Celebrating Wilderness: The 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act

The Ecotone Exchange

Milkyway, Yosemite Wilderness by KKeeler5 Milky Way reflected in a back country lake, Yosemite Wilderness. Photo by Kirk Keeler.

By Shauna Potocky

Across the dark of the night sky, a splattering of glistening stars—their bright light piercing the void. Even here, in the high reaches of the mountains and in the late hours of the night, the cold is no deterrent for those who cannot be held back from the pull of its beauty. In this perfect wilderness, with nothing to distract or diminish its awe, the stars can be seen reflecting in the high alpine lakes that sit perfectly positioned beneath the unobstructed night sky.

The hours pass until a blue dawn begins to break and the high mountain ridges, with their dark silhouettes, soften in the coming light. With the new day comes a cold wind. On the wind, a harmony of waking birds fills the basin with song and as the stiff…

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Making History: Rosetta Catches its Comet on November 12!

Research & Collections

It’s an exciting time for solar system scientists, as on Wednesday, November 12, 2014, the European Space Agency‘s Rosetta mission will become the first spacecraft in human history to land on a comet — one of the primitive, icy bodies that are left overs from our solar system’s formation about 4.6 billion years ago.

Rosetta is scheduled to touchdown on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (“67P/C-G” for short) at 10:35 AM Eastern Time, with a signal confirming the landing reaching Earth at 11:03 AM. A live-stream of the landing will be available as a webcast, and a special free public program will be held in our Daily Planet Theater, including the live stream and presentation by Dr. Rachel Smith, Director of the Astronomy & Astrophysics Research Lab at the Museum.

Artistic rendering of Rosetta's robotic lander, Philae, touching down on Comet 67P's surface (Credit: NASA). Artistic rendering of Rosetta’s robotic lander, Philae, touching down on Comet 67P’s surface (Credit: NASA).

Rosetta first made history on August 4, 2014…

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Balancing Equations

Last week in class, you worked on balancing equations. This is a challenging topic to grasp, and I appreciate how hard you all worked on the problems I gave you in class. I found a simulation activity that I thought might be helpful if you would like to work on this some more. To do the simulation, go to phet.colorado.edu and type ‘Balancing Chemical Equations’ into the search bar, and click on ‘Balancing Chemical Equations’ under Simulations. With practice, this should become much easier. Good luck!