NASA fired up for Pi Day 2016

NASA dares you to take Pi Day challenge to celebrate 3.14 (March 14)

NASA fired up for Pi Day
Credit: NASA

You didn't think the science types at NASA would let March 14 (a.k.a. Pi Day 2016) pass by without notice, did you?

Indeed, the US civilian space program agency bows at the alter of pi, noting that it "has all sorts of applications in the real world, including on missions developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory." This includes using pi to make measurements of Mars.

JPL this year has launched its third Pi Day challenge, which gives math-minded students a chance to essentially match wits with NASA scientists and engineers. Use pi to calculate how much sunlight is blocked by Mercury as it passes between Earth and the sun, among other problems. While the four illustrated math programs are designed for kids in grades 4-12, others are welcome to give them a whirl, too.

Answers will be revealed on March 16, so you'll actually get a little extension beyond the formal Pi Day to work on these.

Take the Pi in the Sky 3 challenge right now (no word on whether you get bonus points for using a Raspberry Pi computer to do your calculations...)

MORE: Best ways to celebrate Pi Day 2016

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