Light carries information. Make a spectroscope to see it!
At the 2015 Science Alive! in South Bend, IN, families make and take a spectroscope that separates out the colors of different kinds of lights. You can participate actively in the 2015 International Year of Light by interpreting the message in the light.
On Saturday, February 7, 2015, members of the Michiana Astronomical Society Inc., Kennedy Planetarium, and AstroCamp will be in the lower level of the St. Joseph County Public Library (SJCPL). Join them in rolling a CD around in the light and looking for vibrant patterns of light. Then make your own spectroscope, while supplies last, from bamboo and recycled CDs. You can observe the spectrum from different light sources to discover information hidden within the colorful patterns.
Also at Science Alive!, anticipate the flyby of the planet Pluto by the New Horizons spacecraft on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Pluto is distant, with the faint sunlight reflected off its surface (and any messages sent between earth and the spacecraft, too) taking over four hours to reach earth while traveling at the speed of light--186,000 miles per second!
On Friday, May 22, 2015, South Bend celebrates 150 years, which segues into its First Midnight. Light from the distant star Eltannin left the right eye of Draco the Dragon around 150 years ago, give or take a little. It's just now arriving at our eyes.
These and other astronomy highlights await you at 2015 Science Alive!
While you're there, check out plans--and propose your ideas--for 2015 AstroCamp, to be held July 12-18.
Thanks to J.A. Bryan, Ph.D., of Ball State University in Muncie, IN, who suggested a bamboo spectroscope at the Great Lakes Planetarium Association (GLPA) 2014 Annual Conference.