Monday, 22 October 2012

Radio Verulam Science Feature – 22/10/2012

Time Travel/Timelines in Films

Sam & Danny discussed how films (such as Star Trek, Looper, Back to the Future, etc) use time travel and whether there is any scientific basis in this.

Website:

(last month’s part of the Zooniverse website: Planet Hunters have had a planet discovered by its users confirmed called PH1 http://blog.planethunters.org/)

This month: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/ keep up with all the latest news from Mars.

What to see in the night sky:

Full Moon on Oct 29th.

Venus is bright in the eastern skies in the mornings – if we ever get a clear sky this month.  Jupiter is in the constellation of Taurus, rising in the east around 6pm and moving across the sky westwards providing good all night observing.  Even with small binoculars can see the four Galilean moons.  Leonid meteor shower, peaking on the 17th Nov, but active between 15th to 20th Nov with a rate of approximately 20 per hour.   Leo, will rise about midnight, but optimum viewing is around 2am onwards as the constellation rises.  Due to the debris left behind by the comet Tempel-Tuttle.  http://meteorshowersonline.com/leonids.html

Scientist of the month - Dmitri Mendeleev

Russian.  1834 – 1907.

Creator of the modern form of the periodic table.  Others had tried to several arrangements of the elements known at the time, but Mendeleev found the best way to organise them.  He placed them in order of their atomic mass and found that other properties began to align too.  It enabled him to predict the existence of then undiscovered elements – germanium, gallium and scandium.  Element 101 is named after him – Mendelevium.
He brought the metric system to Russia and became the head of Russia’s Bureau of Weights and Measures.
He was known for his long hair and beard, supposedly only cutting it once a year.  He was considered a bigamist due to a legal technicality that said you must wait seven years between your divorce and your next marriage – which he didn’t.
Worked on the idea that there were two elements lighter than hydrogen, the lightest of which constituted the aether.

Sources:
http://chemistry.about.com/od/famouschemists/p/mendeleevbio.htm
http://www.nndb.com/people/593/000091320/

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