Tag: Science TravelView All Tags
It's that time of the year again, when Scandinavia touts its reindeer meat and hotels made of ice. Luckily they've got a few other good qualities to keep attracting tourists even in the depths of dark winter...like the Aurora Borealis!
We may have previously told you about viewing the phenomenon from a plane, and Finnair knows that their flights are the best for Northern Lights-spotting. That's why they not only wrote a giant blog post about how the Finns sometimes take it for granted, but they're reminding travelers what side of the plane to sit on for the best viewing (hint: whichever side will face north).
Some other Aurora Borealis tips from Finnair:
Science Travel / NASA / Space Travel / Museum Travel / Travel Contests / Florida Travel / Space Shuttle / → All Tags
If you missed the move of the Space Shuttles to their new homes in New York City and Los Angeles—don’t worry—there’s still one more NASA orbiter that has yet to reach its final resting place This time the transportation is taking place in Florida and not too far from where the astronauts and crew did their thing for decades. That means that there will be no piggyback-plane flyover, but at least you’ll have the chance to pay your respects to one of the country’s remnants of NASA space travel technology.
This time it’s the Space Shuttle Atlantis, and it's scheduled to head over to Kennedy Space Center on November 2. It only needs to travel around 10 miles or so to park and ready a new $100 million exhibit, but much of the path is through restricted areas and other limited access places.
That means you’re going to need to buy your way along the route and the Kennedy Space Center visitor complex will be happy to sell you some tickets for exactly that.
NASA has always been very eager to showcase "practical" space travel spin-offs. Voters have generally been reluctant to fund the space agency merely because it takes humanity into the stars and builds telescopes that peek into the origins of the universeeven the Apollo program had problems getting support at the timeso NASA tells people that space technology will also help scientists build better toasters or whatever. It's actually kind of depressing.
That said, and luckily, people who can land bus-sized rovers on other planets with tick-tock precision are obviously going to create some really cool stuff. And since it's already there, why not spin it off?
We live in a travel world where, for better or worse, Jaunted maintains categories for volcanoes and for volcano travel, to say nothing of our originally lighthearted but eventually kind of depressing big ash problems tag. Every January we wait the first eruption-driven airline cancellations of year. On particularly bad years we've even been known to slip into theological spculation about which gods exactly travelers pissed off.
Aside from angering volcano deities, there are also more mundane explanations for why travelers, every year, get stuck in airports because of volcanoes. A lot of those reasons have as much to do with badly planned and implemented safety regulations as they do with actual eruptions. But as those bad regulations get get fixed and as new technology comes online, we're getting to the point where we just have to admit that sometimes volcanoes erupt, and sometimes that delays air travel, and sometimes there's nothing anyone can do about it.
Plan to take an extra long lunch this Wednesday, as it's more than just a hump day, but the longest day of the year. June 20 at 7:09pm EST marks the Summer Solstice, when the sun stays up longest and hits the northern hemisphere at the most direct angle, from directly above the Tropic of Cancer. While south of the equator endure their shortest day of the year, we'll be staying out late with mid-week backyard BBQs and a second bottle of that summer brew.
While there's no special celestial events to watch out for at night, aside from noting how high the sun appears during the day, the weather is supposed to be warm enough and clear enough to take out the telescope and spot some constellations.
On the travel front, the first official day of summer means it's time to outfit yourself with what we usually consider the three most important accessories to always have on ya In hot temps:
Science Travel / Summer Travel / Weather / Eclipses / Events / Travel News / Eclipse Viewing / → All Tags
It's May 1, you guys. That means you've got twenty days to plan where you'll be to enjoy the annual big eclipse. It doesn't mark the start of summerthat's the solstice on June 20. This is the Vernal Equinox, and it's still pretty important to astronomers, astrologers and people whose dream is to dance naked at Stonehenge. Here's the details you'll need to get going on trip planning:
The date: May 20.
The approximate time: 5.28pm MST (Mountain Standard Time)
Type of eclipse: Solar annular eclipse.
The best places from which to view it: The Grand Canyon, hands down. Not only will Arizona be perfectly positioned to see the entire moon align right over the sun, giving viewers the desired effect of the annula, but it's where the NASA scientists and avid amateur astronomers will be be staked out with their telescopes. If you can't make it to the Grand Canyon, you'll still have a chance to see the eclipse if you're located on the Pacific coast, since sunset won't have happened yet when the eclipse goes down.
