Monday, 25 July 2016

Science with Sam @smrolfe - Tim Peake, Ozone & Flying Ants

Tim Peake returned to Earth from the ISS after a six month mission. The space probe Juno arrived at Jupiter and successfully entered into orbit.

Flying Ant Day

Royal Society of Biology

Is there a specific, nationwide flying ant day? Hive mind?

Most ant colonies start with a flying ant - when young queens leave the nest to found their own colony.

2012 The figures show that one-fifth of sightings happened on Tuesday 24 July 2012 with another fifth being recorded two weeks later on Wednesday 8 August 2012.

In the time between the two peaks, an area of low pressure moved across the UK.

2013 had four main peaks. The 'ant season' was also longer, with the last flying ant day in 2013 two weeks after the last one in 2012.

2014 There were two flying ant days, compared to four days in 2013.

2015 No detailed info, but seems there were also a few peaks across the summer.

Overall conclusion: there is no flying ant “day” but several days, apparently dependent on weather.

Interested in biology and nature – Biology Week begins 8th October 2016. Google “Biology Week”

Sources: and links therein.

Ozone Hole – update

Have you thought about the hole in the ozone layer recently? No, me either. It is still there. Ozone helps protect us from harmful UV rays from the Sun.

Scientist of the Month

Henrietta Leavitt (1868 – 1921)

Worked at Harvard College Observatory as a computer (one who computes), examining photographic plates measuring and cataloguing the brightness of stars. Originally she was not paid because she had independent means, but later received $0.30 an hour for her work.

Night Sky this month

The Perseids meteor shower is peaking over 11-12th Aug, with up to 90 shooting stars per hour. Peak will occur after the Moon sets after midnight.

Venus and Jupiter (the brightest planets in the sky), will be approximately one-sixth the apparent size of the Moon apart in the sky on 28th Aug.

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