Friday, February 3, 2012

NASA VIZ App: Seasonal variations in snow cover

I'm discussing the seasons in my Astronomy class, including the causes and consequences as well as how they vary with latitude.  NASA VIZ is a cool app wherein they feature hot topics specifically formatted for the iPad. A recent item is called "Let it Snow" and shows the seasonal variations in the snow cover of the Earth as an awesome time-lapse video and discusses how this affects the reflectivity of the Earth's surface.  This is relevant to how the Earth is heated and connects to global warming.  It is particularly cool to watch the polar ice, which appears lighter blue than the ocean, advance and recede.  By the way, I learned a cool trick: you can capture a screen shot of what is currently on your iPad by briefly hitting the "Home" and "Wake/Sleep" button simultaneously.  It shows up in your Photos.  That's how I captured the picture you see below...

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