What is Thundersnow?

Earlier this week we had a snow forecast that could really have affected our operations here at COSI. I was watching the weather forecasts really closely to determine how much of the possible 10 inches of snow we could get here in Columbus and one of the forecasters mentioned the possibility of thundersnow. This is a term I've heard of before, even experienced but I really don't know a lot about it. So I turned to our resident science guy extraordinaire, Steve Whitt and asked him what in the world is thundersnow? How does it form and what is it?
A picture of snow at COSI 3.25.2013.

Touch the Big Bang

So much of modern science, (the search for the Higgs boson, the attempts to make nuclear fusion a reality, and even the latest dinosaur discovery) are too far away, too hot, too cold, too large or too small to get our hands on. But here's some modern science you can actually reach out and touch.
The Cosmic Microwave Background - as seen by Planck. Credit: ESA and the Planck Collaboration

Printing in 3D

As COSI's Technology & Innovation strategic area of focus lead, my favorite part of my job is meeting creative and innovative people. Last week COSI hosted The Columbus Idea Foundry's Ethan Dicks, and his group, The Central Ohio RepRap and Makerbot Operators User Group (CORMUG). They teach and learn about 3D printing, and if you're interested in tinkering, rapid prototyping or micro-manufacturing, this is the group to know.

Photo of a bracelet printed in 3D

The REAL First Day of Spring

Spring is on the way. Really! Despite the chilly weather and occasional snow dump, the second half of March invariably brings on scientific-sounding descriptions of something called the vernal equinox, the day when daytime and nighttime are finally equal. It marks the time when daylight starts lasting longer, nights get shorter, and (eventually) warm weather returns to our fair land.

What is rarely discussed, though, is why. Why should the Earth's axis tilt in such a way to create varying seasons? Why are seasons so predictable, year after year after year? Do other planets have similar cycles? Will our pattern ever change?

Panorama of COSI on a sunny day

A Higgs Update

A while ago we reported on the discovery of the Higgs particle at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Europe. On March 14, CNN and other news outlets reported some new information to coincide with both pi day (3.14) and Albert Einstein's birthday.

So what's it all about?

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