Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Science education : Don't miss the Black Moon : resources

Image via EarthView
What a moment of the year! Ah, summer! The season of pleasure. Surfing, swimming, travelling, relaxing, and lazy days. And meteor showers and supermoon? Wow!
Today, 31 July the new moon will bear the name Black Moon, and it’ll be a supermoon. You won’t see it, though. Like all new moons, it’ll cross the sky with the sun during the day.

Delta Aquarids
If you have seen a shooting star last Sunday or Monday, the chances were that it came from the direction of the constellation of Delta Aquarius, the Water Bearer
The Delta Aquariids are active beginning in mid-July and are visible until late-August. These faint meteors are difficult to spot, and if there is a moon you will not be able to view them. If the moon is not present, your best chance to see the Delta Aquariids is when meteor rates rise during the shower's peak at the end of July. 
If you were unable to view the Delta Aquariids during their peak, look for them again during the Perseids in August: You will know that you have spotted a Delta Aquarid if the meteor is coming from the direction of the constellation Aquarius—its radiant will be in the southern part of the sky. The Perseid radiant is in the northern part of the sky.

via The Old Farmer Almanach

What's a Black Moon?
So you've heard of a blood moon, and maybe even a blue moon, but what about a black moon?

Like Blood Moon and Blue Moon, Black Moon is not an astronomical term. In fact, if you ask an astronomer, professional and amateur, very few will have even heard of it. It’s not even a particularly widely known folklore thing. 
The phenomenon is occurring again in North America on July 31 - the first one since 2016. The rest of the world will have to wait until August 30.
But, what does this even mean? Why is it important? Here's everything you need to know about this celestial event:

A black moon is basically the second new moon of the month, something that rarely occurs. It works similarly to a Leap Year. A lunar cycle typically takes about 29 days to complete, but our months are slightly longer. So sometimes, about every 32 months, we happen to get two full moons or two new moons. 
The second full moon in a month is called a blue moon, and the second new moon is called a black moon.
But a black moon also refers to a month where there are no new moons - which is only possible in February because of its fewer days. This is less common than the other type of black moon, and occurs about once a decade.

What we will see during a Black Moon?

Uh, not much. Like all new moons, it travels across the sky with the sun during the day.  Humans can’t see the new Moon in the Sun’s glare.

A new Moon is practically invisible to the naked eye, so there’s nothing to see during a so-called Black Moon.
But the gravitational influence of the new moon and sun combine to physically affect our water planet, which people along the ocean coastlines may notice in the coming days.
Moreover, this new moon is a supermoon, that is, a new moon happening in close conjunction with lunar perigee – the moon’s closest point to Earth in its monthly orbit. 

image via Physical Geographic

Don’t listen to curmudgeon-y old astronomers telling you supermoons are 'hype'. Supermoons aren’t hype; the name has arisen from folklore, like Blue Moon or Black Moon or the beloved Harvest Moon. Remember Neil Young!

"Because I'm still in love with you
I want to see you dance again
Because I'm still in love with you
On this harvest moon."
Neil Young, Harvest Moon

via Weather Channel
When to see?
The new moon falls on August 1, 2019, at 03:12 UTC; that is, July 31 at 23:12 p.m. EDT. For some parts of the world, then, this will be the second new moon of July, and thus some will called it a Black Moon. It’s also a supermoon. Following this new moon, you’ll likely see the young crescent moon again – in the west after sunset – in early August.
Expect to see the moon next in the western evening sky after sunset. You might see it as soon as August 2, for example.

The American astrologer Richard Nolle is credited for coining the word supermoon. That’s probably one reason some astronomers object to it, although others embrace it as a simpler and catchier name than perigean new or full moon, which is what we called these moons before the term supermoon came along. Nolle defined a supermoon as:
"… a new moon or full moon at or near (within 90 percent) of its closest approach to earth in a given orbit."
The moon in its orbit comes closest to Earth at perigee and swings farthest from Earth at apogee. At apogee, the moon is at 0 percent of its closest distance to Earth; and at perigee, it’s at 100 percent of its closest distance to Earth. A new or full moon aligning with perigee is about 30,000 miles (50,000 km) closer to Earth than a new or full moon aligning with apogee.

Oh, my ! It should offer some pretty photo opportunities for sky watchers. Ask students to take some photos if they are lucky or capture small videos (some seconds) with their smartphones and tablets to explore in Science classroom next week or after school holidays.

Guess what? The year’s farthest and smallest full moon (micro-moon) will occur on September 14, 2019, exactly one fortnight after the new moon supermoon of August 30 and one fortnight before the new moon supermoon of September 28, 2019.
In fact, the July 31-August 1, 2019, new moon will present the first in a series of three straight new moon supermoons, to fall (by Universal Time) on August 1, August 30, and September 28.
After Summer holiday, teachers and students will discuss their experiences and knowledge about summer solstice and Strawberry Moon. I'm sure!

