How I Plan to Help Save Science Education with the Unistellar eVscope!
Published 10/2/2020 in Dan's Cosmic Diary Author Dan Peluso
Lightning strikes a dream Several weeks ago I had a dream during the intense lightning storms in and around San Francisco and the greater Bay Area, which then sparked some of the devastating wildfires that we are still recovering from and experiencing. In this dream, I was in my high school chemistry class. My group was asked to answer the problem on the board and when we went up and didn’t know the answer, everyone, including the teacher (and Nelson from the Simpsons), laughed at us. This inspired me to share the failure of the American education system with my students and... read more ❯

New Unistellar eVscope exoplanet light curve and exoplanet targets this weekend!
Published 4/10/2020 in Dan's Cosmic Diary Author Dan Peluso
Dear Unistellar eVscope users, With your Unistellar eVscope you have the technology to detect planets orbiting other stars. Think about this--over 30 years ago planets around other stars (exoplanets) were hypothesized, but none yet were detected. Since the most agreed upon "first detection" of an exoplanet in 1992 around a pulsar, astronomers have detected thousands of exoplanets, but this has been done mostly through the use of expensive remote telescopes and highly technical techniques. Now, you and your eVscope can observe exoplanets with a few clicks on your smartphone and some time. I've been posting exoplanet targets for you and me to... read more ❯

Look up and let the stars lift your spirits AND exoplanet targets for Unistellar eVscope users!
Published 3/27/2020 in Dan's Cosmic Diary Author Dan Peluso
Dear Cosmic Diary guests and Unistellar eVscope users, My heart and best wishes go out to you and to your families during the COVID-19 global crisis. I have been very busy adjusting to this new way of life in quarantine and social distancing to do my part in "flattening the curve" and staying safe, as I'm sure many of you also have. In addition to being a PhD student, I also teach high school physics full-time and my school in the Bay Area, CA, closed down for the pandemic on Friday, March 13. My teacher colleagues and I began teaching completely online... read more ❯

Drake Equation Mural in a High School Physics Class
Published 10/2/2019 in Dan's Cosmic Diary Author Dan Peluso
The Attention-Grabbing Intro How well do you remember your first high school physics class? The only thing I recall was dropping an egg off of some bleachers and trying to make a device that protected that egg so that it would not crack. I also remember that there was some math involved and I think I might not have been too happy about that. Other than those memories, I cannot remember anything from that class! Sorry, Mr. Hanlon! Science was not my favorite subject in high school. In fact, it wasn’t until my late 20s that I fell in love with science... read more ❯

S-E-T-T: Search for Extra-Terrestrial TOYS
Published 5/4/2012 in Noah Hammond Blog Author nhammond
At the California Academy of Sciences, kids took turns searching for aliens (toys) in our simulated universe of colored foam. If they didn't find anything on the first try we asked them: "Do you think that means there are no aliens in the there?" "No!" -Said the kids. "Why is that?" "Because we didn't search the whole pool. We have to keep looking!" Then we talked about how at SETI we haven't found any signs of intelligent life outside of Earth yet, but we've only searched a very small part of the Universe, so we also think we should keep looking! This game developed when I... read more ❯