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Here at the Science Center, we have baby alligators that are about two to three years old. In one lifetime, they’ll go through about 2,000-3,000 teeth because of the constant wear down they experience. In the wild, they eat fish, small mammals, birds, and other reptiles. We feed them a diet of chicken and reptile pellets, but we’d like to remind our guests to not feed alligators in the wild.

Naturally timid of humans, alligators begin to associate food with people once they get into the habit of being fed. It’s very dangerous and leads to an increase of alligator attacks. Visit NatureWorks to feed our gators without the worry!


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Being a carnivorous animal, an Eastern Indigo Snake’s diet consists of turtles, fish, birds, small alligators and other snakes, venomous and non-venomous. Primiarily found in Central and South Florida, Eastern Indigo Snakes frequent flatwoods, dry glades and sandy soils. Humans are the biggest known threat to these snakes because of highway fatalities, pet trade and habitat destruction. These creatures are enlisted as an endangered species and if you happen to see one in your yard, please contact the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission 1-888-404-3922.

Indigo_Snake


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Energy saving light bulbs are more than just a popular trend, they’re literally a ‘light saver.’ Although they cost about $5 more than the average bulb, they save approximately $30 or more per household during its lifetime by using 16 watts instead of 60 watts of energy. Using fewer watts, energy saving light bulbs generate less heat and allow homes to remain cooler. They’re proven to be 80% more efficient compared to a regular light bulb, so it’s no wonder that people are switching to a brighter solution.

 

Light_Bulb


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Composting is an easy way to reduce waste and it also benefits plants and soil. According to StopWaste.org, you need an equal proportion of browns, greens, air and water to make compost. Browns are dry, woody materials (leaves, shrub clippings, pine needles, newspaper, etc.) while greens are moist, nitrogen-fied materials (fruit and vegetable peelings, grass clippings, weeds, and the like). Mix the browns and greens equally and make sure the compost is kept as moist as a wrung-out sponge. Once your mixture has a nice, earthy smell and appears like coffee grounds, it’s ready to be used!


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Before the invention of telescopes, viewing stars was a difficult task because they blurred together in a white streak formation across the sky. An ancient Greek myth states that this white streak was coined ‘Via Galactica’ or “road made of milk” and is how our galaxy came to be known as the Milky Way.

Milky_Way

Our solar system, along with hundreds of billions of stars, clouds of dust and gases lie throughout our Milky Way Galaxy. Imagine the galaxy like a pancake being stretched, with a huge bulge forming in the center. From there, huge groups of stars and dust particles fan out from the center, generating a spiral of curving, coiled and patterned arms.

Sometimes parts of the Milky Way can be viewed with the naked eye. On very clear, dark nights it appears as a band of milky starlight stretching across the sky. So the next time you look up at the night sky, you will know that the Milky Way is so much more than a candy bar!


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Measuring and evaluating the brightness of stars can be traced back to the Greek astronomer and mathematician Hipparchus during 190 - 120 BC. He is responsible for producing a catalogue of comparative brightness and positioning of over 850 stars. Hipparchus formed the apparent magnitude scale to determine the brightness of a star as seen by an observer from earth.

How does this scale work? The brighter the celestial object appears, the lower the value of its magnitude. For instance, the faintest objects you can see using the naked eye are indicated with a magnitude of 6, while the Sun on the apparent magnitude scale is –26.74. However, most of the stars we gaze at in an urban neighborhood with our eyes are usually somewhere around 3 to 4 and if using binoculars, the limit is 10. More recently, through the use of the powerful Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have located stars with magnitudes of 30+. It is this basic classification from over 2,000 years ago that led to the magnitude scale that we still use today!


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Discovered in 1986 by Australian astronomer Malcolm Hartley, comet 103P or Hartley 2 is set for the closest encounter with earth in 24 years. This “dirty snowball” that is comprised of rock, dust, ice and frozen gases was visible in the constellation of Auriga as a fuzzy, green blur to Northern Hemisphere observers during Mid-October.

Through November, Southern Hemisphere stargazers can catch a glimpse of the comet as it travels away from earth, using the naked eye, binoculars and of course, a telescope. This year, Hartley 2 made its closest pass at a mere 11 million miles on October 20th and is calculated to orbit the Sun every 6 ½ years. EPOXI, or Extrasolar Planet Observation and Deep Impact Extended Investigation is a spacecraft that is due to make a flyby of Hartley 2 from only 600 miles away on November 4th. The mission plans to gather information on the comet’s surface and craters, as well as close-up images of dust and gas plumes.

Check back on our web site for "post fly by" information and updates!


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777 E. Princeton Street • Orlando, Florida 32803 • Phone: 407.514.2000 • TTY: 407.514.2005 • Toll Free: 888.OSC.4FUN • Email: gservices@osc.org
  Orlando Science Center is supported by United Arts of Central Florida, host of power2give.org/centralflorida and the collaborative Campaign for the Arts.
This project is funded in part by Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program. Privacy Policy • Accessibility

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