Curricula: Cross-curricular: Geography; History; Sciences; Languages  & Literature (traditions, poetry, prose)

Level : All levels.

Teachers must consider the activities to every level or curriculum they are teaching.


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Science education : Don't miss the Black Moon : resources G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

References: EarthSky/

Friday, July 26, 2019

Summer holidays... just a quiet weekend !

credits: Adolie Day

Good morning from Portugal! Summer day admiring the quiet nature. However, tomorrow, some drizzles. Oh! 

I'm in the countryside. Why not a relaxing treatment or a bath in the swimming pool at the SPA Hotel? Nice idea! The SPA is surrounded by a lovely park.

Wherever you are I hope that you're having a great time too.

A good effort to slow down, and I'm feel happy for this summer rainy break! Not the heat wave in France or Spain, even in Belgium? I prefer here. So refreshing! So green!

Summer break is obviously one of the best things humankind has ever come up with, I am excited! It's my 'first' break of this summer. 

Sunday, the weather will be better. Shiny day. I will be going to the pool at the hotel  side by side the lovely park. 

In the afternoon sitting near the pool, reading - a paper book! Love paper books! - and refreshing time to time in the pool. Green trees, blue sky.

Later, taking a coffee at the little coffee shop in the park, walking a bit to admire the nature, before dinner.

At night, I'm be going to a concert not far from the SPA Hotel. Hope to enjoy! Later, I'll be back, observing the the moon at the park, before a quiet sleep night.

I will tell you later my short break summer.

I'll be back to posting the normal Roundup in a next week.



Copyright © 2019G-Souto'sBlog,®

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Summer holidays... just a quiet weekend ! by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Schools : 50th Anniversary Apollo 11 ! Man on the Moon : Resources teachers & students

Apollo 11
credits: NASA
“I think we’re going to the Moon because it’s in the nature of the human being to face challenges. It’s by the nature of his deep inner soul. We’re required to do these things just as salmon swim upstream.”

Neil Armstrong

It's been exactly 50 years since Apollo 11 was launched. The first mission to land men on the moon. On July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 was launched into space and on July 20, it landed the first two humans on the Moon - Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module Eagle's pilot Buzz Aldrin. Their lunar module Eagle landed on July 20, 1969 on the moon’s Sea of Tranquility.

Some information:

This week in 1969, Apollo 11 launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center carrying astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Michael Collins. 

The primary mission objective was to fulfill a national goal set by President John F. Kennedy on May 25, 1961, to perform a crewed lunar landing and return safely to Earth before the decade was out. 

John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Rice University, Houston
credits: White House/Robert Knudsen courtesy of the JFK Library

"We choose to go to the Moon"

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

50 years ago today, on September 12, 1962, President John F. Kennedy delivered one of his best and most inspiring speeches. Arguably, one of the best in the history of the United States, historians say.

The speech resonated widely and is still remembered, although at the time there was disquiet about the cost and value of the Moon-landing effort. Kennedy's goal was realized in July 1969, with the successful Apollo 11 mission.

Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong & Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin
credits: Science & Society Picture Library 
via BBC

On July 20 1969, Armstrong and Aldrin became the first men to walk on the Moon. The two astronauts spent more than 21 hours on the lunar surface deploying scientific experiments and gathering samples before returning to the orbiting command module, piloted by Collins. 

Google Doodle:

The Moon landings inspired a generation of scientists and engineers and a cultural outpouring - from songs like Space Oddity and Rocket Man to an episode of cult TV series The Simpsons.

Google Doodle 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing

A team of some 400,000 people from around the world worked on Project Apollo, mostly factory workers, scientists, and engineers who never left the ground. Within those 400,000 were the mission’s astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, and Michael Collins. 

Their historic journey began when a Saturn V rocket blasted off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on July 16, 1969. After achieving orbit around the moon, the lunar module, known as “the Eagle,” separated for a 13-minute journey to the surface. Meanwhile, astronaut Michael Collins stayed behind in the command module, which would eventually bring all three astronauts back home to Earth.

Google Doodle: 50th Anniversary of the Moon landing

Fifty years ago, NASA’s Apollo 11 mission changed our world and ideas of what is possible by successfully landing humans on the surface of the Moon⁠ - and bringing them home safely for the first time in history. 

The video Doodle celebrates this moment of human achievement by taking us through the journey to the moon and back, narrated by someone with firsthand knowledge of the epic event: former astronaut and Apollo 11 command module pilot Michael Collins

From October 2018 through December 2022, NASA will mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Program that landed a dozen Americans on the moon between July 1969 and December 1972. 

Apollo 50
credits: NASA graphic artist Matthew Skeins

NASA unveiled an official logo for use in observing these milestone anniversaries Friday at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.
The unveiling was part of “NSO Pops: Space, the Next Frontier,” a National Symphony Orchestra celebration of NASA’s 60 years of accomplishment.


