Week of October 15, 2012

Two weeks to go until you’ve successfully conquered the first quarter! Astronomy people, can you believe you’re almost halfway done? Physics people…You’re really doing physics! That’s awesome!

Twitter users can now follow our class on Twitter to receive occasional updates and reminders about our class.

This week in physics: We will do the Lab of Great Chaos. This lab is more often referred to as the projectiles lab, and on Monday and Tuesday (and possibly Wednesday) we will divide the class into teams. Some teams will complete the lab while others do projectile practice problems and assignment 2. Then we’ll switch until all teams have done everything. Then…quiz time! …followed by a look at satellite motion and assignment 3. I’d love to tell you that we’ll be ready for the test on Friday, but with the PSAT on Wednesday, we likely won’t get to this test until early next week. Stay tuned! Oh, and our next topic will be about this Mystery Man. Can you name him?

This week in Astronomy: Having bested the first two astronomy units, you are now ready to explore our nearest astronomical buddy, Earth’s BFF, the Moon. We will start by looking at the rotation and revolution of the moon and then do some good hard data analysis to figure out how the phases of the moon work. Remember that your Astronomy Unit 2 – Outdoor Lab is due on Halloween, but you have to start now in order to get all of the observations done.

Cool science of the weekI’m not sure if this is cool or crazy (leaning toward crazy), but a man named Felix Baumgartner planned this week to use a stratospheric balloon to climb 120,000 feet to the edge of space, where he will leave said balloon and then fall with the aim of traveling faster than the speed of sound, which is about 340 m/s depending on air quality. Weather prevented him from jumping this week. Will he do it next week? It’s in the stars…