IU professor of physics Paul Sokol. (Science Fest Oct. 9, 2021)
Launching his rocket was Tommy Rasmusson. (Science Fest Oct. 9, 2021)
Covering her ears is Grace Johnson assisted by her dad Bo Johnson. (Science Fest Oct. 9, 2021)
In Dunn Meadow on Saturday morning, Indiana University’s Science Fest provided touchdowns aplenty despite the football team’s bye week.
Every 20 minutes or so, a model rocket or two, sometimes four at a time, were sent soaring 800 feet or more into the clear skies, undisturbed by much of a measurable breeze.
After its engine backfired (by design), to pop off the nose cone and deploy the parachute, one of the rockets landed just a few feet from the launch pad. Others landed a bit farther away, towards 7th Street.
Supervising the activity was IU professor of physics Paul Sokol and lecturer Dilara Sultana, along with a handful of graduate students in the department.
That follows 5 to 7 inches of rain that fell over a shorter period last weekend, which flooded a downtown Bloomington street, overtopped a county bridge with debris, and caused the floodwaters to sweep up one car, leaving its driver dead.
The 6.1 inches measured on IU’s campus was the highest two-day total in the last century.
Does last weekend’s single event prove the case for climate change?
When The B Square spoke on Wednesday with Gabriel Filippelli, professor of earth sciences at IUPUI, he said, “Each given intense rainfall event does not mean that climate change has descended on us.”
Filippelli continued, “However, when you look at the regional records and you see the number of days Indiana has had extreme rainfall events, it has gone up substantially from about the end of the 1980s on.”
The amount of extreme rainfall in central Indiana has gone up by about 15 percent since 1990, Filippelli said. He continued, “The projections are, it’s going to go up another 15 percent by 2050.”
That means extreme rainfall will continue to be likely in this area, he said. He added, “Whether climate change will make them worse or not, it’s hard to say, ”
On Friday, June 5, 2020, a peaceful protest against police brutality, organized by Black student leaders at Indiana University, wound its way from Dunn Meadow westward to the courthouse square. Demonstrators numbered in the thousands. Here’s a mosaic of images from the event, which was promoted with the slogan “Enough is Enough.” (Click on any image to enlarge and start a slideshow through the rest of the images.)