Category Archives: Measurement

The essence of data collection and sound experimental practice.

The Texas Stream Team

My participation on the Irving Green Advisory Board has made me aware of how little I know about the environmental aspects and activities of Irving, Texas. To remedy this, I’m taking advantage of every opportunity to get involved in local activities. Continue reading…

Posted in Community, Environment, General Interest, Measurement, Nature Study, Observation, Projects, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Report: Shelf-life of Scientific Data is Now Twenty Years

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A biologist at the University of British Columbia says 80 per cent of data by today’s scientists is lost within 20 years, a victim of digital storage. Continue reading…

Posted in Best Practices, Computer Science, General Interest, History of Science, Measurement, Observation, Open Science, Open Source, Publishing, Software, Tools | 2 Comments

Sky Temperature Sensor

The first sensor to go on my instrument platform may be an infrared sky temperature sensor. The sky temperature can be used to determine if the sky is clear or cloudy and when the sky is clear the temperature is a measure of the total column water vapor above the sensor. The sensor electronics consists of two modules from SparkFun Electronics,  an evaluation … Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Climate, DIY, Electronics, Experimentation, Imbedded Software, Instrumentation, Measurement, Programming, Sensors, Software, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Amateur Radio Operators “Ping” Juno Satellite

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The idea was to coordinate the efforts of amateur radio operators all over the world, and send a message in Morse code that could be received by the University of Iowa-designed-and-built instrument on the Juno spacecraft. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Radio, Astronomy, Electronics, Measurement, Physics, Radio Astronomy, Space | Leave a comment

Sic Transit ISON

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Some comets like it hot, but Comet ISON was not one of them. Continue reading…

Posted in Astronomy, Breaking News, Measurement, Observation, Photography, Space, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear Fission and Radioactive Fallout: Fukushima samples retested 2 years later

Gamma spectrum analysis with simple equipment can differentiate fallout from weapons vs. reactors; it can tell if the fission was via uranium or by plutonium, tell the relative age of the sample or determine certain environmental conditions at the time of release. Continue reading…

Posted in Breaking News, Environment, General Interest, Instrumentation, Measurement, Nuclear, Observation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

ISON Fizzle? Maybe Not

Comet ISON appears as a white smear heading up and away from the sun on Thursday, November 28. Scientists initially thought the comet had been disintegrated by the sun, but images suggest a small nucleus may still be intact. Image: CNN

It now looks like some chunk of ISON’s nucleus has indeed made it through the solar corona, and re-emerged. It’s throwing off dust and (probably) gas, but we don’t know how long it can sustain that. Continue reading…

Posted in Astronomy, Breaking News, General Interest, Instrumentation, Measurement, Observation, Photography, Space | Leave a comment

Founding fathers were amateur scientists, too

Next week’s observance of Thanksgiving might be very different had two amateur scientists not played key roles in drafting the two most important documents in American history. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, DIY, History of Science, Invention, Makers and Making, Measurement, Meteorology, Observation, Stories | Leave a comment

Magnetic Fields and How to Measure Them

Figure 2. Circuit diagram for a simple magnetic field readout.

There aren’t a lot of fields in physics to study beyond gravity, electromagnetism and the strong and weak nuclear forces. Since the last two are essentially impossible for an amateur to study, that only leaves gravitational and electromagnetic fields. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Electricity, Electronics, Experimentation, Instrumentation, Magnetism, Measurement, Physics, Sensors | Leave a comment

DIY Titration Lab Ware

Titration is the process of determining the unknown concentration of a solution by adding a known amount of a solution with a known concentration. For example, in an acid-base titration, you can determine the unknown concentration of an acid in a solution by adding a base solution of known concentration. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Chemistry, Education, Experimentation, Measurement, Research Tools, Safety | Leave a comment