The Grand Portage Reservation is at the northeastern tip of Minnesota. The Air Quality Program has many ongoing projects in order to maintain healthy indoor and outdoor air. These projects include monitoring for regional haze and particulate matter, indoor air quality, invasive plant removal, public outreach, environmental education, alternative energy, and climate change.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Forty Years Ago Today...

Apollo 11 landed on the Moon.

Even though I was only six years old I still remember being glued to our old black-and-white TV set watching the mission unfold (narrated by Walter Cronkite - R.I.P.). The space race was one of the main catalysts for my continuing love of science, particularly astronomy. Seeing the live footage of our astronauts and knowing we were witnessing history in the making impacted me even then, because I can still clearly picture the scene in our living room as we watched. We must continue to instill the wonder of science to our future generations by reaching out and showing them how science works so that they can also develop a thirst for knowledge.

Keeping on the astronomical theme there is breaking news from Jupiter. A black spot has formed near Jupiter's south pole and some astronomers are speculating it may have been caused by an impact similar to the 1994 impact of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 . More observations will be needed to determine if it is indeed an impact scar, so this story will continue to develop over the coming weeks.

South is inverted in this photo and the spot is near the top. It looks small but remember how big Jupiter is - at this scale the spot is probably larger than North America.

Update: Definitely an impact.

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