Friday, October 21, 2011

Meteor Shower from Halley's Comet

Those of us who are night owls have an opportunity to see a massive meteor shower in next few days. The show will be peaking it on Saturday, October 22nd around 12 AM. If you have a clear sky, you should be able to count a couple of dozen "shooting stars" in an hour. Good luck!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

You Just Missed an Extinction Event!

Scientists and astronomers have recently found some scientific reports, that suggest that a massive comet missed our dear Earth only by an inch in cosmic terms, in 1883. An austronomer named Jose Bonilla had reported that he had seen 450 objects during August of 1883, which scientists believe could've been from a broken down comet the size of Halley's Comet. They speculate that the comet might have missed Earth by a few hundred miles. Just imagine, if it had hit Earth, I won't be blogging this and many of you won't be there to read me either. That thought gives me chills!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Water Bottle in a Plane

What does a water bottle have to do with air plane? For sure, at security check points, authorities will not let you carry a water bottle through the security point. But you can of course buy a bottle of water after the security point and carry it in the plane.
Can you learn a bit of science from this water bottle?  You will have to wait for the plane to take off and reach high altitudes. If you feel your ears aching, that is the time to start the experiment. Drink up most of the water from the bottle and tightly close the bottle. Make sure the cap is closed really air-tight. You can slide it in the seat pocket and wait until the plane lands. By the time the plane hits the ground, what do you see?  What happened? Who did this to the bottle?

"Hey Mr.Dude! Did you crush me?!"

You will see that the bottle is all squeezed up as if someone tried to crush the bottle. Nobody, but the air outside the bottle squeezed it inward!  Why?
We live in Earth, which has a rich atmosphere. Air applies pressure to everything around us. Air pressure goes down as we go up in the air. At very high altitudes, planes can’t have the same level of air pressure as we have on  the ground, since it takes a lot of air to produce that pressure. Now, you took the bottle and emptied it out. Once you tightly close it, air can’t get in, air can’t get out. As the plain get to the ground, the air pressure around the bottle will be higher than the air pressure inside the bottle. This air from outside, squeezes the bottle inward due to pressure difference.
Next time you fly, be sure to try this out. But remember, you can’t take bottled water inside security check points!