Tomorrow, geeks from around the country will descend on Philly for the second annual Philadelphia Science Festival.
The fest, which runs from April 20 to 29, 2012, offers science-centric events and festivities for everyonefrom sports fans to foodies.
Below are a few of the this year's highlights:
When traveling, there's all kinds of weather phenomenon to worry about: lightning, high wind, thunderheads and turbulence, tornadoes (ah hem St. Louis Airport), but today the focus is on a solar storm.
A solar storm is a blast of energy released from the sun, which reaches us here on Earth a few days after it's brightened up the sun's atmosphere. A barrage of X-rays and UV radiation hits our atmosphere, disrupting everything from GPS navigation and communication to power grids and plane routes. You won't be able to see the stormit's an electromagnetic thingand it won't crash any planes (don't worry), but it will be super interesting for science geeks around the world.
Space Tourism / Virgin Galactic / Science Travel / Richard Branson / Space Travel / Travel News / → All Tags
It’s not exactly time to bust out the celebration champagne just yet, but it sounds like Virgin Galactic is starting to make some serious progress in the commercial space race. There’s been roughly 75 test flights of WhiteKnightTwo—that’s the carrier plane—as well as several SpaceShipTwo voyages.
SpaceShipTwo will eventually do its thing as the suborbital space ship, and its been doing its best to glide back down to the ground after being dropped high in the sky from WhiteKnightTwo.
The real excitement and testing is going to come as soon as this summer, as that’s when they’ll fire up the rockets to send SpaceShipTwo a little bit higher into the sky. The goal is to eventually reach around 62 miles or so above the earth, where paying passengers can get a glimpse of the curvature of globe, the darkness of space, and experience sweet, sweet weightlessness. If all goes well it sounds like this might be possible by the end of the year, but it would only be the spaceship making the journey—no paying passengers just yet.
Airport News / Airports / LAX / California Travel / Science Travel / Animals / Nature Travel / → All Tags
There’s something new to check out on your next trip to or through Los Angeles International, and you might just be able to find it right around the airport. It’s not a new hot dog stand or frozen yogurt spot—although they have those too—but it is a little slice of nature.
The El Segundo Blue Butterfly has seen better days, but it looks like it has started to find a brand new home near LAX. The little blue bug is making itself comfortable in the area surrounding the airport, within the 200-acre area that’s known as the Dunes Habitat Preserve. There’s a bunch of them too, as the recent count puts the population around like 125,000. It’s quite an improvement from when counts began back in the 1970s, as at that time there were only 500 of the butterflies at most.
Costa Rica Travel / Nature Travel / Road Trips / Volcanoes / Kai MacMahon / Adventure Travel / Science Travel / → All Tags
You know Kai. Last week he detailed how he made his surfing adventure happen. Today, he drops some intel on the famous Arenal volcano in Costa Rica...
Volcanoes are coolgiant mountain things with a hole that goes to the bottom of the earth, full of boiling hot lava and belching smoke and soot into the air. There's something very prehistoric and intimidating about them. Oh, and every now and then they explode and turn lethal. Both cool and a bit scary then.
My typical vacations are usually by the water (not many volcanos there) or at ski hills (likewise), so I'd never had the opportunity to see a volcano up close and personal. Then, on my recent surf trip to Costa Rica, I decided to take a couple of days away from the water and go check out the volcano Arenal, one of the ten most active in the world. It last erupted as recently as 1968, when it destroyed three small villages, killing 87 people in the process. Arenal is the real deal; it's most definitely not a Disney volcano.
As if you didn't get enough of staying up past your bedtime during the New Year celebrations this past weekend, another event tonight may get you up and out in the dark. It's the Quadrantid Meteor Shower!
This celestial light show is the first of 2012, and best viewed from rural areas along the Eastern seaboard of the United States down to Georgia, starting from around 3am until dawn. That means no show for city folk, since you'll need to be somewhere without lights (even street lights, preferably) to view the sky dark enough. In other words, it's the perfect evening for some cold weather camping, if you can handle it.
What you're in for, however, will be awesome, according to ABC News: