Ask Science and Arts Magazine for Kids and Children

Ask Science and Arts Magazine for Kids and Children May/June 2020

Each themed issue of ASK invites newly independent readers to explore the world of science and ideas with topics that really appeal to kids: What makes wind? Where do colors come from? Were pirates real? Filled with lively, well-written articles, vivid graphics, activities, cartoons, and plenty of humor, ASK is science kids demand to read! Grades 3-5

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9 Números

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2 min.
nosy news

A GIANT’S HEART An adult human’s heart beats 60 to 100 times a minute, on average. But a hamster’s heart can beat 400 times a minute. Smaller animals usually have faster heartbeats than bigger animals. So what about the biggest animal on Earth—the blue whale? Researchers decided to find out with the help of some stick-on microphones. The team used a long pole to stick tiny sensors onto whales when they came up for air at the ocean’s surface. Suction cups held the sensors tight to each animal’s skin. The sensors could pick up the sound of the whale’s heartbeat. The sensors showed that a blue whale’s heart beats almost 40 times a minute at the surface. But when the whale dived deep, its heartbeat slowed down to just twice a minute. Slowing…

5 min.
field guide to space rocks and where to find them

Where do space rocks come from? Most are left over from when the solar system was born, 4.5 billion years ago. The sun and planets formed from a big spinning cloud of gas and space dust. And there are still bits of leftover rock (and gas) floating around. ASTEROID An asteroid is any small rocky object that orbits the sun. Asteroids range in size from a few feet to many miles across. They are smaller than planets or moons. Many have odd shapes. Some are solid rock or metal. Others are loose clumps of pebbles, dust, and ice, gathered together like a leaf pile. Sometimes asteroids run into each other and split up or stick together. There are millions of asteroids in our solar system, left over from when the sun and planets…

2 min.
is there a meteorite in your backyard?

How can you tell if a rock is a meteorite or just a rock? Here are a few signs to look for. Is it a bit heavy? Meteorites are often a bit heavier than ordinary rocks. Many contain metal. But there are also heavy Earth rocks. Does it look burnt? Falling meteorites heat up super hot. Most vaporize entirely. Bits that survive the trip usually have a burnt crust that is darker than the rock inside. Often the crusts have melty crackle lines and flake off easily. No holes Meteorites do not have holes or air pockets in the rock. This can be an easy way to tell them apart from lava and slag, a human-made rock left over from metal-making. Does its surface have smoothed dents? Often, meteorites have smooth dents that look like thumb prints. These…

5 min.
ride a comet

Beyond Earth, past Jupiter and Saturn, and farther than Pluto lies a cold and distant region called the Oort Cloud. Out here, trillions of dirty, icy lumps surround the solar system like a vast, loose bubble. Scientists believe that these lumps were left over when the planets formed about 4.5 billion years ago. Now and then, a lump gets pulled out of its peaceful orbit by the gravity of a star or planet. It plunges into the inner solar system on a wild ride toward the sun. A comet is born. A Comet’s Journey Most pictures of comets show a bright ball of light with a long, glowing tail. That’s how comets look when they pass Earth. But they don’t start out that way. Our baby comet leaves the Oort Cloud as a…

2 min.
the visitors

Oumuamua On the night of October 19, 2017, the Pan-STARRS telescope in Hawaii got to work, scanning the skies for asteroids. But that night, it found something new. It spotted a small object moving fast—five times faster than a normal comet. It was zooming away from the sun on a wide, curving path. Over the next several days, telescopes around the world tracked the object. They noticed that it got brighter and darker about every seven hours. What could cause that? Maybe the object had a long shape that was tumbling over and over. When they traced the path to see where it had come from, it pointed outside our solar system entirely. The object was a visitor from another star! It was the first extrasolar space rock every spotted. Astronomers named it Oumuamua,…

4 min.
caroline chases comets

One night, when I was a little girl, my father took me outside to show me the stars. As he pointed out the constellations, we spotted a visitor to our sky. A comet! I gazed at the glittering sky with wonder. That was one of the first comets I ever saw, but it wasn’t the last. My name is Caroline Herschel, and I’m a comet hunter. Music of the Stars I was born in Hanover, Germany in 1750. When I was 22, I moved to England to live with my older brother, William. He was a musician. At the time, I wanted to be a singer. William thought I had a pretty voice. He offered to give me singing lessons in return for doing his housekeeping. I practiced and practiced my singing. Soon,…