Comment carrying their comment as a stimulus for this post...

EXTENDED COMMENT

Hello Roadrunners,

My apologies for taking a few days to answer. I had a DVD/CD project taking more time than expected and am now catching up on comments. My reply to your comment had some links so I created a new post to share them.

I think you have been able to identify the key similarities when we look at native cultures around the world. They have connections to nature and animals in a way our western culture seems to have forgotten. How could it be any other way when they only had what was in their environment in which to survive?

 Waimangu Valley, New Zealand -Scan of an old 35mm slide.

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

Maoris and volcanoes

You may already know a little about one part of Polynesian culture, the Hawaiian people. They believed in Pele

Pele and the Hawaiians

Pele is the goddess fire, lightning, wind and volcanoes. I have done a little research into the Maoris' beliefs.

The first link gives some information about the Maoris around Rotorua (very popular place for tourists to visit) and their traditional stories...

Maoris of Rotorua

The first three help with traditional stories, i.e.  "Creation", "Ngatoroirangi" and"How the fire demons brought geothermal to New Zealand"

Another link is...

Maoris and Volcanoes

This link has some modern explanations along with brief recounts of traditional stories.

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

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

Aboriginal Rock Art

Aboriginal rock art is found under ledges or in shallow caves where people were able to shelter from cold, wind and rain. Here is a link to a National Geographic film on rock art

Aboriginal Rock Art - Paintings

The rock art video looked at northern language groups and their art. Around Sydney and other areas you wouldn't find rock "art". You tend to find rock engravings. I have photos of some in my collection but here is a link...

Aboriginal Rock Art - Engraving

I hope these links help. 🙂

1 Comment

for Global Grade 3's original post...

The POWER of a FLATTENED Classroom

*Recently I have been adding "Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes." under my photos and graphics so schools can use them without worrying about copyright if they find them useful. If you see the message below photos, graphics, audio or video, you will know it is okay to use on your school blogs or class projects.

Hello Global Grade 3,

What a wonderful surprise to be honoured by your class in this way. It’s hard to believe my blogging adventures started only early in 2011. At that time I wouldn't have imagined how much blogging would become a part of my life or how many classes I would visit through blogging. Like many things in life, I saw something interesting and tried it out.

Zubayda – The sample of iron sand came from a place in New Zealand’s North Island known as Awakino. The Awakino River enters the Tasman Sea at this point. The heavy iron sands were washed down the river from volcanic areas upstream.  I was able to check slides from a visit to Awakino in 1983 and found a slide of the beach with the iron sands. Below is  can of the old slide. In summer, the beach is too hot to walk on so people walk along a small stream to get to the water’s edge.

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

Tre – The DVD was to show the sort of thing I make for schools and community groups. Almost every child in the school appeared in their production. I thought it might be fun for you to hear the Aussie accent and see the Aussie kids perform. For many years I used the iron sands when my classes were looking at magnetism. Because the sands don’t seem to rust, I was able to use them many times.

 

Cemre – I have been able to hold a real koala and have photographed and videoed them many times. They are cute looking but are only awake two or three hours a day. Below is a photo I took of Suzie. She lives at Potoroo Palace, an animal refuge near my home.

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

Nick – The pahoehoe is interesting. It crumbles into sand but, unlike the New Zealand sand, isn’t rich in iron. Did you know there are different types of lava?

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

Dimitrios – The Australian flag has three major parts to it. The Union Jack is in the top left hand corner and shows our link with the United Kingdom. The five smaller stars on the right are known as the Southern Cross (or Crux to astronomers). While it can be seen in the northern hemisphere at some time in the year, it’s always in our night sky. I can use it to find south at night. The large star under the Union Jack is known as the Commonwealth Star. It has 7 points, one for each state and one for the Australian territories.

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

Constantine – When you look at flowing lava, you can tell what type it is by how it moves along. The pahoehoe moves along almost like thick honey whereas the a’a’ seems to be chunky and harder.

Jayden – I know how much fun it can be to receive a surprise package. The mystery of what it contains can be exciting.

