Cymraeg

Hello Bulb Buddies,

A big thank you to all the schools that sent in their weather data last week. Especially to those who left comments! Some of the comments last week noted that the weather has been getting steadily colder, and that temperatures increase throughout the day. For this reason I thought it would be interesting to talk a bit about the seasons!

There are four seasons in the year. Winter, spring, summer and autumn. We are in winter, which is the coldest season.

Spring starts around 20th March (the Spring Equinox), this is when most flowers bloom, the weather gets steadily warmer, and many animals have their young. Lambs in the fields are a good sign that spring has arrived!

The summer comes in full force from June to September, and this is when we have the warmest weather and the longest daylight hours. Luckily for you, it’s also when you get your longest school holidays!

Autumn takes hold from late September, and this is when the days become shorter and the weather begins to get colder! This is when the leaves change colour from green to oranges, reds and browns and fall from the trees. And when animals like squirrels hoard food for the long winter ahead. Winter arrives again in December, and stays until mid-March.

Do you know why we get seasons? What causes the weather to change so dramatically throughout the year? Well, it’s because the Earth is turning around the Sun at an angle. The picture below shows the earth in relation to the sun. The earth turns (rotates) on its axis (imagine a line joining the North and South poles) as it moves around (orbits) the Sun.

It takes the Earth 365 days to travel once around the sun. The length of a planets year is the time it takes for it to complete one orbit of its star. So a year on Earth is measured as the passing of 365 days. 

The picture above shows the Earth’s rotation around the Sun. The axis is shown by the white line at the North and South poles. You can see that the axis (white line) is at a different angle to the Earth’s orbit (shown by the white arrows). This means that each day we are at a slightly different angle to the Sun than we were the day before. This is what causes a difference in the number of daylight hours we get. Fewer daylight hours (winter) means less light and heat, making this time of the year colder. More daylight hours (summer) means more light and heat, which makes it warmer!

Many of you have noticed that temperature increases throughout the morning, and decreases in the late afternoon. This is because the heat from the sun gradually warms our surroundings throughout the day. Materials and living things absorb this energy, and become warmer themselves, heating the air around them. The sun is at its highest point around noon, so this is when the earth gets the most light and heat energy from the sun. In the afternoon the heat and light from the sun gradually decreases. However, the materials and living things around you will continue to radiate heat, gradually cooling throughout the afternoon and evening. This is why the temperature is often higher between 2-3pm than it is at midday. This is also why temperatures are lower in winter than they are in summer, because the days are shorter and as such our surroundings receive less heat and light energy from the sun.  

The UK is in what is known as the ‘North hemisphere’, this means we are closer to the North Pole than the South Pole. Notice that in the picture the North pole (the white line pointing up) is leaning towards the Sun in summer and away from the sun in winter. This angle is what causes the change in daylight hours as the Earth orbits the sun over the course of the year.

Other countries experience the changes in daylight hours at different times of the year. In Australia it is summer in December! And in Iceland they have continuous sunlight for days in a row in the summer and darkness for as long in the winter! Imagine having sunlight at midnight!

Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies,

Professor Plant

 

Your comments:

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Hello, This week it has been very frosty and cold. In the mornings it has been frosty but got warmer at lunch times.

Ysgol Bro Ogwr: Mae'r tymheredd yn newid yn y prynhawn.

Hudson Road Primary School: It has been quite warm during the afternoons this week with bright sunshine.

Ysgol Glanyfferi: The temperature is getting colder as it's getting further into the winter.

Hudson Road Primary School: It has been really cold towards the end of the week, with very frosty mornings but it has warmed up through the day.

Betws Primary School: An extremely wet start to the week! The temperature is beginning to dip and winter is most certainly coming...

Stane Primary School: It's getting colder and colder every day! Get your hat, scarf and gloves on. Professor Plant: Great advice Stane Primary, make sure you stay warm!

Arkholme CE Primary School: We have had some frosty nights and most of the leaves have fallen off the trees. No change what so ever with the bulbs. Have a good day.

Broad Haven Primary School: Everything was frozen every morning this week. Frost and ice. The birds are hungry they are eating the sunflower seeds of the sunflowers we grew in the summer.

