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Partner Highlight: NanoDays activities and solar viewing at the 13th annual NanoDays event at Highland Road Park Observatory in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

July 1, 2022

Catherine McCarthy, Arizona State University
Children and adults using NanodDays Hands-on Sunblock  activity from a past NanoDays event at Highland Road Park Observatory in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Hands-on Sunblock activity from a past NanoDays event at Highland Road Park Observatory 

For the thirteenth consecutive year at Highland Road Park Observatory in Baton Rouge, LA, big things in the Universe took a backseat to all things tiny!

Dr. Juana Moreno and her colleagues from Louisiana State University Department of Physics & Astronomy returned to the observatory for another public celebration of nanotechnology in spring 2022.

 

Dr. Moreno and her students had hands-on activity stations installed both indoors and outdoors for visitors to experience various aspects of nanoscale science and nano activities.

Children and adults attending a past NanoDays event at Highland Road Park Observatory in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Visitors exploring activities at a past NanoDays event at Highland Road Park Observatory 

When reduced to the width of a human hair—or smaller—ordinary materials often take on extraordinary properties. The iridescent colors in butterfly wings are not created by pigments but instead by tiny patterns on the wings. Tinted glass in old cathedrals was made by mixing different sizes of gold particles to create a wide variety of colors. We are just beginning to understand these fascinating phenomena and their potential uses in everyday life. 

 

Visitors wearing 3D glasses with examining microscopic photos from a past NanoDays event at Highland Road Park Observatory in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Visitors wearing 3D glasses with examining microscopic photos in NanoDays 3D Imaging activity from a past NanoDays event at Highland Road Park Observatory

Special NanoDays activities planned for the event included:

  • nanoscale comparison to everyday objects
  • display of a Scanning Probe Microscope
  • nano-cup water pouring
  • stain-free clothes
  • model-building of nanoscale structures
  • playing with liquid crystals
  • fluid parting via magnets
  • Nanoquest scavenger hunt game
Children and adults using NanodDays Hands-on Thin Film activity from a past NanoDays event at Highland Road Park Observatory in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Hands-on NanoDays Thin Film activity from a past NanoDays event at Highland Road Park Observatory

 

NanoDays activities instructions and downloadable materials can be found at:

https://www.nisenet.org/nanodays 

 

 

 

 

LSU Baton Rouge, Louisiana SU_Viewers will see the Sun’s image move with indirect projection to get a sense of the speed of Earth’s rotation using a Learning Technologies Sunspotter
Viewers will see the Sun’s image move with indirect projection to get a sense of the speed of Earth’s rotation using a Learning Technologies Sunspotter

 

Solar Viewing and Sketching

Other activities during NanoDays 2022 included solar viewing using projections and safety filters. The hobby of astronomy immediately brings to mind thoughts of darkened backyards and dimly-lit nighttime activities, but visitors to the observatory also have the option of visiting during daylight hours to see our parent star. Visitors are offered three views of the Sun using different tools.

 

 

LSU Baton Rouge, Louisiana Safe viewing of sunspots with a filtered optical telescope (Orion 10" Skyquest Dobsonian Reflector)
Safe viewing of sunspots with a filtered optical telescope (Orion 10" Skyquest Dobsonian Reflector)

Solar Sketching Forms

Observatory visitors are encouraged to use a Solar Sketching Form to remember their view of the Sun.

 

 

Highland Road Park Observatory is a joint project of: 

LSU Baton Rouge, Louisiana Safe viewing of solar flares and prominences using the Coronado Solar Max II 90mm solar Hydrogen-alpha viewing telescope
Safe viewing of solar flares and prominences using the Coronado Solar Max II 90mm solar Hydrogen-alpha viewing telescope

 

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