Tomatoes, Our Sun, and eCybermission

Sun-Earth Days 2013: This year, NASA would like to feature your astro photographs and videos (up to 90 seconds each) of our active sun on the Sun Earth Days Solar Maximum Flickr group. We will feature your images with accreditation and select an image each week to feature on the NASA Sun Earth Day home page.

   Click here to go to the Sun-Earth Days web site for more information.

“Tomatosphere is a research project that will involve about 15 000 Canadian classrooms this year. In 2013, students will have the opportunity to grow tomatoes from two sets of seeds. One set will be seeds which have been exposed to a process called priming and the other set will be the control group. In this research project, students will be asked to germinate the seeds, but the two sets will not be identified until their results are reported to the web site. This methodology, known as a “blind study” will allow the mystery of the project to be real for the students.”

   Click here to go to the Tomatosphere web site for more information.

eCYBERMISSION is a web-based Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics competition for 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grade teams. Your team will propose a solution to a real problem in your community and compete for State, Regional and National Awards.
eCYBERMISSION challenges you to explore how Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics work in your world.

   Click here to learn how to register as a virtual judge, or participate with students for the eCybermission contest.

   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information.

Name a Mascot-Mail a Pringle

   Two contests for students are online and available for participation however both are somewhat restrictive based on geography – one’s location.
   esa mascotThe European Space Agency, ESA, is hosting a Name the Mascot contest to select a name for
their mascot, however the competition is only open for students ages 4-12 years who reside in one of ESA’s 20 Member States or Cooperating States. Note that although the United States (NASA) works cooperatively with the ESA the United States is not part of the ESA so this contest is not available for students in the United States.
   Click here to go to the ESA – Space for Kids web site to learn more about this contest.
   Click here to go to the ESA/Hubble web site for a treasure trove of resources from the Hubble Space Telescope.

A Pringle

A Pringle

   ;A contest available within the United States for students, the Pringles Challenge, is based on designing a small package that will carry a single Pringle potato chip through the U.S. Mail system in such a manner that the Pringle will arrive at its destination intact or undamaged.
   Click here to learn more about the Pringles Challenge contest.

    Please note that posting the above information is not to be taken as a personal endorsement of the Pringle’s Potato Chip.
   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information.

Cassini Scientist for A Day

Artwork-Cassini at Saturn

The Cassini Outreach Team has just announced the 2012 Cassini Scientist for a Day Essay Contest. This is an essay contest open to students in grades 5-12 but is limited to the United States. Students may enter as a team of up to four students or individually. Based on three imaging targets selected by the Cassini Team, participants will submit an essay of up to 500 words that describes which of the three imaging targets they feel would yield the best science results.
Imaging targets include the small moon Pan, the f-ring, and Saturn with its ring system and imaging will take place this fall.
Entry deadline is 12pm PDT on October 24, 2012 and all submissions must be done by the teacher.

The winning essays will be posted on the Cassini web site and winners will participate in a teleconference with Cassini Mission scientists in Pasadena at the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL).

Click here to go to the contest web site.
Click here to download the contest flyer.
Click here to go to the Cassini Mission web site.


No OSIRIS REx is not a newly discovered or named velociraptor but is rather the acronym name for a mission to asteroid (101955) 1999 RQ36 that will involve returning samples from the asteroid. The Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer mission is scheduled for a launch in 2016 with the sample return 7 years later during 2023.

While this is an exciting announcement and a mission that will help lead the way for a crewed mission to the asteroids, NASA and mission operators have a more immediate problem. The 500 meter diameter asteroid that was discovered in 1999 by the Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR), an automated telescope, was named following IAU guidelines. However with a name like (101955) 1999 RQ36 the asteroid is in need of a new name and so NASA has just announced a ‘Name the Asteroid’ contest that is open to students under the age of 18 years world-wide.

My Name Is…

Click here to read the NASA Press Release and to follow the links for more information.