Hudson Road Primary School: Friday was a lovely warm afternoon and we did lots of garden maintenance getting ready for the winter and filled our bird feeders so they will have food in the cold winter days. Professor Plant: That’s lovely Hudson Road Primary. Well done for looking after wildlife in your garden.

Darran Park Primary: Despite the sunny weather, the temperature has been quite cold but not freezing Also the temperature has been quite consistent but it dropped a little bit on Friday. As well, to start the week off is has been raining, nevertheless, the rest of the week has been dry.

Carnbroe Primary School: The weather was dry but cold and damp this week. Although it didn't rain the soil in our plant pots was damp. Professor Plant: Hi Carnbroe Primary, well done for checking whether your plants needed watering. It’s likely that dew or frost has been forming on top of the soil this will be why the soil is damp even though it hasn’t rained.  

Bacup Thorn Primary School: We had a lot of snow Thursday night into Friday. Heavy snow throughout Friday making a wet but enjoyable time at break. We had some very large snow flakes falling.

Bacup Thorn Primary School: A cold start to the week, ending with an extremely wet day!

Darran Park Primary: The temperature has dropped and the rainfall has raised.

Ysgol Rhys Prichard: No rain in the week. Hotter on Monday than Thursday.

Auchenlodment Primary School: There is no record for Wednesday as we were off school for St Andrew's Day. Professor Plant: Hi Auchenlodment Primary, thank you for letting me know. A number of other schools let me know that it was St Andrew’s day as well.

Ysgol Pennant: Diolch am y Worm World! Dwin edrych ymlaen am y bylbiau i agor. Diolch am y bylbiau dwin hoffi cadw golwg ar y potiau. Professor Plant: Helo Ysgol Pennant, diolch am eich gwaith called ac am anfon lluniau! Cadwch ati gyda'r gwaith caled Gyfeillion y Gwanwyn!

Rougemont Junior School: Flowers are starting to sprout. Professor Plant: Wow Rougemont, that’s great news! A few other schools have said that their plants are sprouting, it’s earlier than last year so it will be interesting to compare the results!

 

Thank you for sharing your comments when entering weather data to the National Museum Website website. Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies!

 

Your Comments:

Ysgol Y Wern: Roedd Dydd Llun yn stormus a wyntog iawn.

YGG Tonyrefail: Roedd e yn wythnos gwlyb iawn.

Beulah School: Roedd llawer o law ar dydd Llun!

Rougemont Junior School: Heavy rain and sleet on Friday, hope our bulbs will enjoy a cold shower.

Rougemont Junior School: Our baby bulbs are safe and sound in their pots and we have them on display.

Trellech Primary School: We had lots of rain at the weekend so the rain fall on Monday was high. We can’t wait for our flowers to start growing.

St Paul's C.I.W. Primary: Hello pr.plant. We are proud of our work. Professor Plant: And so you should be St Paul’s, keep it up Bulb Buddies!

Ysgol Rhys Prichard: Really cold on Monday. A lot of Rain on Monday too. No Rain on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Ysgol Glanyfferi: Variety of temperatures throughout the week.(R, K and A).

Alston Lane Catholic Primary School: Thursday 17th November - the rainfall was 25mm but I could not upload this as only 20 and 30 were options on the databank. Professor Plant: Hi Alston Lane, when entering the reading please round the figure to the nearest 10mm. So you were right to enter 30mm! But a reading of 24mm would be entered as 20mm on the website. Ellel St John's CE Primary School had a similar problem: ‘Lots of heavy rain on Monday 14th November, we actually measured 31mm of rain but it wasn't available on the drop down menu.’ Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies!

Ysgol Y Wern: Roedd hi'n oer iawn ar Ddydd Gwnener i gymharu ar ddechrau'r wythnos

Lawhead School: The plants were atrociously frozen. They were so frozen that when I tipped the pot out, nothing fell out of it. - J K and T L. Professor Plant: Wow, that is frozen! Don’t worry about your bulbs though, the soil will be insulating them against the cold!

Carnbroe Primary School: The weather has been very frosty and icy all week. On Thursday our class went out to check on the plants. The soil in our pots was frozen but have decided that our bulbs will still flower. Professor Plant: Well done for checking on your plants! I’m sure that your plants will still flower too. Lawhead Primary reported the same: Lawhead School: The week got colder towards the end. The soil in our pots is frozen solid!