Chris – The scree was an unusual find in a way. After finishing my tour into the crater, I found many pieces had been caught in my clothing. The way in to the Mt. Tarawera crater is a very steep scree slope. Each step I took in the deep scree was well over a metre long as I made my way down. This meant I didn’t really have to collect it, it caught a ride with me. The iron sand was from New Zealand. The black pahoehoe and a’a’ were from Hawaii. The photo below is already on this blog but I thought I would repeat it. The arrow points to people on the crater rim. You can see a break in the rim to the right of the people where people start down. About half way down the scree slope you can see a trail start. It's a great experience going down the very steep slope. With the deep scree, it's not very likely you would lose you footing but it would be a very long way to roll to the bottom.

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

AJ – How many rocks? That would be hard as I have from tiny gemstones to a large and heavy lead/zinc sample. I suppose there might be between one and two hundred samples. The Australian and Canadian dollar are almost in parity (the same value) when I just checked.  $A1.00 = $C1.03 The a’a’ and pahoehoe came from the same area of what Hawaiians call The Big Island. The Big Island is really Hawaii but the whole island chain has taken the name. The samples came Kilaeua lava flows. I don’t have very much of either. Your samples were the third I have sent out, one to England, one to Wales and one to you. You will see the name of the iron sand beach in Zubayda’s reply.

Davis – The small school in the DVD ended up buying around 60 copies of the disks. The money I take in helps me make more for others. I don’t make a profit by what I do but I have to charge for some otherwise I couldn’t afford to make them. The project I am doing for a choir now involves a special DVD for girls in a dance school and a DVD and 2 CDs for the choir. The girls pay $5 for their DVD and the choir gets the DVD and 2CDs for $10.

My favourite? I have recordings I’ve made in schools back to 1982. Each holds a special place in my memory but my favourites are probably the big shows involving 15 schools. There are so many talented students and teachers around.

Obsidian is also known as volcanic glass. Magma with high amounts of silica (also in sand) can form obsidian if it cools quickly.

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

Christopher – There have been many special designs of the Australian dollar but the basic design, and my favourite, is the kangaroo dollar. I agree, sulphur is interesting and easy to find in volcanic areas. It is one of the three major ingredients in making gunpowder. I like sulphur crystals but they need to be protected if they are to keep their shine. My crystal sample was gather, with permission of the owners, from a volcanic area near Rotorua. Rotorua has the smell of sulphur everywhere.

Chelsea – You probably already know the Canadian flag also once had the Union Jack on it before it became what it is today. It wouldn’t surprise me if one day Australia takes a new design. There are many people with suggested designs often including kangaroos and/or stars. What I have always found strange is out $1 coin is bigger than our $2 coin. It always seemed the $2 should have been the bigger.

Rayann – How long to make a movie? I haven’t really kept record of how long it can take but, to give you and example, it has taken me about 8 hours just to design the titles at the beginning and credits at the end for the latest DVD project and more to do the same for the two CDs. There are many other tasks involved but, as a rough guess, my latest project might take around 40 to 50 hours before I make a master DVD for copying.

In my reply to Zubayda, I have shown a picture of the iron sand beach at Awakino in New Zealand.

In my reply to Dimitrios, I discuss the Australian flag.

James – One interesting thing many don’t seem to know is Australia only became a nation in 1901. Before that there were British colonies under the names we now call our states. The states voted to form a commonwealth under the name Australia. The original 1901 flag had only a six pointed star. Our current flag didn't become official until 1934.

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

Joyce – The schools DVD was fun to make. They only phoned me the day before to ask if I could film their play as parents had asked for a copy after their first night. The next day I was there checking out the hall and setting up cameras. They didn’t use microphones so the sound was only from the cameras therefore the baby noises.

What was interesting about the box for me is they were all amongst my favourite things. I have a number of glove puppets I’ve used in class, many rock samples, some flags, 30 years of school videos and I have always liked the kangaroo $1.

Ben – Until we can send objects to people on line, we’ll always need snail mail to send gifts. I always enjoy making the DVDs. My most successful can sell around 200 copies but I also give some away for free just because I enjoy making them. Schools know I charge them nothing for small projects. Schools always get a free copy of anything I make for them.

