CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 17, 2013 |
A few Caltech students had the chance to pick famed physicist Stephen Hawking's brain on black holes and other topics after he gave a lecture on campus Tuesday. The questions were submitted in advance; Hawking answered through a speech-generating device. He was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 1963 and has spent much of his life in a wheelchair. One Caltech student asked Hawking after the lecture if he believed in a theory that our universe was caused by a black hole in another universe.
April 13, 2013 |
Clive Svendsen doesn't get rattled easily, but the neurobiologist couldn't help sweating when Stephen Hawking paid a visit to his lab this week. Hawking is one of the world's foremost theoretical physicists. He pioneered groundbreaking research into how particles behave around black holes and deduced that black holes spit out radiation as they swallow up matter. He's also credited with teaching millions about the mysteries of the cosmos through his books, including the bestseller "A Brief History of Time.
April 10, 2013 |
Humans are on the cusp of discovering how the universe works on its biggest and smallest scales, Stephen Hawking said during a lecture Tuesday in Los Angeles. The renowned theoretical physicist made his name studying black holes, massive structures that anchor galaxies and whose gravity is so strong that not even light can escape. But on Tuesday, he delved into the world of microscopic cell biology to see first-hand how researchers at the Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute are using stem cells to develop treatments for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, the disease Hawking was diagnosed with in 1963.
March 23, 2013 |
Scientists and space junkies got some good news from NASA on Friday: The space agency announced it would keep the Hubble Space Telescope 's science operations going at least through April 30, 2016. The three-year extension will cost NASA $76 million, according to the announcement . The Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore manages Hubble's science operations for NASA through a contract with the Assn. of Universities for Research in Astronomy. PHOTOS: Hubble's Brilliant Images of Space Launched in 1990 from the shuttle Discovery, Hubble has contributed to many scientific breakthroughs . My personal favorite is the 1998 discovery that the universe is expanding at an accelerated rate, pushed apart by a mysterious force called dark energy.
March 16, 2013 |
Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the quasar - an extremely bright object powered by matter falling into a super-massive black hole lying in the heart of a galaxy. First found in 1963, these strange sources of radio waves initially stumped astronomers: They shone as sharply and intensely as nearby stars, but they appeared to be moving away from Earth far too fast to be in our own Milky Way. Scientists called them quasi-stellar radio sources - or quasars for short.
February 27, 2013 |
Black holes may have given up some secrets of their growth thanks to the sleuthing of two X-ray space telescopes. The findings have solved a long-standing mystery about a supermassive black hole's spin, finding that some of them can whirl very close to what the speed of light allows. NASA's X-ray telescope NuSTAR teamed up with the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton space telescope and found that the black hole anchoring nearby galaxy NGC 1365, sitting about 56 million light-years away and containing the mass of 2 million suns, is spinning at 84% of the maximum possible rate, according to a study released Wednesday in the journal Nature.