Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Meeting Notes 10/29

Science in the News

The Milky Way in Pixels (46 Billion of Them) 

"The image was created by a team of astronomers from the Ruhr University Bochum in Germany," reads IFLScience. "They used an observatory in the Atacama Desert in Chile to create the image, stitching together multiple images of the night sky as part of the Galactic Disk Survey (GDS). The image itself had to be divided into 268 sections."

While some of us rush off to download the entire thing (When asked sarcastically about who had a spare terabyte lying around, some hands in the club audience were proudly raised), the entire thing is available for viewing online just in case you're short on storage. 

"Greenland is Melting Away" 

It's sad but true. Greenland, thanks to a nasty pattern of global warming, is beginning to lose its cool. A massive cut through a glacier yields a fast, cold current leading out to the ocean, which could assist in disastrous results with regards to other polar melting that's been taking place. The New York Times featured a wonderful drone-filmed video of the melting, claiming that "This river is one of a network of thousands at the front line of climate change". 

New York Times Article

Salt and Mirrors

Here's an interesting one. Once upon a just recent time, in the far, far away land of the Crescent Dunes (near Tonopah, Nevada), a strange new construction seems to be able to power the entire Las Vegas Strip. Using over ten thousand mirrors to focus sunlight onto a heat receiver atop the central tower, a combination of steam, turbine generators, and nitrate salts, the new innovation may be able to cut down energy storage losses by five percent.

Meeting Notes

Math of the Week

Starting this week was a new segment to the club called Math of the Week. Thanks to Ryan, the first lesson taught was a complete success. I've recorded it to share here:

Thanks, Ryan!

Lenz's Law

This week's big activity was testing and investigating Lenz's Law. The setup was based around this: A non-magnet item dropped down a copper tube would fall completely as expected if the item were dropped outside of the tube. However, when a magnet was dropped into the tube, a considerable span of time passed before the magnet at last fell back into the hand that dropped it at the bottom.

Here's a video we were shown demonstrating and explaining this concept. Loved the top-down vantage point.

And that's a wrap! Sorry about the late coverage, kind of got wrapped up in different things over the weekend. Special thanks to five photographers from the yearbook staff coming down and taking some shots while we had our meeting. I'm going to ask for a few shots to be shared when I can find one of the representatives. In minor news, Daniel brought boxed water and it was ridiculous. I photobombed a total of five pictures from Yearbook, and Chris now has a photo on the Contact page. Here's looking towards more fun this Thursday! 

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