Monday, April 25, 2016

Meeting Notes 4/21/16

Welcome back to a meeting without the insanity of Science Olympiad slowly eating our brains away!

Science in the News 


SpaceX Falcon 9 Sea Landing
  • team of researchers working at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has announced the finding of a triple-star system—one that also as has a stable orbit planet in it. In their paper published in The Astronomical Journal, the team describes how they came to see that a binary system once thought to be a single star, was actually a pair of stars orbiting one another, and how that led to the revelation of the triple-star system.
  • Russian scientist and billionaire entrepreneur Yuri Milner and Cosmologist and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking announced a space exploration project called Breakthrough Starshot in New York, Tuesday.


  • Yuri Milner, Russian entrepreneur (English): "Breakthrough Starshot is a hundred-million dollar research and engineering programme. It aims to demonstrate proof of concept of high speed light driven nanocrafts and to lay the foundations for an eventual voyage to Alpha Centauri. The ultimate cost of such a venture is expected to compare with the biggest international science collaborations such as CERN."

    "Over a few minutes, this nanocraft accelerates to about 20 percent of the light speed. This is a hundred million miles and hour. This is a thousand times faster than the fastest spacecraft today, or a million times faster than a car on a highway. At that speed, it would fly by Alpha Centauri about 20 years after launch. It could capture images of possible planets, other scientific data and send them back home in a beam of light."

    "For the first time in human history we can do more than just gaze at the stars, we can actually reach them."
  • Dr. Daniel Rubens, an anesthesiologist at Seattle Children’s hospital, has released plans to conduct a study that he hopes will lead to a cure of the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Rubens has partnered with The Lullaby Trust in the United Kingdom and pediatrician Dr. Peter Fleming of Bristol University. The team’s hypothesis is that an inner-ear defect puts babies at risk of SIDS, since it inhibits the impulse for a baby to automatically rouse and reposition itself when it is having trouble breathing. That lack of oxygen then leads to a Carbon Dioxide build up which effectively kills the infant. To test their prediction, the team plans to conduct what they call the “Oto-Acoustics Signals in SIDS,’” or OASIS study. This study will consist of comparing data on hearing tests as well as images of the inner ear between newborn babies and those who have been classified as having died of SIDS. As of now, SIDS is the leading cause of death in infants 1 to 12 months old, and about 2,000 babies born in the United States die each year from SIDS, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

Additional Notes



Science Club is going on a two-week break from meetings due to AP testing. Good luck, everyone! Study hard and give it your best. See you on May 12th.

A peek into further activities - Here's what we have planned over the last meetings of Science Club for this year:
  • Speaker Building
  • Outreach to Junior Highs
  • LIGO Hanford Field-trip!
  • Match Rockets
  • More Explosions
  • Movie Afternoon
  • End of Year Party + Sailing!

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