Volume 32 – April 27, 2011
Welcome to Anousheh's Be The Change Herald! Feel free to forward to others who might want to register for the newsletter and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Starting on April 28th, about 30 minutes before sunrise, early risers would be treated to a beautiful conjunction of the planets Jupiter, Mars, Venus and Mercury in the Eastern horizon, to the left of the the crescent moon. This event will be repeated for 5 days!
To see the conjunction, you can use a pair of binoculars, a small telescope or only your eyes. To see a picture on how to spot all four and to protect your eyes from the rising sun, please visit:
Creepy Crawlies and More
The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), launched June 2010 by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) in partnership with NanoRacks LLC, has selected 16 grade 5-14 student microgravity science experiments to fly on STS-134, the final flight of Shuttle Endeavour on April 29, 2011. According to Dr. Jeff Goldstein, the creator of SSEP, "SSEP is designed to empower the student as scientist, and within the real-world context of Science."
Among the experiments included in Endeavour's payload, three were designed and built at BioServe Space Technologies in CU-Boulder's Aerospace Engineering Sciences department. With the help of thousands of elementary and middle school students across the nation, CU-Boulder faculty and students will compare the behaviors of spiders, fruit flies and seeds in the low gravity with their related activities on Earth to see how web-spinning and feeding abilities of spiders, or the germination of seeds differ in the two different environments.
Among other experiments we can name the STEM Bar experiment and squid embryos. The STEM bar was developed by two high school students and winners of 2010 Conrad Foundation Spirit of Innovation Award, using NASA's food safety standards. The squid embryos experiment will research the physiological impact of the micro-gravity on the animal's growth and development.
To learn more about the program, the experiments and how to participate in above-mentioned or similar experiments, please visit:
Calling All Citizen Astronomers
In our January 2011 issue, we had talked about Hanny Van Arkel, a Dutch school teacher who through Galaxy Zoo had discovered a new space entity. Galaxy Zoo which is part of Zooniverse launched in 2007 encouraging sky enthusiasts to browse through SDSS images and classify galaxy types. However after less than 4 years, Zooniverse is much more than the initial Galaxy Zoo project.
At present, Zooniverse is presenting the citizen astronomers with 8 active projects for planet and supernovae hunters, moon and milky way explorers, Hubble fans and solar storm-watchers among others.
Furthermore the site offers education discussion forums as well as lesson plans, activities and worksheets for children. To explore all the possibilities of the Zooniverse, please visit:
What If Competition Announcement
What If Competition management team is very excited to announce the start of the forth competition in late April. Partnering with some of the best educational institutions in North America, the competition is returning this year with a fresh look, an exciting new challenge and great prizes. The competition will be open to all middle-school students in United States and Canada. Look for more announcements in your inboxes, in the coming month!
My Dream of Stars
My Dream of Stars: From Daughter of Iran to Space Pioneer: a book by Anousheh Ansari and Homer Hickam.
In her memoir, Anousheh recalls her long path to success and to achieving her dream. To learn more about the book, please visit: http://www.anoushehansari.com/book/
To find a book signing, please check the upcoming appearances section of this newsletter.
To obtain a copy please visit: