Liz.Mebane's blog

Happy Birthday, Voyager 2!

For an incredible 33 years, Voyager 2 has been our eyes of discovery in the outer solar system and beyond. This venerable spacecraft has been in continuous operation more than 12,000 days, sending us compelling photos and information about the gas giants of the solar system: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Now headed into interstellar space beyond the solar system, the spacecraft is still transmitting invaluable data about the solar wind and deep space beyond the planets.


It’s Friday the 13th! How’s your day going? Friggatriskaidekaphobia or fear of Friday the 13th is believed to be the most widespread phobia in the US. As many as 21 million Americans believe Friday the 13th brings bad luck. Some take it so seriously that they stay home from work, won’t drive or fly, and may not even get out of bed.

Dive into Deep Sea

By Ben Remo
Science Museum of Virginia intern

Deep under the surface of the world’s oceans is a whole other dimension of life that one has to see to believe. Humans have always been fascinated with the ocean and creatures of the seas. The new IMAX movie, Deep Sea delivers to that curiosity by giving audiences an up-close look at the most bizarre and intriguing sea creatures in existence.


Ah, summer at the beach. What is your favorite beach activity? Swimming? Surfing? Volleyball? How about beachcombing? Do you like to collect seashells? Here is a brief guide to shells and other treasures you might discover on Virginia beaches. (To see the real thing, without a trip to the beach, visit the Science Museum’s exhibit, Beach Science: It’s a Shore Thing. The exhibit has labeled examples of most of these shells.)

The Chesapeake Bay “Ouch” Forecast

Have you met Chrysaora quinquecirrha? If you’ve spent time in the Chesapeake Bay in the summertime, you probably have. His more familiar name is sea nettle, and he is not one of the most pleasant fellows you will ever meet. The sea nettle is a large sea jelly, a semi-transparent bell-shaped invertebrate with long stinging tentacles. Chrysaora quinquecirrha lives along the Atlantic Coast south of Cape Cod. Like many of us, he loves the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries and can be seen in greater abundance here than anywhere else on the East Coast.

Mastering the Science of Surfing

By Ben Remo
Science Museum of Virginia Intern
One of the coolest sports during the hot months of summer may look like nothing more than a balancing act. However, there is a lot more to surfing than just staying up. To surf is to master the waves and motion of the water. Here, we explain the science behind one of the most popular summer sports.

Could the oil spill reach Virginia?

As officials make another attempt to cap the well spilling oil into the Gulf of Mexico, Virginians might be asking, “Could oil show up here?” As of now, it appears a large oil slick on Virginia waterways is unlikely, but oil residue in the form of tar balls could wash up on local beaches. How could oil that’s currently in the Gulf of Mexico end up in Virginia?


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