LPI Earth and Space Science Newsletter
October 15, 2013 - January 1, 2014 Comet ISON visible to naked eye
December 13, 2013 Peak of the Geminid Meteor Shower
December 21, 2013 Winter Solstice--the first day of winter
Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore! A Houston MAVEN workshop for elementary educators
Could life have formed on Mars early in its history? The MAVEN mission will study Mars’ climate and climate history. Join us for a one-day workshop on the MAVEN mission on January 25 at LPI in Houston. A suite of six standards-based lessons combines science, literacy, and art to help students understand planetary habitability and the MAVEN mission.
"Ask NICE!" Online Climate Educator Professional Development Series
A new Educator Professional Development series from NASA Innovations in Climate Education (NICE) is starting this fall! The online sessions will be offered on third Thursdays of the month.
McDonald Observatory Summer 2014 K-12 Teacher Workshops
The University of Texas McDonald Observatory is offering 6 workshops next summer; application deadline is Feb. 7, 2014. Topics include Explore Our Solar System (gr. K-8), Telescopes, Instruments, and Observations (gr. 6-12), Worlds Beyond Our Solar System (gr. 6-8), Giant Magellan Telescope (gr. 8-12), Star Dust--Linking Distant Galaxies to Us (gr. 8-12), and Earth and Space Science (gr.. 8-12). Some topics have grant funding to support some participant costs.
LPI Earth & Space Science Workshops in Houston
LPI Education is conducting a number of professional development sessions at the Harris County Department of Education this year. Topics include seasons, lunar phases, Earth’s changing surface, the solar system, and astronomy.
Cosmic Times 2019
The Cosmic Times team is inviting teachers to contribute their students’ vision of the 2019 edition of the Cosmic Times for possible inclusion in an online student gallery. Cosmic Times is a suite of curriculum support materials that traces our understanding of the changing universe from the first confirmation of Einstein’s General Relativity in 1919, through the discovery and follow-up evidence of dark energy in 2006.
Excellence in Education Awards for Texas
The H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards celebrate public school professionals whose leadership and dedication inspire a love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities. Cash prizes are awarded to teachers, principals, and school districts. Applications due Jan. 10, 2014.
2014 Edward C. Roy, Jr. Award for Excellence in K-8 Earth Science Teaching
Each year, AGI awards one full-time U.S. teacher from kindergarten to eighth grade for leadership and innovation in Earth science education. The winner will receive a $2,500 prize and a travel grant of $1,000 to attend the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Annual Conference in April 2014 in Boston to accept the award. To be eligible for the 2014 competition, applications must be postmarked by January 10, 2014.
Captain Planet Foundation Seeks Applications for K-12 Environment-Based Projects
The Captain Planet Foundation is accepting applications from K-12 schools for environment-based education projects to be implemented in the spring and summer of 2014. Seed grants of up to $500 will be awarded for high-quality educational programs that enable children and youth to understand and appreciate the world through learning experiences that engage them in active, hands-on projects to improve the environment in their schools and communities. Application deadline: Jan. 31, 2014.
ING Unsung Heroes Program Invites K-12 Educators to Apply for Class Project Awards
The ING Unsung Heroes awards program annually recognizes K-12 educators in the United States for their innovative teaching methods, creative educational projects, and ability to positively influence the children they teach. Educators are invited to submit grant applications describing class projects they have initiated or would like to pursue. Application deadline: Apr. 30, 2014
2014 Alan Shepard Technology in Education Awards
Technology personnel and K-12 classroom teachers who have demonstrated exemplary use of technology to enhance learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, are eligible for this award. The award will be presented in May 2014 at the Space Foundation's 30th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo. The deadline for applications is Feb. 3, 2014.
Texas Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching
Each year, TMA’s Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching recognizes and rewards Texas schoolteachers at the elementary, middle, and high school levels who share their energy and enthusiasm for science with their students. The deadline for nominations is Oct. 19 and for applications is Dec. 28.
Year of the Solar System Math Guide
The Year of the Solar System Math Guide was created by SpaceMath@NASA to support the 20 science content themes covered within the Year of the Solar System. It is a 170 page book featuring 164 problems that support the Common Core Mathematics Standards and the Next Genration Science Standards.
Mapping Our World -- New Online Interactive
Explore NASA Earth observing mission with a new online interactive! This colorful online map allows users to easily point and click to view information on satellite imagery and visualizations, including what missions gathered the data, how the images were created, and why the missions are critical to learning more about our home planet.
Visualization of 56 Years of Tornadoes in the US
Using information from data.gov, tech blogger John Nelson has created this spectacular image of tornado paths in the US over a 56 year period. The graphic categorizes the storms by F-scale with the brighter neon lines representing more violent storms.
Astronomers Conclude Habitable Planets Are Common
One in five Sun-like stars in our galaxy have Earth-sized planets that could host life, according to a recent study of Kepler data. A team of scientists from the Kepler mission and the Keck telescope in Hawaii announced the estimate based on a survey of planets around sun-like stars, along with tests to determine how many the Kelpler mission would fail to detect. The team cautioned that Earth-size planets in Earth-size orbits are not necessarily hospitable to life, even if they orbit in the habitable zone of a star where the temperature is not too hot and not too cold.
India’s First Mars Mission Launches
India launched its first ever mission to Mars on Nov. 5 to begin a history making ten month long interplanetary voyage to the Red Planet that’s aimed at studying the Martian atmosphere and searching for methane.
Supervolcanoes within an Ancient Volcanic Province on Mars
Some of Mars’ deep craters were actually ancient supervolcanoes that spewed ash over the Red Planet and probably changed its climate, researchers suggest in a controversial new study. NASA scientists say several irregularly shaped craters in Mars’ Arabia Terra region have a structure similar to supervolcanoes on Earth, such as the hotspot that lies beneath Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. Billions of years ago, each Martian supervolcano could have blasted out hundreds of cubic miles’ worth of magma --so much material that the surface collapsed, leaving deep, irregular craters behind.
NASA Prepares to Launch First Mission to Explore Martian Atmosphere
A NASA spacecraft that will examine the upper atmosphere of Mars in unprecedented detail is undergoing final preparations for a scheduled 1:28 p.m. EST Monday, Nov. 18 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission (MAVEN) is the first mission to study the martian upper atmosphere. MAVEN will examine specific processes on Mars that led to the loss of much of its atmosphere. Data and analysis could tell planetary scientists the history of climate change on the Red Planet and provide further information on the history of planetary habitability.
Long-Stressed Europa Likely Off-Kilter at One Time
By analyzing the distinctive cracks lining the icy face of Europa, NASA scientists found evidence that this moon of Jupiter likely spun around a tilted axis at some point. Europa’s network of crisscrossing cracks serves as a record of the stresses caused by massive tides in the moon’s global ocean.
Potential ‘Goldilocks’ Planet Found
A new-found planet is in a "just-right" location around its star where liquid water could possibly exist on the planet’s surface. A team of international astronomers have discovered a potentially habitable super-Earth orbiting a nearby star in a habitable zone, where it isn’t too hot or too cold for liquid water to exist. The team said this discovery demonstrates that habitable planets could form in a greater variety of environments than previously believed.
Meteorites Brought Ammonia to Earth?
Researchers have teased ammonia of a carbon-containing meteorite from Antarctica, and propose that meteorites may have delivered that essential ingredient for life to an early Earth.
Modified from http://www.universetoday.com/83608/meteorites-may-have-delivered-first-ammonia-for-life-on-earth/