April 29 -30: NASA Space Apps Hackathon at DePaul University!

Save the date, April 29th and April 30th NASA SpaceApps Challenge! Weekend long “hackathon” for brainstorming solutions to Earth problems, using NASA open data, citizen science, and more. Participants can work alone or in teams, and promising projects will be sent on to NASA for review and potential awards.

Part of NASA’s Earth Science Division, SpaceApps has become the world’s largest global hackathon, engaging thousands of citizens each year across the globe to work with NASA in building innovative solutions challenges we face on Earth and in space using open source data. Diverse and collaborative teams of technologists, scientists, designers, entrepreneurs, and others work together in a 48-hour sprint to develop answers to some of the most pressing challenges facing planet Earth using NASA data. Over 15,000 citizens from 61 countries and in 161 cities around the world participated in the 2016 International Space Apps Challenge.

SpaceApps Challenge Chicago is also looking for volunteers and mentors to help with the event and guide participants with their project ideas during the event. Visit the SpaceApps page for more information and for registration: . For updates, follow on Twitter at .

For more information, contact the DePaul University Department of Geography: or the Geographic Information Systems Coordinator, Cassie Follett:

Aurora Borealis Visits Chicago

If you live in the Chicagoland area (as we do), you’ve probably heard about the northern lights show that graced our part of the country last Monday night.  According to astronomers it was the first significant event of Aurora Borealis to appear in Chicago in the last seven years.  The phenomenon occurs when high energy protons and electrons released by the sun (solar wind) interact with our planet’s magnetic field.  However, if you live in the city (where light pollution restricts visibility) or were inside (where walls and ceilings restrict visibility) between 8 and 9PM last Monday, you most likely missed it.  Fortunately, NASA has released some truly spectacular images and videos of the show.

(click for larger image)

[vimeo w=500&h=331]

(image and video courtesy of NASA)

Another angle:



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