Ephemeris for Pi Day 3.14, Tuesday, March 14th. The Sun will rise at 7:56. It’ll be up for 11 hours and 51 minutes, setting at 7:47. The Moon, 2 days past full, will rise at 10:04 this evening.
Welcome to Pi Day. I had some NASA inspired links posted on this blog this past Sunday for your enjoyment. Also simply do an Internet search for Pi Day and lots of fun information and activities will be listed. I remember an exercise in high school calculating pi with an inscribed polygon in a circle of ever increasing numbers of sides. Somewhere in there I messed up and came out with an answer that didn’t quite get there. This was in the years B.C. that is Before Calculators. Speaking of round things, Jupiter will rise this evening followed by the Moon and the star Spica in the east. They will all be up by 10:30. Jupiter is not yet an evening planet, since it is not up by sunset. It’s still seen in the morning sky.
Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.
Had I known in the tenth grade this strategy to calculate pi, I could have saved myself a lot of grief. Simply google calculate pi with toothpicks. One of the hits was this from Science Friday: https://sciencefriday.com/articles/estimate-pi-by-dropping-sticks/*. Basically it’s by dropping lots of toothpicks on a piece of paper with parallel lines spaced the length of the toothpicks apart. The total number of toothpicks dropped times two divided by the number of toothpicks that cross a line will approximate pi. The more drops, the closer to pi one gets.
- In the formula in the link, if the length of the toothpicks equals the distance between the lines, those terms drop out of the formula.
Grouping of Jupiter, the Moon and the star Spica
Tuesday is Pi Day (3.14) in American format. I received this email from Solar System Ambassadors Headquarters about educators, students and everyone else having fun with our favorite Greek letter:
From: Orr, Kim [mailto:Kimberly.M.Orr@jpl.nasa.gov]
Sent: Friday, March 10, 2017 10:59 AM
Subject: Pi Day is Live!
Happy Friday before Pi Day! Speaking of Pi Day, we’re now live with the following #NASAPiDayChallenge products:
- NASA Pi Day Challenge (MAIN LINK): https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/edu/nasapidaychallenge/
- “Celebrate Pi Day Like a NASA Rocket Scientist” Teachable Moment (for the science behind the challenge): http://go.nasa.gov/2m8VwpH
- Standards-aligned lesson: Pi in the Sky 4 (best for educator audiences): http://go.nasa.gov/2m8NrBB
- Share campaign: Pi Day: What’s Going ‘Round? (share what you’re doing for Pi Day): https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/edu/share/pi-day-whats-going-round/
- Twitter post: https://twitter.com/NASAJPL_Edu/status/840266573461958656
- Facebook post: https://www.facebook.com/NASAJPLEdu/posts/10158424974990397
We would, as always love any publicity, so please share like the wind. We’ll plan to tweet/post on early on March 14 with a link to the NASA Pi Day Challenge (https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/edu/nasapidaychallenge/). If you could retweet/repost us then, that would be great. For everything else, just be sure to use the hashtags: #PiDay and especially #NASAPiDayChallenge. Here’s a brief schedule of promotions:
- March 10: Promo lesson and teachable moment, focusing on educators
- March 13: Promo infographic/poster/downloadable products to general audience
- March 14: Promo NASA Pi Day Challenge to general audience, encourage participation in share campaign
- March 15: Ask for answers via social media
- March 16: Promo and release answer key
You can find all the graphics and promos in my exchange (kmorr/*PI DAY 2017) should you need them. They also include some incredible gifs made by Scott Hulme (check out the Mars crater one!).
Thanks all and let me know if you have any questions!