Tag Archives: astronomy

How to Make a Solar Eclipse Viewer

Most of you are from North America, and I’m sure you know about the solar eclipse next Monday, right? The path of totality will cross the United States, but all of North America will get to see it to varying degrees of partiality. For me, it’ll be around 75% partial.

Do you have your solar eclipse glasses? They’re hard to find now. If you don’t have some, don’t worry! You can still observe the eclipse! Actually, I made one today with my daughter. Here it is:

An easy to make solar eclipse viewer made with a cereal box.

That’s right, it’s a cereal box. Curious how to make it? It’s actually very easy. I made a video showing how I made it, so if you want to try this out, then definitely watch the video!

Are you going to make it? Any kind of cereal box will do. You can use pretty much any kind of box, actually. Just make sure no light is getting in except through the pinhole. Let me know if you’re going to make it!

E Is for Europa

Even though the A to Z Challenge is over, and I took a huge break, I’m going to finish it. A lot has happened over the last couple months, but it’s back! Today is the letter E, and I’m talking about Jupiter’s moon Europa! Did you learn anything new?

  1. Europa is the fourth largest natural satellite of Jupiter.
  2. It was discovered in 1610 by Galileo Galilei, along with the other three Galilean satellites.
  3. The surface of Europa is the smoothest surface of any world in the Solar System, consisting of water ice.
  4. Europa orbits Jupiter in just 3.55 days, with one side always facing Jupiter, as it’s tidally locked.
  5. Beneath the ice crust is an estimated 100 km deep ocean of salt water. But it isn’t clear if the ice is thick or thin. However, the amount of water on Europa is about two to three times the volume of Earth’s oceans.
  6. Europa has a weak magnetic field, best explained by Europa’s salt water ocean.
  7. Tidal heating from the interactions of Europa with Jupiter and the other Galilean satellites warms the interior of the moon, possibly resulting in hydrothermal vents at the floor of the ocean. This has led scientists to suggest that life may exist in Europa’s ocean.
  8. Europa most likely has an iron core and a rocky mantle.
  9. Observations by the Hubble Space Telescope provide further evidence of subsurface oceans, as plumes of water have been seen erupting to 200 km above the surface.
  10. Europa has an oxygen atmosphere. But it’s very thin, providing a surface pressure of only 0.1 micropascals.

Let me know what you learned in the comments section below!

A to Z Challenge Begins! The Jay Dee Show 26

I seemed to delayed with everything this past week. Well, here we are with some videos. And the A to Z Challenge has begun! I uploaded only one video for my main channel, but I have two for you from my science channel!

On my main channel, my regular weekly Authors Answer has continued. This time, I talked about the validity and legality of fanfiction.

Over on my science channel, I started off April with a bang. And it’s going to be a very busy month on that channel.

The first video I posted is the first of the A to Z Challenge videos, this time featuring the letter A and Alpha Centauri.

And then I made a video about what was to come in April and some changes I have in store for science news.

And that’s all for this week. Expect 6 videos a week from my science channel, and 2 or 3 from my main channel throughout April. It’ll be pretty productive!

Which videos did you enjoy? Let me know in the comments below.

A Is for Alpha Centauri

Here it is! It’s the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge! Two years ago, I participated in it, and now I’m doing it again. This time, I have a science theme, and I am featuring videos.

For the first topic, we have Alpha Centauri. Check out the video below. After the video, the facts are available for you to read.

