Wind Power at AstroCamp

Wind Power at AstroCamp

 Wind farms are a common sight these days, but humans have been using wind power for about 2,000 years. It wasn’t always for electricity, however, but to mill grain into flour, operate an organ, or pump water. How does a windmill do any of that though? When you see a windmill, the part that

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The Greatest Telescope That Almost Wasn’t

The Greatest Telescope That Almost Wasn’t

Why put a gigantic telescope in space? It’s a common misconception that Hubble was placed in orbit to be closer to the stars. Really, the difference in distance between our planet’s surface and low Earth orbit is negligible compared to how far away Hubble’s research targets are. The great advantage of a space telescope is

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Meet Astrocamp’s Newest Class!

Meet Astrocamp’s Newest Class!

Ever cover the end of a garden hose with your thumb to turn it into a long-range water blaster? The same thing happens when wind is squeezed between mountain ranges. This is called the Venturi effect, and it’s how wind engineers make the most of their turbine placements. California’s desert valleys are home to America’s

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Tabletop Rockets Science

Tabletop Rockets Science

Temperature is a measure of energy. Adding energy to a substance makes it hotter; removing energy makes it colder. Warm, energetic molecules move faster and farther, spreading out over a larger volume of space. This balloon has been cooled to hundreds of degrees below zero (Fahrenheit), condensing the gas molecules inside. At room temperature, the

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Kids And Their Robots

Kids And Their Robots

Rough terrain. Unsurpassable obstacles. Navigating the rocky unknown with little help from home. These are the challenges space robots face as they explore distant worlds and the engineering problems tackled by the teams that design the rovers. Grade school might be a little early for NASA recruiting, but it’s a great time to start playing

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Aerodynamics, Fire, & the Coanda Effect

Aerodynamics, Fire, & the Coanda Effect

Imagine a torpedo in a wind tunnel. Incoming air slips around the torpedo’s nose, slides along its surface, and flies off its blunt back end. The air stream can’t navigate sharp corners, but as long as a smooth contour is available, it clings to that curve. This is called flow attachment, or the Coanda effect.

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Hydrophobic Nanotech: Magic Sand

Hydrophobic Nanotech: Magic Sand

You’ve probably seen how oil and water get along (or don’t), but did you know that this behavior could help control oil spills and alleviate desert water shortages? Oil isn’t the only substance that doesn’t want to associate with water. One innovation that has harnessed the power of water resistance is hydrophobic (“water-fearing”) sand. Marketed

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