Auchenlodment Primary School: After a wet and mild weekend it's been a very cold week. The plant pots have been covered with frost. Professor Plant: A few schools have noticed frost in their pots! I’m sure your bulbs are nice and warm buried in the soil. Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies.

Rougemont Junior School: Not sprouting yet but a few popping out. Professor Plant: Oh dear Rougemont, I hope they are sprouting! If it’s not a green shoot that you can see, but the brown top of the bulb, then you’ll need to put a few more handfuls of soil on top of them!

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Hello, we have noticed that some of the bulbs have started to pop up. Professor Plant: Hi Stanford in the Vale, do you mean that shoots have begun to appear? If so that’s great news!

Arkholme CE Primary School: It has been very wet as you can see in the data. It has been very cold, we have had our first frost of the winter. On three days of the week when we were collecting the weather data it was raining! Thank you. Professor Plant: Hi Arkholme CE Primary. Thank you for collecting the weather data even though it was raining. Be careful if the school yard is frosty! Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies!

Llanharan Primary School: 7th - 11th November and 14th - 18th November results have been mixed up - is there any way they could be swapped please? Sorry! Professor Plant: Hi Llanharan Primary,  thank you for letting me know the data was mixed up. Not to worry, I have swaped these dates for you. Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies|!

Auchenlodment Primary School: It was dry on Monday but there was a lot of rain over the weekend which was the 5mm recorded on Monday. We have felt the temperature drop over the week, it's getting very cold! Professor Plant: Well done for observing the weather over the weekend even though you are not taking readings on these days. Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies!

St Robert's R.C Primary School: We had a busy week this week and we went on a trip to Cardiff Museum on Friday! Professor Plant: Hi St Robert’s Primary. Wow, I hope you enjoyed your trip!

Broad Haven Primary School: What a week we have had gales-rain-sleet-hail-sun-rainbows. The sea has been very rough with huge waves. Professor Plant: Wow Broad Haven Primary, you really have had a mixed week in terms of weather. It’s interesting to see the effect a strong wind can have on the sea!

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: The weather has turned really cold today.
Been training people to do this experiment during the week. From R xxx Professor Plant: Hi R, thank you for training others to take weather readings, even in the cold! Keep up the good work Bulb Buddy!

St Clare's Catholic Primary School: A very chilly and wet week. We even have some snow today! Professor Plant: I hope you enjoy the snow St Clare’s Catholic Primary! Make sure you wrap up warm!

Ysgol Rhostyllen: We're really enjoying it! Professor Plant: Hi Ysgol Rhostyllen, I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying the project. Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies!

Carnbroe Primary School: It was so cold on Wednesday that we decided to check our plants to make sure they were alright, they looked ok. It rained really heavily all day Thursday and the ground was very wet and muddy. Professor Plant: Hi Carnbroe Primary, well done for checking on your bulbs! The soil will be keeping the bulbs insulated against the cold. Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies.   

Ysgol Rhys Prichard: A lot of rain on Wednesday compared to Thursday and Friday.
It was colder on Wednesday compered to Tuesday. Professor Plant: Hi Ysgol Rhys Pritchard, well done for comparing the results throughout the week. You might find it interesting to use the maps on the Spring Bulbs website to compare your results to those from other schools!

Coppull Parish Primary School: Again the children made all the recordings with no supervision. Well done. Professor Plant: Fantastic work Coppull Primary!

Chorley St James Primary School: It was a very wet week in Chorley! The temperature stayed below 13 degrees. Professor Plant: Hi Chorley Primary, fantastic work! Why not use the graphs on the Spring Bulbs website to compare your results to those of other schools? Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies!

 

This week is Chemistry Week and our Preventive Conservation team got involved. Two local high schools (St Teilo’s Church in Wales High School and Cardiff High School) were invited to participate in a workshop with live demonstrations and hands-on activities.

We organized the workshop in a collection store and one of our analytical laboratories at National Museum Cardiff. Neither space is laid out for large numbers of people and it’s always a bit of a squash. But once we had squeezed the last of the year 12 and 13 students into each room and closed the doors, there was no escaping the exciting world of analytical chemistry.