Danny – I probably started collecting rocks when I was your age. I have always been interested in science so geology was just one subject area I explored. My science degree was really in zoology and psychology but I also studied some maths, botany and chemistry at university. I didn't have time to study geology and physics.

The obsidian was bought from a rock shop in New Zealand. I wasn’t able to find any in areas where you are allowed to take samples so rock shops are a great source of interesting ricks and fossils.

Lauren – The school on the DVD is in a small coastal town. It has a beautiful beach, small boat launching inlet, some rugged coastline and is between two national parks with beautiful scenery. I holidayed there as a child as did my mother when she was a girl and my grandfather when he was a boy. My mother’s side of my family has been in this area since 1847. The photo below is taken from a wharf and shows Tathra Beach in the background.

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

Ella – The koala puppet was bought in a local shop. I have another type of koala in my collection as well as a platypus, kookaburra, and cockatoo plus some non-Australian animals. My favourite local animal refuge has three koalas. I was able to film the first time Suzie’s baby poked its head out of Suzie’s pouch. They also sell Australian animal glove puppets.

Elijah – It wouldn’t be a good idea to use a’a’ as soap as it would be a little too scratchy, There is a volcanic stone I wasn’t able to send that can be used but not as soap. Pumice is a light volcanic stone. When superheated rock is thrown out and cools quickly, bubbles can form. Because of these many small bubbles, pumice is able to float in water. People can use it to rub calluses off their skin. I am out of samples at the moment or I would have included some.

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

Rebecca – When called in to film shows, I often don’t know what is going to happen. For the show in the DVD, I had no idea what would happen. I found it fun to watch. The only catch is I can be standing in the same spot for two hours while filming to make sure everything records well. Only when I edit the film on this computer do I have the chance to watch each act and cut out the bloopers or times when nothing is happening.

Tyler – Videoing in schools has been a part of my life since 1982. All the old videotapes are now on DVD so I have 30 years of school history recorded on them. Looking at the 1982 video, it can be hard to believe cute little 5 year old Nathan and Jenny would now be 35 years old. There are many memories stored in my DVDs, slides, negatives and photos. I hope to eventually have all stored on computers so they won’t be lost. J

For the class…

Do YOU know the significance of the six stars on the Australian flag? What do the symbols on YOUR flag represent?

(My reply for Dimitrios)  The Australian flag has three major parts to it. The Union Jack is in the top left hand corner and shows our link with the United Kingdom. The five smaller stars on the right are known as the Southern Cross (or Crux to astronomers). While it can be seen in the northern hemisphere at some time in the year, it’s always in our night sky. I can use it to find south at night. The large star under the Union Jack is known as the Commonwealth Star. It has 7 points, one for each state and one for the Australian territories.

Do you have a national bird, or flower or animal?

Australia

Flower – Golden Wattle

I didn't have a photo of the golden wattle in my collection but here is a photo of a similar wattle.

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

Bird – emu

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

Mammal – kangaroo

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

The three emblems appear of Australia’s Coat of Arms.

This is not my graphic. It was sourced through Wikimedia Commons.

As well as national emblems, each state has its own emblems.

Floral emblems of Australia…

http://www.kidcyber.com.au/topics/emblemsAust.htm

Animal emblems of Australia…

http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/journal/australias-animals-emblems.htm

Bird emblems of Australia…

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

Do you have a favourite rock, mineral or fossil sample in YOUR collection? What makes it your favourite?

My favourite is crystal pyrite. It has the colour of gold and is also known as fool’s gold. It is much prettier than gold although worth very little. It’s easy to tell the difference. Hit a sample with a stone. If it flattens, it’s gold. If it shatters into little pieces, it’s pyrite.

Pyrite is iron sulphide. Here is a sample from my collection. It comes from Northern Territory in Australia. I have seen very beautiful examples from Italy. It measures 6cm across and weighs 250g.

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

Pyrite is often found mixed in with other minerals. Below is a photo of lead/zinc ore from Tasmania. You can see the golden coloured pyrite at the top of the sample. The sample weighs 2500g mainly because of its lead content.

