STS 134 Endeavor Launched!

I had a GREAT time watching the final launch of Endeavor on May 16!   I took tons of pictures, a couple of videos, etc. and I’ll post them soon.  Meanwhile, I met lots of terrific people while I was there.  To those I met, drop me a line at webmaster at smallscience.net when you get time.  It was great meeting you and I can’t wait to hear from everyone!  I’ll try to process and post some of the images when I get tired of everything here… stayed up until after 3 am scanning the skies from my balcony!  I also got to play some blues last night at Lou’s Blues in Melbourne!  I’ll probably be doing it again tonight!  I do have to take some time out to catch Omega Centauri this eveing though.  Not sure where I’ll do the astronomy, but drop me a line and I’ll let you know where!

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Blood Falls – Extremophiles in Antarctica

Some organisms can live without dependence on either oxygen OR light.   The result is a whole ecosystem that depends on other inorganic compounds as a source of energy for metabolism.  One such location that may be studied occurs at Blood Falls, a lake under the ice that seeps to the surface at the tongue of Taylor Glacier.  This enables scientists to study the organisms without actually contacting the lake.  This is a big advantage as the material seeping out can’t contaminate the lake, yet scientists may study the organisms that live there.  The falls are red from Iron in the water reacting with oxygen on contact with the air.

Here is an article from Wikipedia about Blood Falls
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_Falls

Another article about anoxic waters. Anoxic waters are salt or fresh  water completely depleted of oxygen.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anoxic_waters

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Microraptor – evidence of flight evolution from above

A new study released Jan 25th appears to have settled the age-old argument about the evolution of flight in birds.  Microraptor fossils have the key!  Read more here!

http://www.sciencenewsdaily.org/archaeology-fossils-news/cluster32762700/

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Will the Sun ever shine again?

Sooo…. it seems like it’s been forever since the Sun has popped out to let us take a look at it!  For the St Louis Astronomical Society, all you have to do is look at our calendar to see how many events have been canceled!  It’s been a long time since we’ve had a star party actually take place!  My last record of seeing objects in the heavens through a telescope was New Year’s Eve!  It was COLD!  I did get a nice look at the Orion nebula and the Moon that night, however.

Perhaps it will actually clear up for my Observational Astronomy class tonight!  I certainly hope so and will post some results if we do get to look at anything!

Clear Skies!

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Will the world end in 2012? Get the real information.

So…. you’ve seen the hype about the movie.  Now learn some good information regarding questions about 2012.

David Morrison, astrobiologist from NASA, answers 20 questions about 2012 and the doomsday hoax.
http://astrobiology.nasa.gov/ask-an-astrobiologist/intro/nibiru-and-doomsday-2012-questions-and-answers

FAQ from NASA: 2012: Beginning of the End or Why the World Won’t End?http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2012.html

Article from badastronomy.com: The Planet X Saga: The Scientific Arguments in a Nutshell
http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/misc/planetx/nutshell.html

Article from Sky and Telescope by E. C. Krupp, director of Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles
http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2012-guest.html

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Tickets!

Can’t wait until next February.  Buddy Guy and BB King at the SAME show!

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Welcome to Jim Small’s website!

This is the website for Jim Small.  It will include information for all classes as well as some personal information and many resources for the sciences.  If you need help with any class, there will be pages that will  serve as tutorials and practice for various skills needed in the class.  Welcome and enjoy the site!

Jim Small

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