Topic: science

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Demonstrations of the Coanda Effect

Fluids flowing near a surface tend to follow the shape of the surface. Using Schlieren optics, we can see this behavior. It is known as the Coanda Effect and its explanation depends on viscosity, the frictional forces...

Catching fog to help combat Peru’s water shortage

Along the foggy coasts of Peru, where millions of people don't have access to clean water, Abel Cruz Gutiérrez helps catch 200 to 350 liters (around 50 to 100 gallons) of water per day with each 'fog catcher' he sets ...

Eclipses Throughout Our Universe – Out There

An exercise in cosmic geometry. A reminder that we live on one sphere among many, all moving to the laws of Kepler, Newton and Einstein. The moon’s orbit around the Earth is slightly tilted, so the shadow of the new m...

Why Is The Very Hungry Caterpillar So Dang Hungry?

Monarchs are ravenous for milkweed. California pipevine swallowtail caterpillars want lots of pipevine. Why are these very hungry caterpillars so hungry? “Caterpillars have to store up incredible reserves of prote...

How to watch a total or partial solar eclipse

On Monday, August 21st, 2017, sky gazers can witness a total or partial solar eclipse—weather-permitting and depending on their location on the planet—as it traverses North America. There's been a lot of excitement in...

What counts as a mountain?

Mountains: super tall, rocky landforms that rise high above the surrounding environment, much higher than hills. We might draw one as a single peak like Mount Fuji, or as a zig zag line of peaks representing a mountai...

Humphry Davy’s Potassium Volcano

Humphry Davy is one of the best know men of science of the nineteenth century. He isolated nine different chemical elements, was the first person to inhale nitrous oxide and invented the miner's safety lamp known as t...

The Big Dipper Through Time

Stars aren’t still--they move through space. Our Sun and the seven stars that form the Big Dipper in the constellation Ursa Major all orbit the center of the Milky Way at different speeds. So why do today’s constellat...

The elusive Bipes biporus, Baja’s ‘worm lizard’

Long like a small snake, bright pink like an earthworm, and usually burrowing underground with the help of two tiny front legs, the Bipes biporus is an elusive lizard endemic to the Mexican peninsula of Baja Californi...

How Do Glaciers Move?

Glacier ice is weird. It’s solid. Solid things aren’t supposed to flow. But glacier ice flows like a liquid, and it does that without melting! How is this possible? Travel to Alaska's Mendenhall Glacier with Joe H...

A full circle rainbow as seen from a construction crane

High over St. Petersburg, Russia, from the top of a construction crane at the Lakhta Center, a huge rainbow can be seen in its full form: a circle. Phil Plait explains the science in his 2014 Bad Astronomy article: ...

Swim With Manta Rays, the Ocean’s Peaceful Giants

For as long as she can remember, Dr. Andrea Marshall wanted to be a marine biologist. Now, she’s living out her dream with one of the ocean’s most amazing creatures. That is, Marshall studies and helps protect giant m...

Hummingbirds fly, shake, and drink in slow motion

First shared in the National Geographic feature A Mesmerizing Look at Hummingbirds in Flight, this high-speed video footage by Anand Varma captures these "perfect flying machines" as they fly, shake, and drink. The sl...

How to make a popsicle stick and rubber band paddle boat

Make a popsicle stick paddle boat that's powered with a rubber band. This DaveHax video shows us how cutting and gluing together some lollipop or popsicle sticks (and sanding them if you want it to have an extra fine ...

Why is it so hard to catch a fly? A visit to The Robot Zoo

Why is it so hard to catch a fly? Maddie Moate and Greg Foot visit the Horniman Museum's Robot Zoo in London to answer that curious question and a few other questions with help from some delightful robot animal counte...

How To Make Fake Poo, a mini psychology experiment

Shock your children by taking a taste of a repulsive poo! Then, by following our recipe, explore what it is that makes us feel emotions like disgust. Through this activity, Dwain and Sahara learn how our emotions a...

The Pseudo Fossil Challenge

Pseudo means that something isn't real. A fossil is "the preserved remains or traces of animals, plants, and other organisms from the remote past." A pseudofossil might be mistaken for a fossil, but was actually creat...

The Squid and the Whale: Evidence for an Epic Encounter

One of the most famous dioramas in the American Museum of Natural History depicts a battle between two gigantic animals: the sperm whale and giant squid. But unlike most dioramas in the Museum’s halls, this scene has ...

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