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

@RossMannell

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

A link to the original Mr.s Avery and Class post...

All Shook Up

In order to share some links on your post, I had to make a shorter extended post so they could be shared.

 

Hello Mr. Avery and class,

Our active Earth is an interesting topic to study. I shared a post with 4KM and 4KJ of natural disasters including earthquakes...

Natural Disasters

Australia, being more to the middle of its tectonic plate, is stable by comparison to many countries but we also have earthquakes, normally only small ones. I know I slept through one when young and felt the house move a little in another. The link below is mostly about the state of Queensland rather than my state but I like the maps

Earthquakes in Australia

Newcastle, a city to the north of Sydney here in Australia, suffered from a damaging earthquake in 1989...

Newcastle 1989 Earthquake

New Zealand is on the edge of two tectonic plates.

Tectonic Plates

Christchurch on the South Island of New Zealand has had some tragic experiences with earthquakes in recent years...

Christchurch Earthquakes

I believe there are many who think our world would be a better place without volcanoes and earthquakes but, in my post for 4KM and 4KJ, I wrote I find these events important for our survival. Our active world makes our planet a safer place to live. Mars is cold and inactive. It no longer has a strong magnetic field protecting it so, even if we could breathe its atmosphere, we would need protection from solar radiation.

We all live on the thin, shaky bit called the crust.

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

Keep learning everyone. Posts like yours always teach me new things. 🙂

@RossMannell

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

3 Comments

To see Global Grade 3's original post and the comments relating to this post, click below...

Global Grade 3

Hello Global Grade 3,

Looking through some old 35mm slides, I found some interesting ones I had taken years ago. I decided to start scanning them. You are the first with whom I have shared these photos since they were taken.

The volcanoes in New Zealand tend to normally be more ash volcanoes than lava volcanoes. I have seen magma thrown out in photos but I am not aware of any recent lava flows.

Mt. Tarawera is a popular tourist attraction. You can hike up its slopes or go on a four-wheel drive tour. I have taken the easy way up twice now. Once on the rim, you have to hike and climb (not hard) along a trail to the far side of the main crater before going down a steep scree slope to the bottom of the crater. I made the walk with a video camera and tripod plus a 35mm camera in hand. You can see two craters along the walk. The main tourist accessible crater you can see in this extended comment…

http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2012/05/23/samples-scree-obsidian-samples/

The other crater is to the south of the trail and is shown below.

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Tourists aren’t allowed in that one. You need to be experienced rock climbers due to the dangerous slopes. Below is another slide I scanned with the first. It shows sulphur (sulfur) crystals and was taken near an active vent. Sulphur crystals break down when exposed to water but near a vent, they are kept warm and dry and keep their crystal shine. I have a sample of sulphur crystals in my collection. It has spent 20 years in a clear perspex water-tight container so it keeps its shine.

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In 1996, I was able to travel to Hawaii when my brother won a trip. We also flew down to The Big Island (the real island of Hawaii). I took a chance to take a helicopter ride over the very active Kilaeua volcano.

 

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In the photo below, we can see gases escaping from a fumarole on the side of Kilaeua. We were able to fly nearby and peer down to see lava flowing below.

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At this point the lava was flowing below ground through lava tubes. These underground lava tunnels are formed when lava cools at the surface but stays liquid inside the tube. When the lava flow stops, long tubes are left. Below is a photo of an old lava tube now with access for tourists.

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When the lava flows out of the tube and into the sea, the seawater boils and steam rises. In the photo below, you can see steam rising as lava hits the water. Look carefully and you can see the yellow glow of the lava as it emerges from tubes at the water's edge near the centre top of the photo.

Have you ever wondered what happens to trees when lava flows above the ground and around trees? In the aerial photo below, you can see finger-like structures jutting above the ground. Lava had surrounded trees. The trees had burned away and hollow tubes were left to mark where trees had been.

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There are walks on Kilaeua. The photo below was taken on a walk. It shows a large caldera. Calderas are formed by the collapse of land following a volcanic eruption. Can you imagine it once being filled with hot glowing, bubbling magma?

