February 21, 2013 |
Death Valley National Park gained a new distinction Wednesday for its night sky and the care it has taken to protect and preserve the darkness. The International Dark-Sky Assn. selected Death Valley as an International Dark Sky Park for its exceptional skyscape, educational programs and steps it has taken to reduce the glow and glare of artificial lights inside the park. There are 11 parks worldwide that have received the dark-sky moniker. "Death Valley is a place to gaze in awe at the expanse of the Milky Way, follow a lunar eclipse, track a meteor shower, or simply reflect on your place in the universe," National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said in a statement.
February 21, 2013 |
With the Oscars telecast airing on Sunday, Hollywood is preparing for the biggest weekend of the year. There won't be as much to celebrate at the box office, however, as two new films are expected to have lackluster debuts. "Snitch," an action film starring the beefy Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, is expected to start off with an underwhelming $12 million, according to those who have seen prerelease audience surveys. That means the picture will have to compete for the No. 1 spot with "Identity Thief," the Melissa McCarthy comedy that is still doing brisk business as it enters its third weekend in theaters.
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.
May 4, 2012 |
The biggest full moon of the year Saturday (tonight) will bring the highest and lowest of tides too. And, according to NASA Science News , dogs may howl and the bright glare of moonbeams may keep you up that night. (If you don't believe me, watch the video above that explains it.) In fact, the "perigree moon," as it's known, occurs at 8:40 p.m. Pacific time when the moon in its orbit comes closest to Earth -- and only super-keen observers will be able to distinguish it from a regular full moon.
April 14, 2011 |
Ladies and gentlemen, don your raincoats. Conditions may be just right in the coming days for a moonbow at Yosemite National Park. A moonbow, also called a lunar rainbow, occurs, oddly enough, at night. The Yosemite National Park website says an optimal view is the result of "clear skies, enough water in Yosemite Fall to create sufficient mist, dark skies, bright moonlight not blocked by the surrounding mountains, and the correct rainbow geometry. " I can make no iron-clad promises, but Yosemite spokesman Scott Gediman said conditions look right: There is a lot of runoff at Yosemite Fall, the snow pack is enormous and the weather is warm.
September 16, 2007 |
The sun had set behind a 30-foot sandstone mountain when a short, stocky man with a Brooklyn accent addressed a crowd of about 75 people standing in a parking lot near the Hidden Valley picnic area at Joshua Tree National Park. Behind him, a cloudless, darkening sky stretched over a flat sea of sand, Joshua trees and rust-colored boulders.