Science Café – February 8 – “About Changes in the Earth’s Spin and the Moon’s Orbit”

When: 7:00 pm, Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Where: Batdorf & Bronson Coffee House, 516 Capitol Way South, Olympia, Washington. 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 topic in February is “The longer day: How rocks can tell us about changes in the Earth’s spin and the Moon’s orbit.”

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, Ph.D. (The Evergreen State College) 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.

March Topic: Tuberculosis in the 21st Century, presented by Diana Yu, M.D., Health Officer, Thurston and Mason Counties.

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