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Now for some new photos I took today to show other volcano associated rocks from my collection. As lava cools, flows might crack or gases may be caught inside the cooled lava both leaving spaces. In time water carrying dissolved minerals can seep into the spaces, the water leaving the minerals behind as it evaporated. Here are some photos of what can result. These are photos of thunder eggs and geodes. While not all geodes (a geode is a rock with a space in it) are formed in association with volcanoes, these were.

The first photos show agate and quartz crystals, both forms of silicon dioxide (SiO2)...

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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.

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

The next one is a favourite. It is only about 10cm (4") across and shows amethyst crystals inside. Amethyst is a form of quartz.

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Now one last photo I had taken along a highway about eleven kilometres (about 7 miles) from my home. It is a rock cutting.

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Look at the coloured layers of rock. My area was, millions of years ago, a place with a number of volcanoes. Now imagine a massive volcanic eruption from beneath shattering these layers of rocks into small pieces (scree also known as talus). You can see why scree can have many colours. Scree is not only found in and around volcanoes like Mt. Tarawera, it can be found anywhere where small fragments of rock break away from larger rocks such as cliffs and mountains.

Isn’t geology interesting?  I hope you enjoyed looking at this collection of photos. 🙂

@RossMannell

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

 

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To see 4KM and 4KJ’s original post….

Natural Disaster Tagxedos

REMEMBER: I am not an expert and have to check much of the information below.  If I find any errors, I will correct them as needed.

Dear 4KM and 4KJ,

 Natural disasters are part of living on an active planet with an atmosphere.

What do I know about natural disasters?

Volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis and our  not so solid world…

Most of you know our world isn’t a solid ball. Here is a graphic showing the Earth's internal layers I prepared for you...

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

The INNER and OUTER CORE

At its centre, the INNER CORE, it’s thought to be a solid iron-nickel core. The temperature is thought to be about the same as the surface of our sun.

Now, that’s very hot so should the iron-nickel inner core melt? It is solid because of pressure from the rest of the earth not allowing it to melt.

The OUTER CORE surrounds the INNER CORE.  It is liquid and very hot. It’s thought, like the INNER CORE, to be mostly iron. It’s thought to be very important to life on Earth. Movement of the liquid iron OUTER CORE causes Earth to have a magnetic field (like a magnet with a north and south pole). It’s this magnetic field which protects us from much of the sun’s solar wind (ionised gases). If it wasn’t there, we wouldn’t ne able to live on Earth’s surface without protective suits. With the core of Mars thought to be cold, Mars has little magnetic field and certainly not a whole planet one. We would need suits to protect us even though it is further from the sun than us.

 

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

EXPERIMENT: Place a magnet underneath a piece of paper. Sprinkle on some iron filings. You will see the iron filings

The MANTLE

The MANTLE is the thickest layer in the Earth. It is solid but is at high temperature so there is movement over long periods of time as cooler material sinks and hotter material rises. You might already know about convection. You know hot air rises because it is lighter and cooler air falls because it is heavier. It’s the same with the rocks in the MANTLE.

OBSERVATION: Have you ever seen a lava lamp? As the wax in the lamp heats, it rises to the top of the lamp. When it cools it falls back down only to be heated and rise again. That is convection.

More about convection shortly.

The CRUST

This is the thin layer we live on. Think of an apple. It has a core, the delicious fleshy part  (like Earth’s MANTLE), and the skin (the CRUST). Like an apple, the Earth’s crust is thin and sits on the MANTLE.

OBSERVATION: Cut an apple in half and look at the cut surface. Imagine it’s the Earth. We live on the thin skin.

The convection (movement) in the MANTLE causes movement in the crust. The Earth’s crust has large sections called TECTONIC PLATES.

You can see a map of the Earth’s plates on Wikipedia at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Plates_tect2_en.svg

The TECTONIC plates rub along each other, go over or under each other, or move apart. Now for natural disasters…

VOLCANOES

Most volcanoes in the world are found along the edges of the TECTONIC PLATES. Some, like the Hawaiian volcanoes, are over a HOT SPOT. Volcanoes are places where heat and pressure from the MANTLE can be released. There are many types of volcanoes. In Hawaii, you have lava flows whereas New Zealand’s volcanoes tend to be more ash and gases. No matter what type, eruptions can be very dangerous for people living close to volcanoes.

