March 2010 Archives

Baby Animal Names Match-up

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Every kind of baby animal has a particular name. Some of them make sense -- a baby goose is called a gosling -- and some don't -- since when was calling a baby kangaroo a joey logical? See if you can pair each species of animal to its particular name!

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HINT: Many species of baby animals are referred to as the same thing: for instance, a baby cow and a baby rhinoceros are both called calves. So while some of the following animals can be called the same thing, no two animals can be connected to the same name.

Answers.jpgNOTE: This image may be printed for educational purposes, but cannot be sold or printed for commercial reasons. © Mikaela Sarkar 2010

Why Is The Sky Blue?

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We have to take a look at wavelengths of light to answer this. Here it is:

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    The blue wavelengths are shorter than the red, as you can see in the diagram above. So the shorter wavelengths (with higher frequencies) can reach us when our part of the planet is facing the Sun, as we orbit around the Sun (proposed by Copernicus' scientific model).
    Sunsets are red because the red wavelengths are longer. So when the Sun is shining on
the other side from us, only the red wavelengths reach.

     In astronomy this is called the Doppler Effect. When a galaxy is moving away from us due to the expanding universe, its wavelengths are shifted toward the red side of the "redshift lines" and it appears to be redder. The Milky Way is redshifting towards a distant galaxy cluster. The opposite, when a galaxy is approaching the Milky Way, is named "blueshift."

    When you double-refract white light, the colors split. That is because white light is all the colors put together. The primary colors of light, unlike those of paints, are Red, Green, and Blue:


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Penguins, Big and Small

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   Penguins live in the wild on every continent in the Southern Hemisphere. But since they naturally live near cold ocean currents, the only penguins to be seen in the North are in zoos.

    Four species of penguin are endangered, but some of the others might be if we don't stop global warming and the melting of their ice shelves. There are 17 penguin species:

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Emperor Penguin
Gentoo Penguin
Adelie Penguin
Chinstrap Penguin
King Penguin
Royal Penguin
Macaroni Penguin
Rockhopper Penguin (endangered)
Little Penguin
Fiordland Penguin
Snares Island Penguin
Erect-Crested Penguin (endangered)
Yellow-Eyed Penguin (endangered)
African Penguin
Malleganic Penguin
Humbolt Penguin
Galapagos Penguin (endangered)

   


There is a movie about Emperor Penguins named March Of The Penguins. It is about how they breed. They have to march 70 miles to the Adelie coast. Then, (if the female gets a mate), she lays a single egg, taking almost all of her energy. She then goes to sea to eat again, leaving the male on the ice to guard the egg. The egg has just hatched when the female comes back, and the male goes to sea. The penguins huddle in "turtles" to keep warm.

    Penguins eat fish, squid and krill, and are preyed upon by leopard seals and giant petrels. They have been noted to use sign language to communicate with each other. They have glands which get filled with salt, and they crash their beaks against a boulder to empty them (largely because they drink saline water). Emperor Penguins live 20 years. They first evolved during the Eocene epoch.

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    Recently a man was lucky enough to capture an all-black penguin on film at National Geographic.

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