Science

NASA Announcement: We’re Going Again, But It’s Different This Time

On May 15, 2019, NASA released a YouTube video. The video directly stated that the human race was going to the moon by 2024 if not before. There were many challenges they stated such as radiation and engineers capabilities that could be overcome. Then they introduced the S.L.S. (Space Launch System), a system consisting of a rocket so powerful it could bring heavy payloads off Earth, so more technology, supplies, spacecrafts, and rations could be brought into Earth’s orbit and to the moon. A new capsule, the ORION was also mentioned. Then the biggest surprise was revealed, GATEWAY, a lunar outpost in the sliver of space in between Earth’s and the Moon’s gravity. This is where ships will dock and transition to make it easier to land on the Moon. From where it sits, GATEWAY will be able to launch missions to Mars. 50 years later, we are returning to…

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How Will The Universe End?

There are many theories regarding how the universe will die. The most widely accepted of these theories is called “Heat Death.” Heat Death is the result of the death of stars; stars like our sun are slowly using up the fuel stored inside of them and eventually this fuel will run out. When this happens, the star stops producing heat and light, resulting in a frozen and dark Earth. We will most likely be dead long before this happens. The sun is increasing in brightness by about 10% every billion years. This will result in the Earth eventually becoming too hot for anything to live. The oceans will boil, and water will no longer exist in liquid form. We could theoretically survive this by moving to a planet farther from the sun, but that would only last until the sun becomes a Red Giant. A Red Giant is what the…


How Was the Black Hole Image Created and Why?

On April 10th, 2019, the first image of a black hole was released. The black hole is located in the galaxy Messier 87, which is 53.49 million light years away from Earth. This picture was created by a project called the Event Horizon Telescope, also known as the EHT. The EHT did this by using a network of eight ground-based telescopes all over the world to collect data and then generate an image based on the readings that the telescopes picked up.   When one looks at the image, you can see orange and yellow light radiating from the black hole. The reason for this is that black holes are super dense and have insanely strong gravity fields. Because of this, some light rays get pulled through, but some are far enough away from the hole itself that it they don’t get pulled through entirely but do get bent. This…


The First Manned Mission to Launch Off of American Soil Since 2011

On July 8, 2011, the Atlantis space shuttle took off for its last flight, as the last space launch on American soil, and on July 21, the space age hit a crossroads. Ever since, America has been launching astronauts to the I.S.S. (International Space Station) with the help of Russia, using their rockets. Then in 2017, SpaceX was elected to build a spacecraft to carry astronauts to the I.S.S. , so what the catch? This shuttle will be launched off of American soil from the Kennedy Space Center for the first time in eight years. Tests had happened, an unmanned test flight had succeeded and the crew dragon capsule had safely landed in the Atlantic Ocean. And on March 3, the mission, manned by  Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, successfully docked with the I.S.S. . On March 8, they undocked and completed their splash down. This was a big feat…


Mandatory Vaccinations in Italy

On March 12th, 2019, Italy passed a law to make vaccinations mandatory to go to school. If your children are not vaccinated by the time they are six, the parents will be fined. Children are not allowed to go to nursery schools if they are not vaccinated, but the parents of lower and middle school will be fined up to 500 euros. This week at least 300 children were turned away from kindergarten in the city of Bologna. Before this law was in place parents could simply state that their kids had been vaccinated even if they had not, because the school, by law, did not need proof of the vaccinations.   Now we decided to interview some people on how they felt about the vaccinations becoming mandatory in Italy. Theo D. ‘24 “I think it’s a good cause and it’s a good use of time for the Italians.” Luca…


Meet the X-3: the Sci-fi Thruster That Shoots Plasma from Its… Back

There’s one thing that the human race is sure of; the space age is upon us. Surprisingly, the best way of doing it right about now is putting humans on top of a rocket that could explode at any moment and launching them into space. I know, it sounds reckless. And surprisingly, it works. But here’s the problem: chemical rockets can get humans into earth’s orbit and out, but if we are going to explore the stars, chemical rockets just won’t do it. These rockets are powered by liquid hydrogen (LH2) having liquid oxygen (LOX) as the oxidizer which creates thrust. Unfortunately the thrust is very powerful, doesn’t last long. However, at P.E.P.L. (Plasmadynamics & Electric Propulsion Laboratory), scientists have a solution. The X3 ion thruster is a type of electric propulsion design called a hall thruster, which has ten times the efficiency of a chemical rocket. To create thrust,…


Results of Russian Experiment to Domesticate Foxes

   We don’t know much about how dogs and cats were domesticated. We have never recorded the process of the domestication of a wild animal. The fact that we have successfully orchestrated the domestication of foxes is amazing. There are very few domesticated foxes in the world, they are part of a 60-year-old Russian experiment by Dmitry Belyayev involving a process that could be described as evolution. Dmitry chose, out of a large selection of wild foxes, the foxes that showed the least aggression towards humans. Those friendly foxes were allowed to breed, then the same process was applied to the offspring. This process continued and eventually 70% of the foxes had reached a high level of friendliness. This meant that the foxes showed no fear or aggression towards humans whatsoever unless provoked. This was a breakthrough and even after Dmitry died in 1985, the experiment continued. The experiment is…


Rare Eclipse: Super Blood Wolf Moon!

On January 20th/21st, 2019, a very special celestial event happened in our skies. A Super, Blood, and Wolf Moon.  A Supermoon is when the moon is closest to the Earth, when it can look up to 35% bigger. A Blood Moon is when the Moon is perfectly in the shadow of the Earth, which causes the light from the sun to be filtered through our atmosphere, which makes the Moon look bright red. A Wolf Moon is the first full moon in a year. This event is very special because every one of these events happened at the same time. The first Full Moon of 2019, lining up perfectly with the shadow of the Earth, coming closest to the Earth in its orbit. This is a Lunar Eclipse, very different from the well known Solar Eclipse. A Lunar Eclipse is when the Earth is in between the moon and the…


Stream Study: East Branch Indian Creek

Throughout the past two months the 8th graders have been going to the East Indian Creek and collecting data. For extra credit thay could post their findings in The Phoenix Inquirer. Here were their findings. “Our job at East Indian Creek is to test the water and find ways to improve stream health. We tested for values, for example,  of dissolved oxygen and took weekly measures of the water’s pH levels. We hope to improve stream health and share ways to protect Earth’s clean water.” Dev Gupta (2023)   RESULT TABLE: Provided by – Eva Kusiatin, Faiza Carey, Juliette Schad, and Lindsay McCammon Visit One Visit Two Visit Three HEALTH Air Temp (in c) 16° 4° 16° Water Temp (in c) 13° 4° 12° pH 7 6 7 GREAT Phosphate 1 0 1 GOOD Nitrate 5 5 2 BAD Do N/A 4 (31% Sat) 4 (35% Sat) BAD BOD N/A…


Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha Visits FCS!

We as a full FCS community had the honor of hosting Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, whose research helped expose the Flint water crisis. She was here for the public on Tuesday, October 30th at 6:30 pm at Friends Central School, Shallcross Hall at the City Avenue campus. But the students were lucky enough to meet her in person. She will met with the Lower School, Middle School, and the Upper School during their assembly periods. Dr. Hanna-Attisha also wrote a well-reviewed book called What the Eyes Don’t See about helping discover the Flint water crisis. The Flint crisis started when the city of Flint was losing money. So Flint switched from Detroit water to water from the Flint river. But river water is harder to treat than lake water and this treatment was being done by a water plant that had not been operational for 40 or 50 years. The problem…


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