Saturday, July 6, 2013

4th of July science from and Discovery News

This wouldn't be Crazy Eddie's Motie News without a science-based update to a holiday story.  In that spirit, here are the science stories to complement Happy 4th of July 2013 from Crazy Eddie's Motie News!, two videos from Discovery News and two stories from

How Fireworks Work

They're the biggest- and loudest- part of America's Independence Day celebrations: Fireworks! Anthony shows us how where they came from and what makes 'em go "BOOM!"
Rockets' Red Glare! NASA Marks Fourth of July with Double Launch
by Tariq Malik, Managing Editor
Date: 04 July 2013 Time: 11:00 AM ET
NASA launched two small rockets from Virgina's Eastern Shore today in an early Fourth of July fireworks display aimed to probe the electrical eddies of the Earth's upper atmosphere.

The two small rockets blasted off within 15 seconds of each other from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va. The mission: to probe the global electrical current in the winds of Earth's ionosphere with instruments mounted to a Black Brant V booster and a Terrier-Improved Orion sounding rocket.
"We have liftoff of the Black Brant V & Terrier-Improved Orion, for an Independence Day fireworks show," NASA Wallops officials wrote in a Twitter post marking launch success.
By the rockets' red glare, indeed!

Earth Is Farthest From the Sun for 2013 Today
by Joe Rao, Skywatching Columnist
Date: 05 July 2013 Time: 11:27 AM ET
The Earth is as far from the sun as possible for the year today (July 5), but that may come as a surprise for people baking in a heat wave affecting nine western states, with temperatures at or above 100 expected across much of Southern California, southern Nevada and southern Arizona.

Of course, scorching heat has blistered most of the Southwest in recent days where highs of 115 to120 degrees over parts of Arizona, Nevada and California occurred this past weekend; the temperature at California's Death Valley actually approached 130 degrees.

With such punishing heat as this, it may be shocking to hear that today at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT), the Earth reached the point in its orbit where it is farthest from the sun in space. During aphelion, as it is called, the Earth will be 94,508,959 miles (152,097,426 kilometers) from the sun, or 3,106,399 miles (4,999,264 km) farther as compared to when the Earth was closest point to the sun (called perihelion) last New Year's Day. The difference in distance is 3.287 percent, which makes a difference in radiant heat received by Earth of nearly 7 percent.
The Science Of BBQ

It's one of the hallmarks of summer-- barbecue! Trace, along with Leisure & Summertime Correspondent Will Johnson, talk to to some of the best barbecuers in the country to find out the science behind your grill.
Beat the heat and bon appetit!

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