Friday, December 3, 2010

Drake Equation Activity

R = 20 billion
Fp = 75%
Ne = 2
Fl = 40%
Fi = 7%
Fc = 1%
L = .00001

N = 84 apprx

A. 84 civilizations
B. The value doubles, exactly.
C. Doing so reduces the total number by a third.
D. Wouldn't change THAT much.. maybe 1.5 times bigger?
E. Fp = 10%-80% | Ne = 1-8 | Fl =10%-60% | Fi = 1%-15% | Fc = 0.000001% - 3%
F. Min: 2 x 10 ^-6 | Max: 3,456 civilizations
G. The minimum is too small (you can't have a Fraction of a civilization), and the max seems reasonable, considering how many stars are in our galaxy.
H. It depends on what you define "intelligence" as.. if the species can reason, have emotion, and perhaps even have morals, there is really only one we know of.. humans. Yeah, some whale-like animals like dolphins and humbacks can communicate and empathize, but.. they're not considered as humans are? If you define intelligence by the amount of technology a species has, then humans win, with chimpanzees and otters coming in second (by using rocks and twigs to gather food). So, that number would be one, possibly 2 or 3, since we ARE one of those civilizations.

I. 400 was the answer... It's near the low middle of my high/estimated answers, making it also pretty reasonable.

The musings about extraterrestrial life are silly to me sometimes... if somebody honestly thinks we're alone in the universe, then it really is a waste of space. : D It's gigantic! There could be things we can't even dream of. Using the drake equation does give us some idea of how many other civilizations could be out there, though, which is nice. The math is simple, the estimates weren't that hard to make, and the end result was close to what scientists think of it as. : )

Monday, November 29, 2010

Art and Astronomy
This image is stunning... I have it as my desktop now. xD OH NO I might be an astronomy nerd soon! ;)

Moby's We Are All Made of Stars is a nice song. It's not incredible, but it is good enough to write a couple hundred words on. It starts by eluding to the population of the world... “growing in numbers, growing in speed, can't fight the future, can't fight what I see.” People come together and grow apart, but we as a people can't be stopped from reaching our goals. We're all made of the same materials, so why should we be treated differently? It's a song that speaks about the world in very broad strokes. The people in it, the people closest to us, and the people we don't even know, and the similarities we all have. We're similar not just in material, but in goal. When people look at the stars, they see the same thing as everyone else in that region. Nothing is different. They still stare in wonder and know that they aren't actually that insignificant. When I look at the stars, I don't think that I'm insignificant.. I am belittled only by myself, and I think I'm a extraordinary creature that was a miracle of time, space, materials, and the right temperature and pressure and all those other factors. LIFE is a chance, and to be living.. that makes a human more important than a star. Even if we're made of the same materials, as far as we know, stars don't comprehend things. We speak, think, grow, change.. all independently from the rest of the world (and worlds). Stars influence the arts in extreme ways. They inspire, they humble, and they give us as humans a chance to imagine what it would be like out there. I'll always be a daydreamer and hope that one day I'd be able to see the stars without an atmosphere blocking the way, but I doubt that is going to happen.


Class Reflection

Class Reflection

a) 8.5 out of 21? Ooooh my goodness! That's dreadful!I didn't know most the material... I can't access the questions, I guess I'll go back and look at it when it's up.

b) Most educational: Moon Phase lab, the APODS, the satellite lab (the questions on that were awesome!), the stellar evolution project was great, and the spectra labs were pretty good too. Even if they were challenging, they helped to cohere the ideas together.

Some of them, like the Cepheid yardstick one, were just sort of “plug and chug” things and didn't really help to solidify ideas, but did help in the math department. I would assume that the scientific methods lab would be really useful for beginning students, but it didn't help that much for me.

Math: The way it was presented was just fine. I think that there should be more samples of questions to follow though... some people learn best through example, so either going through them in class or making diagrams with explanations would be REALLY useful.

Lectures: Sometimes, there would be times when a presentation was being presented, then something would come up and it would be addressed as “something we'll cover later”, then it wouldn't get covered, or we wouldn't remember what it was tied to in the beginning. Explaining those sorts of things AS they come up would be nice, but maybe with some more elaboration later.

Powerpoints: VERY useful with diagrams! I never looked back on them for the test prep, but I'm sure they would be really useful too. Organized pretty well, but sometimes they would go by too quickly to take notes on (but that's just a personal problem. XD I like to fully organize my thoughts and stuff as I take notes).

Textbook: To tell the truth, I didn't read much of the textbook, but what I did read was pretty good. I wish the math had been presented more completely, but other than that, no complaints. The text is pretty easy to understand and follow.

Assessments: Would this be tests? Or the reflections? As far as tests go, there would be questions that would be really obscure and such, but those were always given as extra credit. XD I like the writing questions the best because multiple choice questions make me second-quess myself.

Sky Journal Reflection

Sky Journal Reflection

I don't recall any goals for myself, but I do remember wanting to see where constellations were in the sky. Although I have learned where several are, I haven't been able to pick them out in reality. I just know the general AREA. XD Like Cassiopeia, Andromeda, and Ursa Minor. I now know how to describe where things are, using both the celestial sphere (right ascension and declination) and the observer-based system with altitude and azimuth. : ) I do feel more knowledgeable when it comes to understanding science-fiction movies.. even if it's only a bit, it helps! I watch movies and read it a lot of science fiction. Too much, sometimes. I hope that humanity can get it together and not go to war and instead invest money in the space program. XD A nice reason for having peace, right?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Week 10 Sky Journal

So I went out to my driveway and turned off all the house lights and such, and I couldn't see that many stars. XD It was about 8:00 at night, and I could see the normal brighter ones, like the stars of Cassiopeia, but I couldn't find the moon. o.o At first I thought it was just too low on the horizon for me to see (my house has a lot of trees), but then I realized it could be a new moon so the light wasn't really strong enough for me to see it. So I checked google for the current moon phase, and sure enough, it was a new moon. Kinda fun cuz I thought I'd lost the moon. That wouldn't have been to fun.

On another note, I did remember something that I saw 2 summers ago... I stayed out until about 3:00 in the morning at one of my best friend's houses. He lives out in Lyman, so there was no light pollution at all... the sky looked completely filled with stars and I saw at least 12 meteors. It was really magical... until my mom called me and told me to get home. I think I'll always remember that, though.. it was one of those philosophical discussions mixed with awe and wonder at the universe.

Week 10 Reflection

Wow! I really can't believe this next week is basically the last week of school... the more I'm in school, the faster it goes.
Some of the material so far (like some of the math, as usual) has been a little ouchy in the brain department, but the rest is easy enough. I've been working on my study guide throughout the week for the final and the unit 4 test. I don't feel confident with the material yet, but I will soon enough- as usual, I need to just spend more time with it and make concept maps and such to link ideas together (the universe concept map helped a lot).

Friday, November 19, 2010

Week 9 Reflection

This chapter is going by pretty smoothly. Researching on my own is really useful, and I think that's why I've been consistently doing (pretty) well on the tests so far. The study guides + answering all the questions on the study guides + writing everything in my own words so I understand the concepts = good scores. But, that aside, I do need to study the days before the test too, not just the day before. I haven't been having much difficulty with any of the concepts so far.

Search Blog