The students learned about Wales’s largest and most important mineral collection, the challenges of caring for it, and some of the analytical tools that help us: X-Ray diffraction (XRD), gas detection tubes, infrared spectroscopy (IR) and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR). The latter two are covered by the curriculum and the students enjoyed the opportunity to prepare real samples, analyse them and interpret the results. To them, this made the subject a lot more real than just learning about them from books. It was also important that the analyses were undertaken not simply as a method per se, but in the context of answering genuine research questions at the museum.

What does chemistry have to do with the care of collections? We undertake our own research on objects and specimens in the collections, and we collaborate with researchers at universities. In addition, the act of preserving our common heritage often throws up problems, as objects degrade and conservators need to work out why, and how to stop the degradation.

Often we cannot do this on our own, in which case we work with partners to investigate, for example, the corrosivity potential of indoor pollutants and their effect on mineral specimens in storage at National Museum Cardiff. These partners include Cardiff University’s Schools of ChemistryEngineering and History, Archaeology and Religion (Conservation Department).

One of these collaborations sparked yesterday’s schools engagement project, which was kindly supported and funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry (South East Wales Section). The Royal Society of Chemistry provided an entire bench full of portable analytical equipment for the day, which the society's Education Coordinator, Liam Thomas, set up in the Mineral Store. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the project, additional support came from Cardiff University’s School of Earth and Ocean Sciences.

Find out more about care of collections at Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales here.

 

Sometime at the beginning of the Bronze Age, about 2,250 to 2,000 BC, some people walked through the wetlands where Swansea Bay now lies. Perhaps they used one of the wooden trackways which had been laid across the wet ground, parts of which can still be seen when the tide is out.

They had with them a special object, a fine flint dagger, a piece of exquisite workmanship made by an expert craftsman. The dagger was part of a Europe-wide culture, and was perhaps an important part of their identity.

For some reason the precious object was dropped; perhaps by accident, but more likely left as a deliberate offering in shallow water in a place of special significance.

Rediscovery

The dagger remained submerged, first in the water, and then, as the environment changed, in peat beneath the sands of Swansea Bay, for four millennia. Then, in 1971, a student, Paul Tambling and his girlfriend, Angela, were walking across the bay and saw it sticking out of the sand.

They picked it up and took it home, and it became a treasured object once more, associated with happy memories and a unique symbol of their relationship.

Reporting

Early in 2016 Paul and Angela heard of a flint knapping demonstration being held at Cyfarthfa House Museum in Merthyr Tydfil and decided to take their dagger along to show an expert.

The flint knapper recognised the dagger’s significance and it was reported to Mark Lodwick, the Portable Antiquities Scheme finds co-ordinator at Amgueddfa Cymru.

The dagger was identified as a ‘Beaker Dagger’, more commonly found in south-eastern England, often accompanying high-status burials, with only four other examples known of in Wales.

The discovery was exciting, and Mark contacted Paul and Angela, who brought the dagger in for recording and told him their story.

Recreation

Ideally, an object of this importance would belong in a public collection in a museum, but it is understandable that Paul and Angela want to keep it, given its personal significance to them.

Happily, a solution has been found in the form of flint-knapper Karl Lee, who attended Swansea Museum’s Welsh Museums Festival event in October and made a replica for display in their galleries.

It will now become a part of Swansea Museum’s Lost Treasures of Swansea Bay project, which invites communities to respond to the deep history of the bay through the many archaeological items found there by members of the public.

Hello Bulb Buddies,

Thank you for the comments and observations you sent in with last weeks weather readings. I've included some of these below. Many of you have commented that the temperature has dropped and that you have had higher rain fall. Some of you have even had snow! For this reason I want to talk to you about how Meteorologists (weather scientists) measure snow. 

It is a lot trickier to measure the amount of snow that falls than it is to measure the amount of rain. This is because snow misbehaves! Snow is often blown by the wind into drifts, which causes some areas of deep snow and less snow in the areas around it. Because the snow fall is uneven the measurements from these places will be wrong! This is why we have to measure snow on flat surfaces, in the open and away from areas where drifts happen! Snow also likes to play games with Meteorologists who want to measure it, it melts into water and re-freezes into ice! This means that the snow measured on the ground isn’t always the same as the amount of snow that has fallen. Another problem is that new snow settles on old snow, so it is difficult to tell how much snow has fallen in one day from the snow that fell the day before! 

