Star of Bethlehem

Matthew 2:2b NIV

“We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

  • The ‘Star of Bethlehem’ is also known as the ‘Christmas Star’.
  • The Star of Bethlehem was the star that showed the place of Jesus Christ’s birth, particularly guiding the magi.
  • The Star of Bethlehem has puzzled many astronomers, and many have tried to make a connection to unusual, historical, star-like events in space.
  • Of the four gospels in the Bible, only the gospel of Matthew mentions the Star of Bethlehem.
  • During the estimated time of Jesus’ birth, a comet or nova was seen in China, which seemed to be stationary for 70 days, and many link a connection to the Star of Bethlehem.
Star of Bethlehem
A Star
Image courtesy of Lehigh Valley, PA/Flickr
  • Some religious groups believe the Star of Bethlehem was a comet or shining angels.
  • The Star of Bethlehem is often depicted in art as a comet, angel holding a star or a large, bright star with many different designs.
  • The Star of Bethlehem is often mentioned in Christmas carols, such as the ‘Three Kings’ or ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’.
  • Some astronomers suggest that the Star of Bethlehem could have been an alignment of planets, which occurred during the time of Jesus’ birth.
  • Some theories regarding the Star of Bethlehem suggest that a single planet was the star, specifically ‘Uranus’, although it would have been difficult to see without technology.
Bibliography:
Gill V, Star of Bethlehem: Astronomical Explanations, 2012, BBC, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20730828
Star of Bethlehem, 2013, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_of_Bethlehem

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Rainbow

Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.

  • Rainbows are formed when light is reflected off water droplets, and shows a spectrum of colours.
  • Primary rainbows have red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet (ROY G BIV), while secondary rainbows go violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, red (VIB G YOR).
  • Rainbows can form in mist, like waterfalls, and sea spray.
  • When the sky is dull, rainbows are easier to see.
  • Some rainbows don’t fit with the ‘ROY G BIV’ or ‘VIB G YOR’ systems but have their own patterns.

Rainbow, Primary, Dark, Low Contrast, Full, Three Quarter, Roy G Biv, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet, Houses, Australia, Ten Random Facts

  • When viewing a rainbow, the sun is always opposite the centre of the arc, with the sun behind you.
  • Aristotle, the famous Greek scholar from 300 years BC was the first to research and develop a theory regarding rainbows.
  • Some cultures believe that rainbows are the way to heaven, whilst the Bible says that it is a sign from God, reminding us of his promise that he will never flood the whole earth again.
  • Rainbows are popular themes in films, music, literature and art.
  • Nobody can ever see the same rainbow the same as someone else.
Bibliography:
Rainbow 28 February 2013, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow>

Fog

Don’t let fog get in your way!

  • Fog is grouped water droplets, typically in liquid form, that lay in the air close to the ground.
  • Fog is a type of cloud called stratus and the moisture is often accumulated from nearby water sources.
  • Fog reduces human vision to less than 1 km.
  • The foggiest place in the world is Grand Banks, near the Canadian island, Newfoundland, and Newfoundland itself has over 200 foggy days a year.
  • Some animals and insects rely on fog for water.

Fog, Tornado, Cause, Australia, Ten Random Facts

  • There are many types of fog, mainly radiation fog, advection fog, upslope fog and evaporation fog.
  • Fog can be a threat to automobiles, aeroplanes and boats due to reduced visibility, which can cause serious accidents.
  • Often, fog creates shadows of distant objects.
  • Some communities use special nets to collect fog moisture.
  • Some people mistake mist for fog. Mist is actually easier to see in.
Bibliography:
Fog 24 January 2013 , Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fog>

Hail

Falling, covering and destroying.

