May 25, 2012 |
On June 5, astronomers will witness an astronomical event that has been observed in the modern era only six times previously, a passage or transit of the planet Venus across the face of the sun. The next time such an event will occur is 2117, so researchers are gearing up to devote as many resources as possible to view the transit from both Earth and space. Among other things, scientists hope observations of the transit will inform efforts to detect extrasolar planets -- those around distant stars -- a feat that is achieved in part by observing the dimming of a star as a planet passes between it and the Earth.
May 18, 2012 |
After more than 50 hours of imaging at a variety of wavelengths, astronomers at the European Southern Observatory's La Silla Observatory in Chile have produced a spectacular new image of the galaxy Centaurus A, one of the most prominent radio-emitting sources in the universe. Centaurus A, about 12 million light-years from Earth in the southern constellation Centaurus (the Centaur), was discovered in 1826 by British astronomer James Dunlop using the Parramatta observatory in Australia.
May 3, 2012 |
Back when single-celled organisms ruled Earth, a gigantic black hole lurking quietly at the center of a distant galaxy dismantled and devoured a star. On Wednesday, astronomers reported that they watched the whole thing unfold over a period of 15 months starting in 2010, the first time such an event had been witnessed in great detail from start to finish. "The star got so close that it was ripped apart by the gravitational force of the black hole," said Johns Hopkins University astronomer Suvi Gezari, lead author of a paper about the observations that was published online by the journal Nature.
March 30, 2012
Call it the "Dodgers tax. " Pay-TV analysts expect Guggenheim Baseball Management, the investment group that paid an astronomical sum for the Dodgers, to recover at least part of its investment by charging a sky-high fee for the right to broadcast the team's games. With local stations and cable channels run by Time Warner Cable and News Corp. expected to get into a bidding war for those rights, the team is virtually guaranteed a multibillion-dollar contract - not unlike the one the Lakers won last year from Time Warner.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 7, 2011 |
Rising from the desert scrub and pointed toward the heavens, NASA's gargantuan radio telescope on Monday fired a beam of microwaves at the largest asteroid to pass near Earth in decades in an effort to map the craggy surface and, possibly, reveal the primordial ingredients of life. The 1,300-foot-wide asteroid will be nearest Earth on Tuesday, close enough to be inside the moon's orbit but far enough away to be invisible to the naked eye and pose no danger. The giant space rock's flyby is being tracked by amateur and professional astronomers across the globe, including a team of NASA scientists at the controls of the Deep Space Network antenna in the Mojave Desert outside of Barstow and the Arecibo Planetary Radar Facility in Puerto Rico.
October 27, 2011 |
Eris, the dwarf planet whose 2005 discovery led to Pluto losing its status as a planet, has passed in front of a star, providing astronomers with the clearest view of it since it was identified. It is about the same size as Pluto and is one of the brightest objects in the solar system, according to the new analysis, released Wednesday by the journal Nature. Scientists' picture of Eris had remained fuzzy because its distance from Earth is so vast: It is about three times farther out from the sun than Pluto.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 16, 2011 |
The desert planet of Tatooine is home to all manner of wonderful creatures — womp rats and banthas and jawas. But any proper "Star Wars" fan knows that the planet's most dynamic feature is its two suns, creating a magnificent double sunset that a young Luke Skywalker stares into during his wistful moments. On Thursday, astronomers announced the discovery of a real planet that orbits two suns, a scenario that breaks so many galactic rules that it was thought by many to exist only in science fiction.
June 20, 2011 |
Summer starts Tuesday with a nice freebie from the U.S. National Park Service: Visit a national park that day and pay no entrance fees . At Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona , you'll not only save the $25-per-vehicle entry fee on Tuesday--you can also attend a free stargazing party, with astronomers on hand to demystify the night sky. The deal: Not all national parks, monuments, recreation areas and historic sites charge fees,...
June 18, 2011 |
Astronomers have discovered a hidden collection of supermassive, growing black holes dating back to the early universe -- showing, for the first time, that black holes populated the cosmos far earlier than thought. The findings, published online Wednesday in the journal Nature, could help scientists understand how these black holes are born, how big they grow and how galaxies develop with them. "We know the nearest galaxies, like our own Milky Way, all have supermassive black holes in the center," said lead author Ezequiel Treister, an astronomer at the University of Hawaii.
April 22, 2011 |
"Nostalgia for the Light" won't make you nostalgic for anything because it's not like other documentaries you've seen. A film of rare visual poetry that's simultaneously personal, political and philosophical, it's a genuine art film that's also unpretentious and easygoing. As directed by Chilean director Patricio Guzmán, "Nostalgia" is a completely fascinating meditation on different aspects of the past and the interlinked ways we explore them. This may sound cold and distant but Guzmán's mastery of cinema means that what sounds artificial turns out to be moving in a surprising, even profound way. Beginning with the landmark "The Battle of Chile," that country's past has always been Guzmán's subject, specifically the Salvador Allende revolution and the Augusto Pinochet counter-revolution.