If you are still unsure of what gravitational waves are and how LIGO detected them, this is a very helpful video:
2. In the lastweek we heard that viable sperm was grown in-vitro; A team of scientists in China say that they successfully grew mouse sperm from embryonic stem cells and that the resulting sperm cells have been used to successfully fertilise an egg, producing healthy, fertile young.
4. 3D printing took another step forward with this bioengineering transplant.A team of bioengineers in North Carolina revealed that they successfully printed an organic human ear and then transplanted it onto the back of a mouse, where it not only survived, but grew.
5. And finally… not exactly international news, but a nice little first for Science Wows; you may have noticed that I published a mini science magazine here (and here for a mobile version) all about the science of pancakes! I have had the idea for a children’s science magazine for a very, very long time; this mini magazine was my first realisation of that idea; With a lot of determination, hard work and luck, a full blown magazine may become a reality. So, if you checked it out, I’d really, really love your feedback; Please let me know in the comments below, or get in contact in other ways.
These are only some of the science events from February, have you any more to add?
Have you spotted Jupiter in our lovely clear skies this week? It is very bright and visible to the naked eye. We got the kids out of bed at nine O’ clock last night just to have a look (they may have been more interested in running around in the dark than in actually looking up at the sky!).
This was our view from our front door, a lovely full moon and Jupiter up above it (I obviously don’t have the steadiest hand as Jupiter looks more like a squiggle line than a round object, but you get the idea)…
Jupiter is one of the brightest objects in our night skies (after the Moon and Venus), and is particularly bright at the moment as the (almost full) moon swings near it.
Easy to see with the naked eye, some of its moons are also visible when viewed through a binoculars. We couldn’t view them this way (more shaky hands) but, luckily Mr. Science Wows had the telescope all set up and ready and then we got a real treat.
We were able to see three of Jupiter’s moons, as well as the striped appearance of this giant planet. Quite a spectacle.
Here are some more facts about this amazing planet…
Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system, it could fit more than 1,300 Earths inside it!
It is the fifth planet from the Sun.
Jupiter is thought to have 67 moons (50 confirmed moons and 17 yet to be confirmed), three that are visible at the moment are part of the Galilean moons, so called after the man who first discovered them, in 1610. There are four Galilean moons orbiting Jupiter, in total, and these are the largest of Jupiter’s satellites; Ganymede, the largest of these moons is larger than the planet Mercury, and is the only moon known to have its own magnetic field. Europa, another Galilean moon orbiting Jupiter, is of great interest as it contains water, up to twice as much water on Earth in fact, making it a possible habitable zone.
Jupiter has three, faint, outer rings.
Jupiter is a gaseous planet. At its outer point temperatures are thought to be about -145 degrees celsius. Deeper within the planet, hydrogen and helium becomes the dominant gas and temperatures rise. Deeper still and the hydrogen gas turns to liquid and it is thought that, at its core, temperatures of up to 35,000 degrees celsius result in metallic hydrogen that generates electricity, creating a magnetic field.
Jupiter’s surface appears to be covered in stripes and swirls, these are raging storms. One of them, the Great Red Spot, is larger than Earth and has been raging for hundreds of years.
The first visits to Jupiter was made by the Pioneer 10 spacecraft, as it flew by in 1973. Since then there have been eight more missions, the latest by the Juno spacecraft which is on course to arrive at the giant planet on July 4th 2016.
I am very excited to share this latest project with you; this is an idea I have had for a while so I am delighted to have finally finished and published. I really hope you like it and that your junior scientists get plenty of entertainment from this Pancake Science Magazine.
Have a look through and see what you think, there are experiment ideas and a video link to show you how. It is crammed full of interesting facts… from who made the first pancake to the mathematical formula for the perfect pancake flip.
You’ll also find puzzles and quizzes and a free printable download if you prefer to print them off and let the children test their pancake knowledge. There are also some pancake jokes to entertain you all and Dr. Simple can be found throughout the magazine, a familiar face with a few costume changes!
There is a little colour coding for all the subjects covered, from chemistry to astronomy, to maths. So your kids can just dip in and choose their favourites, if they prefer.
I would really love to hear what you think and how your children find this magazine, if you have a minute to give me any feedback I’d be delighted.