  1. It’s a triple star system 4.37 ly from the sun.
  2. Alpha Centauri A is also known as Rigil Kentaurus, while Alpha Centauri C is known as Proxima Centauri. B has no other name.
  3. Alpha Centauri A is a G2 yellow dwarf star similar to the sun, although 10% brighter and 23% larger.
  4. Alpha Centauri B is a K1 orange dwarf star 90% the mass and 14% smaller radius than the sun.
  5. Proxima Centauri is an M6 class red dwarf star with 0.123 solar masses.
  6. Proxima Centauri orbits the AB pair at a massive distance of 15,000 AU or 0.24 light years, though it’s not completely certain it is a member of the system.
  7. Discovered in 2012, Alpha Centauri Bb was an extrasolar planet that was found in 2015 to be an artefact of data analysis. It doesn’t exist.
  8. In 2016, Proxima Centauri b was announced. It’s an extrasolar planet a bit larger than the earth, but is in the star’s habitable zone. It’s likely to be tidally locked, making life difficult to take hold. It’s also likely to be one of the easiest extrasolar planets to study in the near future because of it’s proximity.
  9. The Alpha Centauri system is estimated to be between 4.5 and 7 billion years old, around the same age of our sun or older.
  10. Due to Proxima Centauri being a flare star, life may never have a chance to become established on b because the flares may strip the planet of its atmosphere.

Coming on Monday is the letter B, which will have a more biological topic. Comments are always welcome!

I Want to Live in Another World! The Jay Dee Show 24

My video-making continues to be a bit slow, but I’m finding I’m very busy recently, and I have less time to record videos. Plus the fact that with the science videos, editing takes about 2 hours for a short 4 minute video. This includes doing the thumbnails, but doesn’t include searching for images or writing the script. There’s probably about 5 hours of work for a short 4 minute video.

So, here are the past week’s videos. There are 3 of them. I made only 2 for my main channel and 1 for my science channel.

Starting off with my main channel, the first video I posted is my Top 5 Fantasy World video. I talked about the 5 fantasy worlds I love the most.

And then I finally posted my latest Authors Answer video, only 2 weeks late. It’s about writing child and teenage characters.

Moving on to my science channel, since I did a science video last Saturday, there wasn’t one on Monday. So, the only video of the week was the weekly science news video. This one featured some amazing pictures of Pan, Saturn’s small moon, and some political stuff about the EPA.

That’s all for this week! Let me know what you thought of the videos in the comments section below. Over the next week, there should be 2 regular science videos plus a few videos for my main channel I hope to get done, including a Star Trek one, a book review, and Authors Answer. Maybe I’ll finally get back to doing the Japan videos.

TRAPPIST-1: A Solar System of Earth-Sized Planets

The announcement that NASA hinted about being a major discovery related to planets orbiting another star turned out to actually be pretty major. In many cases, we’ve seen announcements of huge planets, single Earth-sized planets, or a super-Earth in the habitable zone around a star. This time, it’s even more significant.

TRAPPIST-1 is a very cool and small red dwarf star 39 light years away. Not only does it have one Earth-sized planet, but it has seven. And it’s not just one of them in the habitable zone, it’s three. How’s that for amazing?

Two were originally discovered by The Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope (TRAPPIST) in Chile, then confirmed by NASA’s Spitzer Telescope. But Spitzer discovered a further five planets. When the James Webb Space Telescope is in operation, it will be used to study these planets even further. We may be able to discover the atmospheric composition, determining if they’re potentially habitable.

As these are planets orbiting a red dwarf, they are close to the star, with the outer planet having an orbital period of only 20 days. This means that they’re likely to be tidally locked, with one side of each planet facing the star. They don’t have enough information about the outer planet to determine its exact size, but scientists guess that it may be icy.

NASA released this video on the planets:

What do you think of this news? Let’s talk about it in the comments section below.

About December

So, December is almost upon us.

I have plans for December. I talked about how I plan to get back to the basics before. December is the month I start to do it. I have a pretty solid plan for it. Now, keep in mind that my work schedule is pretty heavy during the holidays, so I will be working longer hours and more days than usual then. Regardless, I’ll maintain a post a day. But what I post about will be back to the roots of this blog. This is what to expect:

  • Five book reviews. That’s right, five.
  • An author interview.
  • Resuming Quick Facts Astronomy.
  • And at least one worldbuilding post.

I really want to get back to doing these things. It’s part of what gave this blog its character. I also plan on doing something else new. You know I’ve been doing Star Trek episode reviews. Well, I plan on doing reviews of full seasons of different TV shows and movies. Coming soon will be season 1 of The Walking Dead, as it’s pretty short, and I just have two more episodes to watch.

Are you looking forward to December? Let me know what you think in the comments below.