Monthly Archives: May 2012

Ruby Payne-Scott, the First Female Radio Astronomer


She won two scholarships to undertake tertiary education at the University of Sydney, where she completed a B.Sc. in Physics in 1933, an M.Sc. in 1936, and a Diploma of Education in 1938. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Radio, Astronomy, History of Science, Physics, Space | Leave a comment

Dragonfly Pond Watch Project

Black saddlebags (Tramea Lacerta), 14 September 2009. Photo by Denise Greaves.

Dragonfly Pond Watch is a volunteer-based program of the Migratory Dragonfly Partnership (MDP) to investigate the annual movements of two major migratory dragonfly species in North America. Continue reading…

Posted in Biology, Entomology, Environment, Projects | Leave a comment

Citizen Scientists Seek Microbes at the Edge of Space

A NASA-inspired competition is challenging citizen scientists to build hardware for collecting microorganisms at the edge of space. Citizen scientists can win cash prizes up to $10,000 in the High Altitude Astrobiology Challenge, announced Saturday by Citizens in Space, a project of the United States Rocket Academy. If successful, their work may help stop a future epidemic. Continue reading…

Posted in Biology, Invention, Makers and Making, Microbiology, Space | 2 Comments

“Encourage Public Participation in Science”

Scientific research seems to have come full circle. When the scientific revolution occurred, a few centuries ago, many researchers were amateurs who explored nature out of curiosity and almost incidentally made major discoveries. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Community, Science Education | Leave a comment

Citizen Science Musings: Eclipse Lessons

Denise shoots the eclipse through the haze. Photo by Sheldon Greaves.

It’s hard to overstress the advantages of preparing for something like this, especially if you aren’t a practiced eclipse-chaser. “Practice” is an operative word here. Continue reading…

Posted in Astronomy, Best Practices, Citizen Science Musings, Instrumentation, Photography, Stories | 3 Comments

Call for citizen scientists to help tackle eco problem


An undergraduate team of researchers at the University of Leisester are heading up a project to identify and culture microbes that can devour polystyrene waste, and they are recruiting young (and probably not-so-young) citizen scientists to help them do it. Continue reading…

Posted in Biology, Environment, Genetics, Microbiology, Projects | Leave a comment

Next Up: The Transit of Venus

Transit of Venus. Credit:

Transits of Venus are very rare, coming in pairs separated by more than a hundred years. This June’s transit, the bookend of a 2004-2012 pair, won’t be repeated until the year 2117. Fortunately, the event is widely visible. Observers on seven continents, even a sliver of Antarctica, will be in position to see it. Continue reading…

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Quake-Catcher Network Harnesses Home Computers

Areas covered by Quake-Catcher Network computers as of April 2012. Each computer is a seismic station, providing the physical infrastructure, computer, Internet connection, power, location and measurement of seismic activity. Credit: The Quake-Catcher Network

Citizen scientists are helping to improve scientists’ understanding of how Earth works by collecting statistics and observations that full-time scientists don’t have the people power and other resources to gather. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Geology, Instrumentation, Sensors, Software | Leave a comment

Lowell Observatory Launches New Professional/Amateur Initiative

Lowell Observatory is proud to announce the Lowell
Amateur Research Initiative (LARI). This program seeks to pair the
ever-growing and technically sophisticated amateur astronomy community
in exciting research projects with Lowell astronomers. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Astronomy, Measurement, Optics, Space | Leave a comment

This Week at Hilton Pond (11-21 May 2012)—“The Blob Invades Hilton Pond: Attack Of The Bryozoans”

Figure 1. Freshwater bryozoans such as Pectinatella magnifica (above) are blob-like colonial aquatic creatures that come from ancient lineage. (Photo copyright Bill Hilton Jr.)

Many times on strolls around our Piedmont property we’ve been surprised by an unexpected encounter and such was the case “This Week at Hilton Pond” when we discovered we had been invaded by “The Blob.” Continue reading…

Posted in Biology, Microbiology, Microscopy, Photography, This Week at Hilton Pond | Leave a comment