January 18th, 2016

5 Free Things to do Next Saturday, January 23

blogpic2As you relax over the long weekend, beat the winter doldrums with these five free events to attend with your kids next Saturday!
Hora de Cuentos, 10:30am Elkton Central Library – Enjoy stories, music, rhymes, and crafts presented in both English and Spanish.

Finch Robots, 11am Rising Sun Branch – Explore computer coding with our new Finch robots. Program sponsored in partnership with Orbital ATK. For families with children ages 5-11. Program to be held at Janes United Methodist Church.

Family Sing-Along: Frozen, 1pm Chesapeake City Branch – Sing along to the words on screen while watching Frozen. Costumes encouraged!

Mad Science: Spin, Pop, Boom!, 1:30pm Cecilton Branch – Prepare to be amazed by spectacular chemical reactions during this interactive show presented by Mad Science of DE Valley. Ages 5-8.

Meet the Author: David Teague, 2pm Elkton Central Library – Meet local author David Teague! He will discuss his works for children and teens and what it takes to become a writer. Families and students ages 10 and up.

Click through or call your local branch library to sign up for any of these events.


David Teague photo courtesy of The Children’s Book Review.

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January 11th, 2016

Solar Physics

sun2 Join us on Tuesday, January 19 for this month’s NMTC Science Café on Solar Physics. Graduating Towson University Honor student, Kielan Wilcomb, who has served as an intern at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory for two years, will explain what it means.

Solar physics, a branch of astrophysics, is the study of our Sun. This is important because the Earth would not have a livable habitat if it weren’t for the Sun. The food we eat exists because of sunlight falling on green plants, and the fuel we burn comes either from such plants, or was accumulated by them. We enjoy the warmth of the Sun that reaches us within 8 minutes. There are direct health benefits of limited sun exposure such as Vitamin D production, helping your circadian rhythm, lowering blood pressure, and improving your mood.

The importance of predicting space weather, solar flares and other solar phenomena is critical. Our climate is directly affected by solar winds. Disturbances in the solar wind can shake the Earth’s magnetic field and pump energy into the radiation belts. Regions on the surface of the Sun often flare and give off ultraviolet light and x-rays that heat up the Earth’s upper atmosphere. Excess radiation can physically damage satellites and pose a threat to astronauts. Shaking the Earth’s magnetic field can also cause current surges in power lines that destroy equipment and knock out power over large areas.

Did you know that the Northern Lights are caused by great storms on the sun sending gusts of charged solar particles hurtling through space? If Earth is in the path of the particle stream, our planet’s magnetic field and atmosphere react. When the charged particles from the sun strike atoms and molecules in Earth’s atmosphere, they excite those atoms, causing them to light up.
Ms. Wilcomb, National Science Foundation S-STEM Scholar and Vice President of Towson’s Student Physics Society, will help us understand these phenomena. Please come and enjoy a relaxed evening of discussion with others interested in the physics of our Sun.

What questions do you have about the sun?

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