Daily Archives: August 29, 2012

The Blue Moon – August 31, 2012

Blue Moon

The Blue Moon – August 31, 2012

(From our friends at OMSI)

A blue moon is usually explained as a full moon, which occurs twice in the same month. In August 2012, it is on the 1st (8:27 p.m. PDT) and 31st (6:58 a.m. PDT). A blue moon occurs every 3 to 4 years, when the date for one full moon falls on or near the beginning of a calendar month so that the following full moon comes before the end of the same month.

There are several different meanings for the term ‘blue moon. ‘ The phrase ‘blue moon’ has been around over 400 years, but during that time its meaning has shifted around a lot. The earliest reference was cited in The Maine Farmers’ Almanac, 1937. The almanac states that when there were two full moons in a calendar month, calendars would put the first in red, the second in blue.”

In astronomy, as stated above, a ’blue moon’ is the second full moon to appear in a single month. However, in meteorology, the correct definition of a blue moon is the physical explanation of why, on rare occasions, the moon appears blue. The scattering of moonlight causes a “blue moon” by smoke particulate. The red end of the spectrum is scattered more than the blue end of the spectrum, which causes light seen from the moon to look more blue: hence, a blue moon.

Despite the differences in meaning, in general terms, the rarity of seeing a moon that looks blue and/or the rarity of two full moons appearing in one month prompted the well-known saying “once in a blue moon,” which means something that happens very rarely.

Happy Blue Moon!

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FAA Design Competition for U.S. College Students – NOI due September 28, 2012 and February 1, 2013

FAA Design Competition

Submit your notice of intent to participate by September 28, 2012 or February 1, 2013.

The Competition guidelines and many resources are posted at the Competition website:

http://FAADesignCompetition.odu.edu

All 2011-2012 design topics are still included. New topics have been added to the each of 2012 Design Challenge areas.

In addition, two new Design Challenge areas have been added: Innovative Application of FAA Data and Electric/Hybrid-Electric Aircraft Technology.

The new Innovative Application of FAA Data design challenge challenges students to use FAA, industry, travel and airport-relevant data to develop a mobile application for use for by smart phones and tablets that is innovative and commercially viable.

The new Electric/Hybrid Electric Aircraft Technology design challenge asks students to design a regional transport aircraft that will use electric or hybrid electric propulsion and to consider the impact on airports. This is the first aircraft design challenge for the FAA design competition.

Other brand new topics by Design Challenge area are:

  • Airport Operation and Maintenance: Improved methods for ground traffic flow scheduling.
  • Airport Environmental Interactions: System level methodologies for strategic assessment of environmental interactions beginning at the airport planning phase.
  • Runway Safety: Safety Assessment Tools: Mobile tools to support assessment conducted by runway safety action teams that aid in compliance evaluation as well as hazard identification and correction.
  • Systems analysis to determine areas of greatest risk for runway incursion and excursion in the National Airspace and proposing corrective action plans.
  • Airport Management and Planning: Methods for aircraft/runway interface that address issues caused by new energy efficient lighting not being visible to heat sensing, enhance flight vision systems.

The Competition’s broad challenge categories embrace many engineering, science, information technology, psychology, and management disciplines. The new Innovative Application of FAA Data challenge particularly encourages designs from interdisciplinary teams.

The Competition is again open to individual and student teams at U.S. colleges and universities (both undergraduate and graduate) working under the mentorship of a faculty advisor. Winners can earn cash awards and first place winners have the opportunity and travel funds to present their design at FAA Headquarters summer 2013 and may also be sponsored to present at professional meeting relating to the students’ design. A notice of intent is strongly encouraged. Design submissions are due April 19, 2013.

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