The Sun Shadows school project: join in

by ABCCmain on March 25, 2013

The Sun Shadows project is a easy-to-do class project – free and open to all ages between 10 and 18 years. It is organised by the common efforts of Museo Nazione dell’Antartide (Italy) and International Polar Foundation Education program, both being convinced that real-time data gathering of research data in parallel with measurements in the exciting Antarctic landscape, are the best ways to make students enthusiasts for science.

This is a cool one-off international project where students internationally measure the sun’s shadow at noon and add it to a database. You only need a computer and a straight stick like a broomstick! Ask your kid’s or your friend’s kids teacher to check it out or offer to do during lunchtime. Click here for more info.


The purpose of the project is to create and increase student understanding about the effects of how varying amounts of solar energy received at different latitudes are related to climate and seasons. Students will:

  • be able to compare their results with established latitudinal benchmarks to evaluate how small differences in latitude affect climate.
  • be able to explain how the changes in the shadows length demonstrate the Earth’s progress in its annual orbit.
  • work with real measurements, what makes science or mathematic classes more concrete and interesting
  • learn how to position themselves on Earth, using the historical method to combine with modern GPS positioning
  • communicate their findings and understanding to a larger audience using the web, and other ICT instruments.




Goddess of Dawn, North Wind. Aurora Borealis

by ABCCmain on March 05, 2013

Real Time Image Gallery from

Fireballs, Aurora Borealis and a couple of Aurora Australis

2013 is the year of great aurora sightings. Please enjoy nature’s eye candy trip around the world’s skies.

“Northern lights appear when charged particles originating in the solar wind, blow from the sun towards Earth and interact with the ions in the ionosphere. Earths magnetic field is formed by rotation of the core and forms a shield around the Earth. This shield protects the earth from dangerous rays and particles from space. The charged particles from the solar wind, protons and electrons, hit Earth’s magnetic field and are directed away. However, some particles can get through the shield and are funneled down at the poles, accelerated by helical paths along Earth’s magnetic lines reaching Earth’s ionosphere.

The particles hit the atmosphere at 100-200 km above ground. The electrons of the atoms jump to a higher energy level but this high energy state is unstable and as the atoms electrons reverts to a lower more stable level it will emit the extra energy as light. This is where the magic happens!

The color depends on the element the particle hits. If it hits oxygen the light becomes green but if it hits nitrogen it becomes red or purple.” from Amazing Aurora Borealis – Northern lights, By Ragnheiður2011