Hello wonderful library blog readers!
Did you know that this week is National Science Week? Which is quickly followed by Children’s Book Week next week! Well, if you didn’t, then now you do! In honour of these two weeks being so close together, I thought this was an ideal opportunity to share with you some wonderful information about all of the amazing STEM and STEAM things that happen at Cockburn Libraries – while simultaneously sharing my review of the superb CBCA Shortlisted, and STEM themed book by James Foley – Stellarphant!
Have you heard of the James Webb Space Telescope? NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is an infrared space observatory that launched on Dec 25, 2021. The $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope — NASA’s largest and most powerful space science telescope — will probe the cosmos to uncover the history of the universe from the Big Bang to alien planet formation and beyond.
So the amazing thing I have learned about the JWST (James Webb Space Telescope is that not only does it photograph in incredible detail the myriad of fascinating planets, stars and galaxies in our universe – it can also see back in time!
How does it do this? Well, the reason is, light needs time to travel across the vast distances of space to reach us. A light-year, which is the distance light travels in 1 year – is equivalent to 9.46 trillion kilometres. If humans had the ability to travel at the speed of light – which we do not! – it would take us 8 minutes to travel to our sun.
The moon is about 390 000km away from us. When looking at the moon from Earth – we are actually seeing the moon as it was 1.3 seconds earlier – due to the time the light takes to travel to us. Neptune is four light-hours away because the light takes four hours to cross the solar system to us.
Galaxies are much, much, much further away. The closest to us, the Andromeda galaxy, is about 2.5 million light years away! That means that what we are seeing is the light from that galaxy 2.5 million years ago!!!
So, what does this have to do with the JWST? That little delight is currently photographing galaxies in extraordinary detail. The faintest smallest blips in the image below are galaxies as they existed more than 13 billion years ago – very close (cosmologically speaking) to the beginning of the universe!
Okay folks! Consider yourself well and truly scienced now! If you want to learn more about the James Webb Space Telescope and it’s mission, just visit James Webb Space Telescope | NASA
Now on to something equally entertaining, my review of the multiple award winning children’s book by WA author James Foley!
I actually really struggle to write about this book – not because it was bad, but because I loved it so much! It makes me tear up when I think about the story (I’m probably too emotional) and cry when I try and tell others about it. Not only does Stellarphant champion science by sharing factual titbits about real life animals in space, but it celebrates diversity, perseverance, overcoming challenges and roadblocks in life that many people, in particular women and sometimes elephants often face. In addition to all this very serious stuff – it’s also beautifully illustrated and incredibly well written and frankly I don’t have the language skills to properly express just how wonderful and perfect this book is. My fingers are crossed that by the time you read this review – it will have won the award for Picture Book of the Year from the Children’s Book Council of Australia.
For more excellent reviews of some of the nominated and shortlisted CBW books – follow this link.