  • Hail is frozen, solid water droplets that fall from the sky.  A hailstone is one lump of ice.
  • Normally, the heavier and bigger the hailstone is, the higher in the sky the hailstone falls from.
  • Hailstones have a diameter from at least 5 mm (0.2 inches) and can be as big as 20 cm (7.9 inches) when they reach the ground and can weigh more than 500 grams (1.1 lbs).
  • Hailstones can join together and can be found in weird and interesting shapes.
  • Hail forms at the top of cumulonimbus clouds (thunderclouds), due to the freezing air temperature, as a result of a strong updraught.

Hail, White, Coin, Medium, Small, Ten Random Facts, Wheather, Rain

  • It is much more likely to hail along mountain ranges.
  • Many names are given to sizes of hailstones. These names range from a pea to a bowling ball to a cent coin or a penny size.
  • Hailstones can damage vehicles, street lights, rooves of buildings, crops, and can hurt or potentially kill, both people and animals.
  • In Europe during the Middle Ages, people attempted to prevent hail and its damaging effects by shooting cannons and ringing loud church bells, though these methods were not effective.
  • Although people have tried, nothing has been invented that can stop hail from falling, although the use of hail cannons, specifically designed for the purpose, are said to help prevent it.
Bibliography:
Hail 27 December 2012, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hail>

Magnet

Attracting and repulsing – that is a magnet’s main properties.

  • Magnets attract certain materials which are iron, nickel and cobalt (all of these make steel, therefore making steel magnetic).
  • There are 3 types of magnets – permanent, which won’t lose it’s magnetic force; temporary, which can lose it’s magnetic force when jolted; and natural magnets, which is a naturally made magnet.  Some magnets are stronger than others.
  • The magnetic domains inside a steel object must be lined up to make the object magnetic. If the domains aren’t lined up, the domains will point in different directions, and won’t be magnetic.
  • The Chinese discovered a natural magnet, called magnetite/lodestone.
  • Putting a strong magnet near a device with a magnet in it (like a TV or PC) could destroy the device.

Horse shoe magnet, Metalic, Steel, Ten Random Facts, Free Digital Photos

Magnet
Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti/ Free Digital Photos
  • If you spread iron filings over a piece of paper which is over a magnet the filings move into the shape of the magnet’s magnetic field.
  • Magnets have north and south poles.  If a north pole meets a north pole, or vise versa, one magnet will be pushed away and this is called repulsion, and if a north and south pole meet, they attract.
  • Maglev is short for the magnetic levatation which can suspend things in the air.
  • Earth is a one gigantic magnet which traps solar flares from the sun in it’s magnetic field.
  • Loggerhead turtles have magnetite/lodestone in their brains, and use these magnets to navigate back to their birthplace to lay eggs.
Bibliography:
Carmi, R 2001, Amazing Magnetism, Scholastic, New York

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Light

All light is bright and so are these ten facts!

  • Light comes in two forms of energy, brightness and heat. Light also has two groups, natural light, like stars and fires, and artificial lights, like electric bulbs and lamps.
  • The sun’s light travels 299,260 km/186,000 miles per second which means it takes 8 minutes to reach Earth.
  • A shadow forms when a ray of light shines on a solid object.
  • Transparent materials allow light to travel through it, while translucent materials let a little light through. Opaque materials let no light through.
  • When a ray of light touches a shiny or polished surface, the ray bounces back.

 light, sun, ten random facts

 

  • When light travels through a fine droplet of water or a prism, a rainbow forms.
  • Light rays contain colour. These colours are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Light’s primary colours are red, green and blue (RGB).
  •  Each wavelength of light is smaller than your hair.
  • The longest wavelength, red, has the least energy while the shortest wavelength, violet, has the most energy.
  • Light rays bounce off colours of its same colour type, while other light rays are absorbed when they touch a colour that is not its same colour type.
Bibliography:
Devonshire, H 1991, Light, Franklin Watts, Great Britian
Herman, G 2004, Color Day Relay, Scholastic, USA

Fishpond: The Illuminating World of Light with Max Axiom, Super Scientist (Graphic Science) The Nature of Light and Colour in the Open Air (Dover Books on Earth Sciences)           Amazon: 

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