Here is a link to a post I made some time back for a class in England. It shows some You Tube volcanic activity…

http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2012/05/23/a-final-volcano-post-of-you-tube-links/

Here is another link to a post I made for the same class. It includes some video clips I made while in New Zealand.

http://rossmannellcomments.edublogs.org/2012/05/23/new-zealand/

In many areas of Australia, you can find the remains of volcanoes once very active millions of years ago. If you know what you’re looking for, they are easy to spot. Where I live, there are plenty of signs of ancient volcanic activity. Here is a photo of an easy to spot one in Queensland. It shows the solidified magma once in a volcano's crater....

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EARTHQUAKES

When the TECTONIC PLATES try to move, pressure can build up as they rub against each other. This can happen at the edges of the plates or along fault lines. Eventually, the pressure is too high and the plates or rocks in the fault move. This is an earthquake.

Here is a Wikipedia link to a photo of the San Andres fault in California…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Falla_de_San_Andr%C3%A9s.jpg

and to a graphic of the types of faults…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fault_types.png

When there is tectonic movement, land can move up, down or sideways. Some quakes are small tremors where there is shaking but they can be large and cause much damage. Do you remember hearing about the earthquakes and aftershocks in Canterbury, New Zealand?

Look at the photo below. I took it at a roadside cutting near my town. See how the rock had been forced into curves by pressure. Have you seen layers of rock in unusual patterns? Do you think earthquakes or earth movements might have been the cause?

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

EXPERIMENT: Place piece of cardboard on your desk. Now place a stone near the edge of a piece of cardboard. Lift the edge of the cardboard. For a time, friction will hold the rock in place but as you keep raising the edge of the cardboard and the angle increases, the stone will start to slip. For the rock, it was like a mini earthquake when it moved.

TSUNAMI

You might have heard about powerful waves called tsunamis. When you go to the beach and watch the waves, these are only surface waves. The water simply moves up and down close to the surface and is caused by the action of wind. If you’ve ever seen a fishing float in the water if you’ve gone fishing, you’ll see it moving up and down. It will only move along sideways if there is wind to blow it or flowing water underneath.

Tsunamis are very different to the normal waves you see. They are much deeper waves and can be caused by underwater earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides or other disturbances including a meteorite impact in the ocean. When an event occurs, huge amounts of water is displaced (moved).

If you were out on the ocean, you mightn’t even notice a tsunami pass as it might look like any other wave but it goes much deeper than a normal wave. As a tsunami approaches shallower water, the deeper waves rise up and move in on the coast.

In 2004, there was an underwater earthquake near the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. A large amount of water was displaced and spread out across the Indian Ocean. With Sumatra being so close to the earthquake location, large waves washed ashore causing a huge amount of damage to the town of Banda Aceh.  The more distant from the site of the earthquake, the less the effect,

Here is a Wikipedia link to an aerial photo of Banda Aceh taken after the tsunami.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_Navy_050102-N-9593M-031_A_village_near_the_coast_of_Sumatra_lays_in_ruin_after_the_Tsunami_that_struck_South_East_Asia.jpg

OBSERVATION 1: Have you ever dropped a large rock into a still pool and seen water splash up and waves ripple out? This gives you the idea the way waves spread out from the point of origin.

OBSERVATION 2: When you fill your bathtub to the top then get in, what happens? This is water displacement as your body moves water away as you get in.

WOULD IT BE BETTER NOT TO HAVE SUCH AN ACTIVE EARTH?

If you remember, I’ve already explained our active, hot Earth protects us from much of the effects of the sun. If our Earth’s interior cooled and went solid, we might not have problems with earthquakes and volcanoes but we would be exposed to dangers from the sun. Earth might become more like Mars.

I think we are fortunate to have an active Earth even if it sometimes causes natural disasters.

If you are interested to find out more about natural disasters, The Australian Government Geoscience Australia website has information on (CLICK TO GO TO THE SITE)…

You can also check Wikipedia for information.