Doodle Science - February 2016

Circulated to schools, organisations and individuals - covering primary science and related bits and bobs.

cleistocactus strausii outside

Something to make you feel warm in this cool month. The cactus Cleistocactus Strausii growing outside in the med. This is a pretty common cactus for people to grow, but the ones on the windowsill will not get this big. It's natural home is above 3000m in the Bolivean and Argentinan Andes. Spiky too.

Remember STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths too and I have maths shows.

Great Dates in Sci and Tech for February

1st 1951 - TV showed an atom bomb test live ( they were unauthorised but it soon caught on)

2nd 1935 - First use of a polygraph lie detector.

3rd 1966 - Unmanned Luna 9 lands on the Moon

5th 1924 - The Greenwich Time Signal or the "Pips" are broadcast for the first time.

6th 1959 - Kilby of Texas Instruments patents an integrated circuit.

7th 1979 - Pluto moves inside the orbit of Neptune, it still is.

8th 1865 - Mendel reads his paper on gentics and not many people notice

10th 1996 - IBMs Deep Blue computer beats Garry Kasparov at chess

12th 1809 - Charles Darwin is born

15th 1564 - Galileo Galilei is born

18th 1930 Tombaugh discovers Pluto

28th 1953 Watson and Crick tell friends they have worked out the structure of DNA. They publish in April

Things in the sky this month.

Pretty quiet month but highlights include

February 7 - Mercury at Greatest Western Elongation. Look for the planet low in the eastern sky just before sunrise.

February 8 - New Moon. Good time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.

February 22 - Full Moon.

Interesting links

RSPB Bird Guide

The Smithsonian on line

Is that strange rock a meteorite?

British Antarctic Survey Webcams