CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 13, 2012 |
The summer sunset has painted a vivid watercolor of orange, coral and violet over the Pacific, just past the pier in Seal Beach. But Michael Beckage already has his telescope trained on the moon. Even in this light, the moon is bright and crystalline, like a salt mine with dimples and ridges. Yet Beckage hardly has a moment to take a peek. Instead, a little girl perches on a stepladder to squint into the eyepiece, a line forming behind her. "Do you see the holes in the moon?" Beckage says, pointing out the craters.
July 7, 2012 |
Southern Arizona's dark skies established the region as an international hub for astronomy in the 1960s. Observatories and other sky-gazing research facilities have brought prestige - and millions of dollars - to the state. Today, riches on the ground - or, more specifically, below it - also have the potential to enrich the state, resulting in an odd collision between mining and astronomy. Since 2007, when Rosemont Copper, which is owned by Canada's Augusta Resource Co., announced its plans to build a mine in the desert just south of Tucson, the environmental community has warned that the project will devastate the desert landscape.
June 13, 2012 |
ForgetSpider-Manor the Green Lantern. Get ready to meet the Dark Ranger. Since the turn of the century, a band of National Park Service rangers have become self-avowed lovers and protectors of the amazing night sky. Whereas in L.A. we look up at night and see the twinkle of an occasional star (or is that a plane bound for LAX?), they look skyward and see the Milky Way. "Dark Rangers are the sworn enemies of light pollution," Kevin Poe, a ranger at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah , writes on his website.
June 6, 2012 |
Across Southern California, sky watchers assembled Tuesday afternoon for a chance to view the last-in-a-lifetime transit of Venus. They donned protective glasses and peered into filtered telescopes to watch the planet as it crossed in front of the sun for the last time in more than 100 years. They spoke of watching a tiny black dot creeping ever so slowly across the solar disk with a combination of reverence and resignation. "It's like watching grass grow," said 93-year-old Don Nicholson, describing Venus' 6-hour, 40-minute progression, most of which was visible locally before sunset.
January 14, 2012 |
Type 1a supernovae, exploding stars that can outshine entire galaxies, were instrumental to the Nobel Prize-winning discovery that a mysterious "dark energy" is fueling the expansion of the universe. But astronomers haven't been able to pin down what causes these massive stellar explosions. Now, after studying a Type 1a supernova in a nearby galaxy, two researchers say that they must be the result of a collision between two white dwarf stars. They made their case this week in the journal Nature.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 25, 2011 |
Jerry Schad had a simple explanation for his ability to quickly experience every mile he wrote about in his guidebooks, which helped expand hiking opportunities in Southern California: "I run through the boring parts and walk through the interesting ones. " His "Afoot and Afield in San Diego County," first published in 1986, is regarded as the preeminent guide to the region's trails. He followed it with two other well-regarded "Afoot and Afield" books, on Orange County and then Los Angeles County.