Monday, October 31, 2011

NSF Announcement- Near-Earth Flyby of Large Asteroid to Occur on November 8: Chat Live This Thursday Online With Astronomers

Ask scientists about a large asteroid that will pass between the Earth and moon in a close encounter between our planet and a near-Earth object

Image of Asteroid 2005 YU55 observed by Arecibo Telescope.

Asteroid 2005 YU55 observed by Arecibo Telescope--a National Science Foundation facility.
Credit and Larger Version

October 31, 2011

You are invited to participate in a live online chat this Thursday from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. EDT with two eminent astronomers from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA, who will discuss a large asteroid that will approach close to Earth on Nov. 8, 2011 and the science of such near-Earth asteroids.

This rare flyby of the asteroid--which is known as 2005 YU55--will likely draw significant public interest because of the asteroid's large size of about 396 meters (1,300 feet) in diameter, the nature of its close encounter with Earth and the public's fascination with near-Earth objects.

The chat is sponsored by ScienceNOW, the daily news site of the journal Science. To participate, go to ScienceNow's website on November 3 at 3 p.m. EDT and submit questions to:

  • Scott Fisher: A program director in the Division of Astronomical Sciences at the National Science Foundation and a staff scientist at the Gemini Observatory--a large international observatory with eight-meter telescopes located in Hawaii and Chile--where he researches planet formation.
  • Donald K. Yeomans: A scientific investigator on NASA's Deep Impact mission that successfully impacted comet Tempel 1 in July 2005, and a senior research scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he contributes to predictions of future close Earth approaches and impacts by comets and asteroids.

The November 3 chat about asteroid 2005 YU55 and other near-Earth objects provides an ideal opportunity to ask experts about these and other topics:

  • What is currently known about the 2005 YU55's size, shape, orbit and origins?
  • What are the real dangers potentially posed by asteroids and comets vs. threats hyped by doomsayers?
  • What is the likelihood that 2005 YU55 will ever crash into the Earth?
  • When and where is the best place to view 2005 YU55?
  • How are scientists currently tracking comets and asteroids that may impact the Earth?
  • What types of additional information are scientists likely to learn about 2005 YU55 and asteroids in general via radar, visual and infrared monitoring of the asteroid during its close approach to Earth?

The live online chat on 2055 YU55 is part of the journal Science'sweekly series of chats on the hottest topics in science held every Thursday at 3 p.m. EDT.


Media Contacts
Daniel Strain, Science Magazine (202) 326-7089
Lily Whiteman, National Science Foundation (703) 292-8310

Related Websites
Current and past ScienceLIVE chats on:
Web site of chat on asteroid flyby and other near-Earth objects:

Friday, October 28, 2011

Highlight on a Virginia State University co-leader of KTU

Hi everyone,

Mr. Albert Reid is a co-leader and team member of the Virginia State University Kids' Tech University program. He is a 4-H Youth Development Extension Specialist with a specialization in fishery education. Recently an article was published about his work, "Catfish in the Classroom." Check it out.

We are proud to have him on the KTU team!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Virginia Tech Kids' Tech University program opens enrollment on Nov. 28th for the spring program!


The Virginia Tech Kids' Tech University program for the Spring 2012 semester will open enrollment on Nov. 28th! Please see this website for enrollment information.

The "Meet the Scientist" topics include:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Virginia State University KTU program kicks off this weekend!


The Virginia State University Kids' Tech University fall program kicks off this Saturday, Oct. 22nd, in Petersburg, VA!!

Dr. Reinhard Laubenbacher will be leading the "Meet the Scientist" session in the morning of Oct. 22nd. The students and Dr. L will be exploring the topic, "Patterns are Everywhere! How and Why?" The afternoon hands-on event will be filled with computer and "Math with Movement" activities.

Parents with children enrolled in the program should be getting an email by Tuesday morning with information on the day event and campus maps. Reminder- if you have not received information for your enrolled child please contact Ms. Jessica Brown at before noon on Friday!

We are still accepting teachers into the Teacher workshop which will be co-lead by Drs. Kristy Collins and Reinhard Laubenbacher. VSU is graciously paying for the CEUs that will be given to the teachers attending the workshop from 8-5 pm on Saturday, Oct. 22nd.

Monday, October 10, 2011

GeoFair and Mineral Sale Oct 15, 10-5pm at Virginia Tech

The Geosciences Club and Honors Society presents the GeoFair and Mineral Sale on Saturday, Oct. 15, from 10-5 at the Museum of Geosciences. The Museum is located in 2062 Derring Hall, on the VT campus in Blacksburg at the corner of Perry St and W. Campus Dr. Parking is free on Saturdays.

The GeoFair includes hands-on activities for kids on a variety of Earth Science topics. The Mineral Sale organized by alumni dealers with proceeds benefitting the Museum's Education and Public Outreach Programs

More information and directions at

Come celebrate Earth Science Week with us!