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Showing posts from 2018

Presenter

Today, it was my turn to be the presenter for the Club, teaching them information about the Sun. It was a very different experience being a presenter as it was really stressful. However, I felt happy that the I was able to teach my friends something new. Today was an unforgettable experience.

Stars

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Today, we had a comprehensive lecture on Stars conducted by the clubs leaders. This is some of the key information I have learnt from it:

There are many different types of Stars



Brown Dwarf: (Sort of Pseudo-stars)
- Mass is tens of times larger than Jupiter
- Below the mass of lighter stars
- Do not undergo nuclear fusion
- Have undefined lifespans

Red Dwarfs: (Red in Colour)
- Relatively cool
- Undergoes minor fusion
- Have long lifespans ranging in the trillions of years
- Makes up the majority of the stars in the universe.

Giants: (Very Big)
- They are massive in size and mass
- Blue giants fuse elements quickly
- Relatively short lifespan
- Very bright and are blue
- Unable to fuse elements larger than iron

Neutron Stars: (Some of the most extreme stars in the Universe)
- Forms when a high mass star goes supernova
- The Chandrasekhar limit limits the mass of the neutron star
- If the limit is exceeded, the star will form a black hole
- Subtypes of neutrons are Magnetars and Pulsar…

Mars: The Red Planet

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Today, my club and I sat through a lecture about Mars. The mysterious red planet is full of wonders to be discovered and land to explore. During the lecture, I learnt a few important facts about the fourth planet is our Solar System.

1) Mars has an axel tilt, meaning it has seasons and poles.
2) Mar's 2 moons are around the size of Singapore. One moon is on a crash course to Mars and the other is separating from the planet.
And finally,
3) On today, 27/7/18, Mars will be the brightest since 2003!

       This lecture has taught me many things regarding the red planet and myself. I have realized that my current knowledge on Astronomy is still very much lacking and will do my best to try and correct this mistake.

This is a picture taken from the lecture:


The Concept of Time

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Today in the Club, I learnt about the different units of time astronomers used. Here are a few examples:

Solar Time 
- It is dependent on the location of the sun in the sky
- Types:
    - Apparent solar time: The apparent sun is the true sun as seen by an observer on Earth
    - Mean Solar Time: Hour angle of the mean Sun plus 12 hours

Sidereal Time
- Used by astronomers to locate celestial objects.
- Sidereal day is approximately 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.0509 seconds

Julian Time:
- The continuous count of days since the beginning of the Julian Period
- A Julian Period is a chronological interval of 7980 years.

Time Zone:
- Different places on Earth that have different times

Universal Time:
Universal Time is a time standard based on Earth's rotation. It is a modern continuation of Greenwich Mean Time and is based on observing celestial bodies crossing the meridian every day. Astronomers found that it was more accurate to establish time by observing stars as they crossed a meridian rather than …

Reflection on The Dish movie

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Today, my Club and I watched the phenomenal movie called The Dish. It is a inspiring tale about a real group of eccentric scientists who were responsible for manning a satellite dish. This tale a message of hardships and obstacles one will face in life and to overcome them.

        In the story, one of the problems the colorful cast of members face was a blackout caused by a careless worker that caused the station to lose all of its data and loses communication with Apollo 11. This shows that one should not be irresponsible lest unfortunate things happen.

        The movie utilized many astronomical principles such as calculating the travel path of the Apollo 11 and the orbit of the moon. This application of astronomy fascinates me to no end.

       Finally, I would like to say that I have enjoyed this movie. The characters feel very alive, their research were on point and I was able to learn more about the less well-know but equally important roles in the Apollo 11 mission.

Fox-Hunt Testing

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Today, our club teacher, Mr Tan Hoe Teck, appointed Xu Cheng and Ethan as the new chairperson and vice-chairperson respectively. Although I was disappointed that I wasn't picked, I still felt happy for my good friends that did their best for the club.

Next, the Sec 3s have to prepare for a game that will be hosted two weeks later with the Scouts, so we did our best to refine the places where we hid the transmitters.

This is where my group hid it:


I was extremely confident in the hiding spot that I have chosen. Thus imagine my surprise when our transmitter was the only one that was found. I did not know how to feel about this. On one hand I was happy that it was found as it proved that my spot ideal but on the flip side I was disappointed that my hiding spot was the only one discovered.

All in all, today was a really fruitful day as we managed to test out some new hiding spots that were ideal

Batam Day 3

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Today, we watched a documentary called Mysteries of the Universe. Specifically, episodes called "Planet from Hell" and "Birth of the Earth". The documentraries were extremely knowledgeable and was able to provide a lot of information for our young minds to absorb.

Afterwards, tried to organise a Sun-Observation activity but unfortunately there was a light drizzling and we were unable to continue.