I haven’t shown this to my own kids yet, but I think I have this rainy afternoon’s entertainment sorted now.
Hope you Enjoy!
Need a mobile friendly version? just click here! And this is a separate link to the free printable.
And for some really BIG news, the biggest dinosaur fossil ever found, a Titanosaur, was unveiled at the American Museum of National History. For many of us not lucky enough to be able to attend in person, we got to see this spectacular species through our tv screens, documented by the wonderful Sir David Attenborough.
For the first time in 11 years, five planets have aligned in the morning skies: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn; Visible to the naked eye under the right conditions.
We have had a lot of fun with this little Christmas science experiment. It is so simple, it is definitely worth a try if you have a few minutes to spare and want to give the kids a good laugh.
Here is what you will need:
A small jar, or similar, decorated as a snowman. We covered ours in modeling clay and painted it but you could get the kids to paint a jar or decorate it as they wish. (The jar I used here is 100ml volume but you can alter the size.)
First add the water and then the washing up liquid.
Next add a heaped teaspoon of baking soda.
Give it a good stir.
Add all the vinegar, quickly, stand back and watch’s the poor snowman’s brains explode… that’s got to hurt!
And once your poor snowman has recovered, you can give him a quick rinse and do it all over again!
The Science bit:
It is all down to the vinegar and baking soda, when the two are added, they react rapidly together and one of the products of the reaction is carbon dioxide gas (CO2). This gas mixes with the diluted washing up liquid forming a white bubbly foam that erupts out the top of the snowman.
Simple! Seasonal! Science!
Looking for some more #science and #craft ideas for the Christmas Season? I have two guest posts on the lovely Where Wishes Comes From blog; Click the links below to pop over and have a look. There is lots more to see over there as Sadhbh is running a Craft Advent special, a different activity every day!
I don’t know what meal times are like in other homes, but in ours they tend to be chaotic and unpredictable. Take a simple breakfast last week as an example. Nothing too fancy… there was literally only cereal on offer. But cereal boxes can be great conversation openers, especially if they are from the BEAR company and are covered in all kinds of interesting facts.
“Are black holes real and what is spa-ghett-if-ication?” Asked the 11-year-old, cereal box in hand.
We woke this morning to find the science equipment had been raided…. by a group of dinosaurs! They were caught red handed… reading the science books (and checking out interesting facts about their relatives), rummaging through the equipment and hoisting themselves up to shelves for better access. The children thought it was great but I am a little worried. What are these dinosaurs planning?
It looks like dinovember might have arrived at the Science Wows house! Let’s hope they don’t get up to too much mischief!
We found this pair reading up on some dinosaur facts…
Did you know that the tail of the Apatosaurus may have acted like a bullwhip, breaking the sound barrier as it did so? These enormous dinosaurs lived more than 150 million years ago and may have used their super sonic tail action for defence, communication or courtship.
These guys were helping from below;
While the pterosaur flew up to prepare the rope….
…and hoist up some back up!
Did you know that, although pterosaurs lived along side dinosaurs (from the late Jurrasic period) they are in fact winged reptiles?
I really hope they don’t plan on opening any of these paint bottles!
This one seems very interested in electric currents!
Giving a homo sapien a helping hand!
I think it is going to be a long month with this crew running loose. If you want to keep up to date with their antics follow science wows on facebook, twitter and instagram.
And remember to keep an eye on your household dinosaurs… have you noticed anything unusual?
Filming of the Is Eolaí Mé series is well under way… and it looks amazing! I got to see the finished set for the first time last Monday morning, and it was even better than I imagined. Peadar, the presenter, has been working his way through the science curriculum and so far we have managed not to blow anything up, but the experiments are certainly entertaining the whole crew!
Peadar has been joined, each day, by some really enthusiastic young scientists who have helped him with demonstrations, facts, experiments and, of course, the adrenalin fuelled “Science Challenges”.
Do you want a sneak peek?…
Almost ready to begin!
Matt, the man who can “build anything”, makes a few last minute adjustments!
Peadar takes a quick break, after another successful experiment.
Getting ready for another challenge… wonder what this one will be?
The pigs were a big hit!
There is so much more to share… but I guess you will just have to wait for it to air. It will be a great aid for teachers and classrooms as well as a really fun show to watch at home.