Doodle Science - September 2011

Circulated to schools, organisations and individuals - covering primary science and related bits and bobs.
Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillar
So, What is it?

The snake like thing in the middle is a caterpillar of the elephant hawk moth. Deilephra elpenor.
The grown ups are up to about 7cm across and have a very pretty brown and pink colour scheme.
The babies as you can see get pretty big and have eyespots on the side of the body.
When they are picked on by a bird they rear up and stick their head out as a little trunk, flash the eye spots and do their best to look like a snake.
This one could not be bothered or was just too cold as it was found on a bleakish Welsh hillside in the rain.
They eat plants of the bedstraw family which is why they are some times found on fuschias leading the gardener to worry that their plants are being invaded by monsters.

The caterpillar is not sitting on a toadstool, the orange thing is a clay pigeon, as used for shooting and the caterpillar was found just like this. Clays are more like frisbies than birds.
The fingers are of a ten year old boy, notice the bitten nails.

I'm working on a New Show. Olympic Science, in time for the 2012 London Olympics, so if you want something interesting, different and keyed to the theme of the year let me know.

Great Dates in Sci and Tech for September
1st 1859 ~ A solar superstorm affects electrical telegraph service, if it happened today satellite TV and phones could fail.
4th 1956 ~ The IBM RAMAC 305 is introduced, the first commercial computer that used a magnetic storage disk
7th 1927 ~ Philo Farnsworth makes the first fully electronic TV system
8th 1930 ~ 3M begins marketing transparent tape, the Cellotape age begins
10th 2008 ~ The Large Hadron Collider at CERN is powered up, still no black holes
14th 1752 ~ The British Empire adopts the Gregorian Calendar, going from the 2nd of September to the 14th overnight.
18th 1984 ~ Joe Kittinger ( who also holds the highest parachute jump record) completes the first solo balloon crossing of the Atlantic
20th 1633 ~ Galileo is tried before the Inquisition for teaching that the Earth orbits the Sun
23rd 1846 ~ Neptune is discovered by Le Verrier and Adams and verified by Galle
27th 1905 ~ Einstein published E= mc²
28th 1928 ~ Fleming notices the bacterial killing mould that becomes known as penicillin
30th 2004 ~ First pictures of a giant squid in its natural habitat are taken in the Pacific

Something to try

Making a bullroarer.
Bullroarers are instruments that go back thousands of years and were used all over the world for communicating over long distances.
Traditionally they are made of flat pieces of wood attached to string.
They are swung in a circles and as they do so they spin.
As they cut through the air they make a noise. You can get the effect by using an ordinary ruler.
Putting string through the hole in the end. A metre will be enough and then having made it secure swing it.
The sound is hard to describe, a whirring comes close but why they have the name they do is anybody's guess

Health and safety
Loud noises can damage ears. String can cause friction burns or worse. Do not hit anybody with the ruler.

Web site well worth a visit
is this Solar System Pictures