Finally, we had our last Fox-Hunting session. My friends and I volunteered as Hunters and we set out to hunt for the hidden transmitters. Unfortunately, none of the hunters were able to find any of the transmitters and came back empty handed.

Batam Day 2

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Today, we had a short theory lesson on RadioJove and what spectrums of light different cosmic bodies. Afterwards, we headed to the rooms of one of our group mates and had a demonstration on how to obtain readings on solar flares. I found the lectures to be very informative and I was able to absorb a lot of information from it.
This was the reading we got:


After our lunch, we were given a chance to watch the movie "Martian", which was about an astronaut trapped on Mars and the methods he used to survive.

Next was the Fox-Hunting activity. Today was our turn to be the Hunters and we were seperated into 3 teams. Unfortunately, our team only managed to find one transmitter.
This is a panorama of our group:


Finally at night we were given another lecture, this time on how telescopes worked and how lenses bend light. We also did imaging as our final activity for the night before retiring into our rooms.

All in all, I find the day to be packed full of fun and rewarding activities and I…

Batam Day 1

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Today was the day where we travelled to Batam. We took a ferry at Harbourfront and arrived at Harris Resort at about 1.30 pm. After having our lunch, we were made to be the Game Masters for the Fox Hunting activity. 

I was extremely excited about being the Game Masters as it means I would get to hide the transmitters instead of trying to find them. I was made to be the mobile transmitter, the only person to that is carrying the transmitter as I was the fastest runner in my group, This role gave me a chance to admire the scenery of the resort as I take a walk through it. The picturesque view was breathtaking. 
Along the way, we encountered a problem. We did not look at the serial number for the transmitters and hence did not know which transmitters were missing. Fortunately, we correctly guessed which transmitter was missing and was able to find it before dinner. 

After dinner, we held a stargazing activity. Due to not having any tall buildings and bright lights around, we were able to v…

Lecture on the Solar System

Today, we were given a lecture on the Solar System by the Secondary 2s. It was a very informative lecture and I was able to understand and absorb all of the knowledge imparted onto me.

I was elated when I got 3rd place in the quiz as it shows that I had fully absorbed the trivia.

Lecture on the Sun and Sun Gazing

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Today, we were given a presentation that covers the formation, classification and composition of the sun by the Sec 2s.

The lesson had many takeaways and was very informative and I had learnt a lot of new facts and trivia about the sun. Examples such as the Sun having 6 layers and sunspots, which are plasma held together by the Sun's magnetic field. This made me realize just how amazing the sun is.

After the lecture, we were given a chance to gaze at the Sun through a filtered telescope. I was extremely eager to view the Sun a second time, seeing how the last time I viewed it was 2 years ago.

The telescope was installed on a tripod and had a filter to prevent most of the Sun's harmful rays from hurting our eyes. However it coloured the Sun red and I was unable to make out much detail of the Sun.


This is what I saw through the lens:


Although the much detail of the Sun was not shown, I was still able to make out its shape its brightness was overwhelming. This is definitely somet…

Fox Hunting Training

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Today our club held a training session for the fox hunting event that is going to be held a few weeks from now. I was sorted into the hunters group and had to find the fox with a receiver.











This is a picture of my group searching for the transmitter using the receiver.


Not soon after, we found out how difficult the game was. It had fragile equipment we had to take care of and the receiver was misleading. Jayden hid the transmitter in a place full of metal that caused the radio waves to bounce everywhere.

This activity taught me a lot about the how radio waves moved about in the school compound and how transmitters and receivers worked.
This training session had also taught me the value of patience as we had to wait a minute to receive new information from the transmitter.
Although the training did not went as expected, I was still enlightened about the new game called "Fox Hunting"
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The first Day of Astronomy Club

Today Mr Tan talked about the plans for the future of the club, such as trips and games.
I felt a sense of nostalgia coming back to the Club after a holiday of 2 months. I felt I needed to brush up on my Astronomy knowledge to be better able to lead the new batch of Sec 1s through their academic journey. This made me more enthusiastic about the lessons moving forward.

NYP Poster Competition

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For the NYP Poster Competition, Me, Jayden, Clyde, Ernest and Javier formed a team together.

The theme we chose for the competition was "Mars, the red planet".

This is a picture of the poster.
We had to present the poster to a panel of judges for approval.  This was my first competition i Astronomy where I had to present to a specialist. It was a really nerve wracking experience. From the time it took to prepare the presentation to the presentation itself, I would never forget the excited feeling I had at the time. 
Through this competition, I had learnt presentation skills and how to work well under pressure. 

Last Day of Astro 2017

On our last day of Astronomy on Friday, we had lessons as usual from 2.30pm to 4.30pm and we had a Stargazing session that lasted from 6.30pm to 9.00pm.
During the session, we were able to use 3 different kinds of telescopes to look at the sky.
The activity reminded me of the reason why I first chose Astronomy Club as my CCA, it was a wonderful way to commemorate the end of the year 2017.