This July, in a series of special events, NASA is marking the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Program - the historic effort that sent the first U.S. astronauts into orbit around the Moon in 1968, and landed a dozen astronauts on the lunar surface between 1969 and 1972. 

The Moon 2024 Education Guide is published by NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement to accompany the STEM Education segment of the Apollo Anniversary broadcast aired on NASA TV July 19, 2019. 

May be used into different curricula, in-person lessons or distance learning (hybrid education).

Target audience : the chosen activities students all levels, all ages: Teachers will adapt to the level or age they are teaching in-person lessons or distance learning. Parents in homeschooling. 


On July 18, museums nationwide were teaming up on a virtual NASA mission as they building lunar spacecraft out of materials chosen by their social media followers then launch them on a #VirtualMoonshot. 

If you couldn't follow the fun live on the 18th, you can build your own straw rocket, lander or rover anytime!

For more material, pictures, or connect to NASA’s remarkable history, visit the Marshall History Program’s webpage. (NASA)

Apollo 11 50th Anniversary
credits: Peter Chilelli


  • Logo:

The Apollo 50th anniversary logo is available for download from the NASA Images and Video Library.

Virtual resources:

screenshot Apollo 11 in real time
credits: NASA

  • Apollo 11 in real time:

A real-time journey through the first landing on the Moon. The website consists entirely of original historical mission material.

Apollo 11 3D
screenshot Apollo 11 360º VR

  • Apollo 11 360º VR

Some events in history stand above all the rest. Mankind's first venture off this planet is still the pinnacle of human achievement.

You can experience the historic events of 1969 through the eyes of Neil, Buzz and Michael as they embark on history's greatest journey.

Invite your students or children to dare entering in the lunar module Apollo 11. It's free! You will love the journey! Believe me!

  • Puzzles:

Forward to the Moon with Artemis
NASA, 2019

Play word and number puzzles while you learn about the Apollo mission that first put people on the Moon. Find out about the Artemis mission that will land the first American woman and the next American man on the Moon. 

The free, printable booklet has mazes, word searches, sudoku puzzles with pictures and other types of puzzles. You can learn about NASA's new Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft. These space vehicles will take humans to the Moon and to Mars.

Audience: Students different levels and age.

Grade Levels:

K-4 ; 5-8

The Eagle has landed: Apollo 11 Crossword Puzzle

Visit the mission overview website below to learn more about the historic mission and find clues to solve this crossword puzzle!

Audience: Educators; Students

Grade Levels:

5-8 ; 9-12

  • Videos:

  • Comics: Tintin on the Moon? Hergé

Tintin et la Lune
50e anniversaire des premiers pas sur la Lune
16 après Tintin

To celebrate the triple anniversary of the 90th anniversary of Tintin’s debut, 50 years since the first Moon landing, and the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Hergé Museum, SwissApollo and Titan Films have joined forces to create a digital series with a lunar theme. 

On this occasion, the Hergé Museum is organizing its own screening of this series of short documentaries, on July 21 at 3 p.m. and at the Institut Français in Tel-Aviv on July 22.

Objectif Lune (1952) & On a marché sur la Lune (1954)
albums Tintin
éditions Casterman

Six thrilling episodes in the company of Tintin and Snowy. The conquest of space which included walking on the Moon and other prestigious events illustrates how much of a visionary Hergé was.

  • Children's book:

Moonshot : The Flight of Apollo II
Brian Floca (text & illustration)
Richard Jackson/Atheneum, 2019


Moonshot : The Flight of Apollo II
Brian Floca (text & illustration)
Richard Jackson/Atheneum, 2019

"In watercolors, ink and acrylics, the story of how the Apollo 11 mission unfolded."

Brian Floca explores Apollo 11’s famed moon landing with this beautifully illustrated picture book!

Moonshot : The Flight of Apollo II
Brian Floca (text & illustration)
Richard Jackson/Atheneum, 2019

Simply told, grandly shown, here is the flight of Apollo 11. Here for a new generation of readers and explorers are the steady astronauts, clicking themselves into gloves and helmets, strapping themselves into sideways seats. 

Here are their great machines in all their detail and monumentality, the ROAR of rockets, and the silence of the Moon. 

Moonshot : The Flight of Apollo II
Brian Floca (text & illustration)
Richard Jackson/Atheneum, 2019

Here is a story of adventure and discovery, a story of leaving and returning during the summer of 1969, and a story of home, seen whole, from far away.

Moonshot : The Flight of Apollo II
Brian Floca (text & illustration)
Richard Jackson/Atheneum, 2019

On the website, you can explore each illustration in detail by clicking on the image.

“What I want to remember most is the glance between Neil and myself, with the engine shutoff, just that second after we touched down, because we had just completed the most critical door opening for space exploration in all of humanity.”

Buzz Aldrin



updated 20.07.2021
Copyright © 2021G-Souto'sBlog,®

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Schools : 50th Anniversary Apollo 11 ! Man on the Moon : resources for teachers & students by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License