Stunning Time Lapse of Lasers at Mauna Kea Observatories in Hawaii

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(Screenshot from posting at Open Culture)

Sean Goebel, a graduate student in astronomy at the University of Hawaii, has made this beautiful and fascinating time-lapse film of the observatories on Mauna Kea shooting laser beams into the night sky over the Big Island of Hawaii.

The lasers are part of the observatories’ adaptive optics systems, which compensate for distortions in light traveling through the Earth’s atmosphere. “Just as waves of heat coming off pavement blur out the detail of faraway objects,” explains Goebel on his Web site, “winds in the atmosphere blur out fine detail in the stars/galaxies/whatever is being observed. This is the reason that stars twinkle. The laser is used to track this atmospheric turbulence, and one of the mirrors in the telescope bends hundreds of times per second in order to cancel out the blurring.”

Watch the video and read the full text at Open Culture.

This is Geography

Screen Shot 2013-05-26 at 9.08.07 AMAs geographers, teachers, and general education enthusiasts we are asking for your help in a national campaign to raise the profile of Geography in Canada. This is Geography is a joint project of CG Education and the Canadian Association of Geographers (CAG) aimed and increasing Canadians’ perception of geography as a subject area and integral aspect of our daily lives.

The program consists of two main strands: Google Plus Hangouts and a photographic collection.

We are asking all Canadians to upload photos that answer the phrase “This is Geography” on the website and on Twitter and Instagram using the hash tag #thisisgeography. We want you to also include a brief description of why your photo shows geography. We know that there are endless possibilities of photos that you can upload so get creative! We’ve started the collection but need your help!

Over the next few months we have planned to host our first few Google+ Hangouts. Each hangout will focus on one aspect of geography and have four expert panelists speaking about the issue at hand. The first hangout is scheduled for May 15th at 4:00 p.m. ET and will take a look at some cool “Geo Jobs.” Once completed the hangouts will be uploaded to Canadian Geographic’s YouTube channel, so even if you can’t watch at 4:00, check it out afterwards.

Together we can let Canadians know just how inclusive of a subject area Geography is so get out there and start spreading the word!

National Geographic Compass: The Oceans Edition

Featured Resource: The Ocean Edition
From Ocean Currents to Sustainable Seafood

From 2009 to 2012, National Geographic Education Programs was honored to receive two grants from Oracle totaling two million dollars. These funds were used to address issues in ocean science and geography, including the impact of human activities on the ocean and ocean conservation.

With the help of Oracle, we were able to create more than 500 unique educational assets to help bring ocean education into the classroom.

This month, we’re highlighting some of our favorites for you!

(PS If you’re having difficulty with the above links, try this one)

Science Activity Books

(Screenshot from Science.gc.ca Educational Resources website)

The Activity Books were assembled by the team responsible for Science.gc.ca – the official Government of Canada website for Science and Technology information and resources.

Activities and ideas – as well as all sorts of other educational resources – available for primary, middle and secondary levels.

Climb Three of the World’s Highest Peaks on Google Street View

What’s surprising about Everest Base Camp is the color. It’s a flinty, gray place littered with shards of Himalayan sandstone and shale. Here and there appears a vivid green pool of alpine water. And then there’s the red, blue and green prayer flags hung by Himalayans to blow blessings in the wind.

Google Street View’s latest project, the World’s Highest Peaks, takes us to Everest and two other mountains included in the Seven Summits—the highest mountains on each of the seven continents.

Learn more at Open Culture.

Ban the Bag World Map… plus a Paper House!

Toronto’s casual flirtation with banning plastic bags has recently been squelched. But in our schools, our teachers continue to inspire and be inspired by students who will grow up to make different choices–and create a different world. What can we learn from what is happening elsewhere?

(Screenshot taken from Plastic Bag Ban Community Page)

Try out Factory Direct Promos’ new interactive plastic-bag-ban world map that tracks how places all over the world are addressing the plastic bag problem and its possible solutions. Click on one of the color-coded pins to learn why some places have a law that prohibits plastic bags, uncover where efforts to implement a bag ban were unsuccessful, and discover the path that different places have taken which led to a tax or fee in place of disposable bags. Neat lens for viewing the world through this environment-friendly action!

(Screenshot taken from Inhabitat)

This office building is made entirely from recycled paper!  Two German architects have taken recycled paper use to new heights. Click here to view the “Paper House,” a 2,045 square foot temporary workspace composed of 550 bales of compressed, recycled paper sourced from area supermarkets.