Astronomy Magazine is sponsoring an essay contest for kids under 17 on the theme “What I Love Best About Astronomy”. We have so many amazing writers at Poinciana, you should all give it a try! The winner and a parent will be flown to an amazing Astronomy Conference in New York later this year!
6:10pm : I held out hope, but the clouds will not relent! No Astro night tonight, lets cross our fingers for next week.
Please check the post below – if skies are clear and you feel like a drive you can check out some stars out in Canal Point!
4:38pm: The cold front has weakened and the clouds are rolling in. Not good! Forecast is now for partly – mostly cloudy. I’ll stand by and keep checking, final update with “go” or “no-go” will be at 6:00pm or earlier. Check back before you come to school!
Check out the link below for an amazing opportunity! The SFWMD is hosting a star party on January 19th and February 2nd out at the DuPris Management Area in Canal Point. No cities, no streetlights, lots of stars! You might even be able to see the Milky Way!
The next Astronomy Night is this Friday, January 13th. The long term weather forecast looks very good! A cold front is moving through Friday morning, leaving behind lots of cool dry air. We should have excellent views of Jupiter and our Moon, as well as some amazing deep space sights.
It is getting darker later, so Astro Nights will be from 6:30 – 8:30 for the rest of the year. Remember to park in the main parking lot, and enter through the Aftercare on the North side of the building, next to the K-1 playground. No other doors will be open!
Check back here for updates on Friday afternoon / evening!
This gallery is my attempt at a time lapse of our project to build our entire school inside of Minecraft. Next time I’ll build myself a platform so that all the shots are taken from the exact same place! We are almost done – the celing and lighting systems are about finished, and we are starting the roof today. I’ll miss being able to look down into the school to see everyone working, but it will be great to be finished!
The fourth and fifth graders from Mrs. White’s class did an amazing job at this project, working on it on and off for the past few months. I look forward to our next phase, where they will have a little more creative freedom to build the city of Boynton Beach around us the way the students would like to see it! Mrs. White and I have certainly learned a lot along side of our students, always the sign of a successful learning adventure. Great Job everyone! Stay tuned for an update soon on the completed school!
Last night, twin spacecraft about the size of washing machines impacted with the side of a mountain somewhere near the Moon’s north pole. The Grail spacecraft, Ebb and Flow, completed their missions and then some, lasting month longer than expected and completing an amazingly detailed gravity map of the Moon. This map will help our next generation of lunar spacecraft explore the planet, and help scientists learn more about the origins and history of our Moon.
Grail had an additional purpose, to allow students to explore the moon through 4 small cameras mounted on the bottom of each spacecraft. This project is named MoonKam, and was run through the Sally Ride Foundation. Last Spring and this Fall my fourth graders all got to assign targets to the Grail spacecraft. You can check out all of our images from last Spring and this Fall at Poinciana’s MoonKam Photo Album.
Tomorrow my 4th graders will look back at the questions that they asked about the moon, and begin analyzing the images they took in order to answer their questions. Some students’ images didn’t make it back due to a combination of our mistakes and some spacecraft error. No problem, we have many other images of our own to work with as well as the thousands of images taken by other students around the world.
I am especially excited about the two pictures up at the top of this post. Two students, Mikayla and Nikolas, took these two photos of the Moon right as our Earth was rising! Amazing and beautiful! So now I have a question of my own to challenge them with… what part of the Earth are we looking at? I think that a little time messing around with Starry Night Pro, along with the time, date, and location above the Moon that the spacecraft was when the photo was taken might be enough for the students to figure this puzzle out. Stay tuned!
5:15pm Update: We may see a few clear patches from time to time, but it looks like we are in for a whole lot of clouds, and no fun trying to use our telescopes. No Astronomy Night this evening. The map below tells the story, and the forecasts suggest it will be like this well into the night. We will schedule more in January and February!
3:45pm Update: The skies cleared up about an hour ago, but I fear that it will not last. A huge bank of clouds are coming from the East, and forecasts suggest that they will last throughout the evening. Check back before coming out – I’ll do a final update no later than 5:30.
12:30pm Update: After amazing weather last week, this week isn’t looking too good. The skies have been mostly cloudy all day, and the forecasts are all looking fairly pessimistic. Check back after 5pm, but as of right now I’m predicting that there will be no stars tonight!
4:15 Update: The sky looks good! The forecasts have all been strange for tonight, and there will probably be some clouds floating around from time to time, but the scopes are already set up and ready to go.
Hope to see you between 6-8. Remember to come in through the SACC entrance on the North side of the school and follow the signs to the door on the right just past the Planetarium.
Weather Update: 5:17 pm 100% cloud cover, and all of the forecasts indicate that the clouds will continue through the evening. We will try again next week. Have a great weekend!
Weather Update: 2pm In short, it doesn’t look good. Forecasts are for 80-100% Cloud Cover. We will keep our eyes on the sky for changes, and do a final update by 5:30, but there doesn’t seem much chance of having Astronomy Night tonight! The next night is scheduled for next Friday.
Why does the weather matter for Astronomy Night? Simply put, our telescopes cannot see through clouds! Even if there are some clear patches, it is difficult and frustrating for everyone (especially our students) to have to wait and wait for a cloud to move away when trying to observe something in the sky. It also makes it difficult to aim the telescopes and keep them on target for when a clear section of the sky goes over. In general, once cloud cover gets over 50-60% we cancel Astronomy Night.