September 13, 2012 |
On Thursday night, an asteroid about the size of a 14-story building will hurtle past Earth at the mind-bending speed of 7 miles per second. And one month ago, scientists didn't even know it existed. Asteroid 2012 QG42 was just discovered on Aug. 26 by astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona. It has been classified as a PHA (Potentially Hazardous Asteroid) by the Minor Planet Center based in Cambridge, Mass. That sounds kind of scary, but scientists say there's no need to worry -- at least not yet. The asteroid is not expected to get closer to Earth than 7.5 x the distance of the moon from Earth. (The moon's distance from Earth fluctuates, but it averages 230,600 miles)
November 20, 2012 |
How old is the Earth? Scientists say 4.5 billion years. But Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) isn't a scientist, so he's not sure. That's what the Republican rising star told an interviewer for GQ who posed the question. “I'm not a scientist, man,” Rubio, a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, said. “I can tell you what recorded history says; I can tell you what the Bible says; but I think that's a dispute amongst theologians, and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States.” In case the interviewer didn't hear him the first time, Rubio added: “I'm not a scientist.
July 30, 2012 |
Poring over images of Saturn's icy moon Iapetus, planetary scientists have discovered massive landslides in which the falling ice travels much farther than should be possible given the coefficient of friction of the falling ice. In one spectacular case in the moon's Malun crater, ice broke off the wall of the 5-mile-deep crater and surged 22 miles across the crater floor -- an unusually long distance. Given that cold ice has a relatively high coefficient of friction, such long distances should not be possible unless there are forces at work that researchers don't yet know about, said planetary scientist William McKinnon of Washington University in St. Louis, who led the team studying the landslides.
November 19, 2012 |
Looking for a sign that the Republican Party might have some leaders who can appeal to younger voters? Mitt Romney cited the Beach Boys, Garth Brooks and the Eagles among his favorite musicians, but Sen. Marco Rubio raised some eyebrows Monday with hat tips to N.W.A and Public Enemy. Rubio, 42, who has sparked early 2016 presidential hype with a headlining visit to Iowa over the weekend, spoke to GQ about a number of topics, but his opinions on music and the Earth's age overshadowed his perspective on President Obama and young Republicans.
December 11, 2012 |
Asteroid 4179 Toutatis will zip past Earth this week. At its closest approach Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, it will come within 18 lunar distances of the planet. That's 18 times the distance from the Earth to the moon. That may not sound too close, but the asteroid's erratic orbit occasionally has it zipping by a little too close for comfort. That's why the asteroid has been designated "potentially hazardous. " In 2004 for example, the asteroid's orbit took it even closer to the Earth -- just about four lunar distances.
March 2, 2010 |
Early in our history it didn't make any difference how we viewed our environment. We could change it, and if we didn't like what we did to it, we could move and natural processes would soon obliterate whatever we had done. Over the years, models of our relationship to the environment have been based on religious views, with the world provided for us to dominate and subdue as described in Genesis, and philosophical views, seeing wisdom and virtue in nature as described by Thoreau. But by far our most prevalent view of nature derives from a rudimentary human desire for more.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 16, 2012 |
It took 99 years, but Death Valley finally got the record. The World Meteorological Organization announced last week that it now considers Death Valley National Park the hottest place on Earth. The highest recorded surface temperature of 134 degrees (56.7 degrees Celsius) was measured on July 10, 1913, at Greenland Ranch — now fittingly called Furnace Creek. That was apparently surpassed on Sept. 13, 1922, with a reading of 136.4 degrees (58 C) in what is now Libya. But that reading long has been disputed.
August 11, 2010 |
Geochemists studying Arctic rocks say they have found evidence of ancient rock from the interior of the Earth that is nearly as old as the planet itself. Such material gives scientists an idea of what the mineral structure of the inner Earth used to look like billions of years ago and may force them to adjust their theories about the evolution of the planet's structure over the eons, said Matthew Jackson, a geochemist at Boston University and lead author of the paper. The findings are published in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.
January 24, 2012 |
A massive explosion on the sun's surface has triggered the largest solar radiation storm since 2005 and has unleashed a torrent of charged plasma particles toward Earth, though the threat to satellites, power grids and other high-tech hardware is believed to be manageable, scientists said. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration detected a solar flare Sunday night that peaked at 7:59 p.m. Pacific time. NOAA satellites traced the bright flash of X-ray light to an area on the sun's surface known as region 1402 - the same area that had produced a weaker flare Thursday.
June 22, 2012 |
Billed as "the largest collaboration of media creation in the world's history," "One Day on Earth" is a compilation documentary built for these short-attention-span times. Drawn from 3,000-plus hours of footage from every country on the planet, taken by volunteer videographers on a single day in October 2010, the film is driven by a we-are-the-world connectedness, but remains a travelogue in search of a defining center. FOR THE RECORD: "One Day on Earth": A review of the film "One Day on Earth" in the June 22 Calendar section referred to an image of a Ukrainian bride's painted face.