Meteorologists have to take all these tricks the snow plays, and work around them to discover how much snow has fallen. They look at snow fall (the amount of snow that falls in one day) and snow depth (how deep the total snow level is, old snow and new snow). One way that Meteorologists measure snow fall is to use a piece of ply wood. They place the wood in an open location away from areas where snow drifts occur, and measure the snow on the board at 6hr intervals, clearing the snow from the board each time they measure it. This means they are only measuring the snow from that day, which will tell them how much snow has fallen on that day in that area! 

Snow fall can also be measured in its melted state, as water. This means that you can use your rain gauge to measure the water equivalent of snow fall! If you only get a bit of snow then it should melt in your rain gauge anyway. But if you get a lot of snow, take your rain gauge inside to the warm and wait for the snow to melt into water. Then measure the water in the same way as you have done each week and report this as rain fall in your weather logs. 

If you have snow and enough time for an extra experiment – why not have a go at measuring snow depth? To do this all you need is a ruler (also known as a snow stick!). Place the snow stick into the snow until it touches the surface underneath, and read the depth of the snow.You need to take these measurements from flat surfaces (benches work well) in open areas and away from snow drifts! You need to take at least three separate measurements to work out the average snow depth in your area. You work out the average measurement by adding the different readings together and dividing them by the number of measurements. So, if I measured the snow depth of three surfaces at 7cm, 9cm and 6cm, I would add these together (7+9+6 =22) and divide that by three, because there are three readings (22÷3=7.33). So 7.33 would be my average reading for snow depth on that date. 

Weather stations such as the MET Office have come up with new ways of measuring snow depth, using new technologies. The picture on the right shows one of the MET Offices snow stations. These use laser sensors to measure how deep the snow is on the flat surface placed below it. This means that Meteorologists can collect readings from all over the country at the push of a button – which is far more reliable and a lot easier than sending people out into the cold with snow sticks! The map on the right shows how many snow stations the MET office has and where these are, is there one close to you? 

If you have snow and measure the snow fall with your rain gauge or the snow depth with a snow stick, then please tell me in the ‘comments’ section when you are logging your weekly records! I would be very interested to know what the snow depth is compared to the snow fall collected in your rain gauge! 

Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies, 

Professor Plant

 

Your comments:

Carnbroe Primary School: The weather in Carnbroe changed throughout the week. It started with beautiful crisp sunny days, snow on Wednesday and finally it rained and rained. Our plants were all well watered. Hooray!!

East Fulton Primary School: We had snow during Tues evening which is why rainfall reading is so high on Wed.

Auchenlodment Primary School: On Tuesday night it snowed so the rain gauge was filled with snow on Wednesday. We had to melt the snow so we could get a reading.

St. Charles Primary School: It was very icy this week and the water in the water gauge was frozen.

Ysgol Y Wern: Mae'r tywydd wedi oeri ond mae hi wedi bod yn heulog.

Arkholme CE Primary School: First really cold weather also got a bit of frost and one of the pots fell over. None of the bulbs have started to sprout yet though.

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Frosty mornings, bright blue skies we have experienced this week.  Heavy rain on Wednesday.

Henllys CIW Primary: We had a lot of rain on Wednesday and it was cold on Monday

Beulah School: very rainy Tuesday night !!!!!!!!!!

Trellech Primary School: It rained on Wednesday but not any other day of the week. It was fun measuring the rainfall.

St. Nicholas Primary School: We had a lot of rain on Tuesday night.

Barmston Village Primary School: The weather has been rainy this week.

Ysgol Glanyfferi: A wet week in Wales! Getting colder. Looking forward to seeing green shoots.

Broad Haven Primary School: It was very windy to start this week but with some sun. We had more rain and it was cold in the mornings.

Ysgol Rhys Prichard: A lot of rain on Wednesday. Really cold on Tuesday.

Darran Park Primary: The rainfall hasn't been very consistent. On the other hand the temperature has been very consistent has only varied by 1 or 2 degrees.

St. Charles Primary School: It was very icy this week and the water in the water gauge was frozen.

Garstang St. Thomas' CE Primary School: We were on half term this week but Mrs Bosson kept a record of the rainfall and temperature for us.

Professor Plant: Thank you Mrs Bosson!

Breckon Hill Primary School: We have measured the temperature and the rainfall in the location of the pots (front of the school) and in the flower beds (at the back of the school). We have noticed that it is slightly warmer at the front of the school as this area gets a little bit more sun.