“How rocks can tell us about changes in the Earth’s spin and the Moon’s orbit”, Oct 12

On October 12, the Science Café of Olympia will present “The longer day: How rocks can tell us about changes in the Earth’s spin and the Moon’s orbit”

7:00 pm, Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Batdorf & Bronson Coffee House,
516 Capitol Way S. Olympia, WA, phone (360) 786-6717.

Batdorf & Bronson has three locations in Olympia. Science Café meets in the downtown coffee house on Capitol Way. On-street parking is available on Legion, Capitol Way, Columbia Street, and Water Street. After 6 p.m., there is parking available at Heritage Bank on Columbia Street between 5th and Legion.

Our planet is currently experiencing a long-term increase in the length of a day of 20 microseconds per year, meaning each day is, on average, nearly 55 nanoseconds longer than the last. Even our familiar Moon is not static in its orbit around Earth, increasing its average distance from us by 3.8 centimeters per year. Chris Coughenour will discuss how these phenomena are intimately related, why our corner of the solar system is undergoing such changes, and why these changes have not been constant in the distant past. He will also tell us how, through the geologic record of preserved tidal cycles, this long-standing problem first recognized by Edmund Halley may be solved throughout Earth’s long history.

Our speaker this month is Christopher L. Coughenour, Ph.D. at The Evergreen State College.

Coming in November: Bats of Washington by Greg Falxa, Cascadia Research

Science Café of Olympia provides an informal atmosphere where people both with and without scientific background can meet to gain a better understanding of interesting topics in science and technology. After a brief presentation by an expert in the field, the meeting will be opened to discussions. Science Cafés are found nationwide and are loosely affiliated with the U.K.-based Cafe Scientifique, an international organization promoting public engagement with science. The Sciencecafes.org website is produced by the Science Unit of WGBH in Boston in association with Sigma Xi. Support for Science Café of Olympia is provided in part by the Puget Sound Chapter of The American Chemical Society.


We thank Batdorf & Bronson and its staff for welcoming us into their delightful gathering spot.

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