January 31, 2014 |
On Thursday morning, at exactly 5:31 a.m. Pacific time, the moon passed across the face of the sun, at least from the perspective of NASA's space-based Solar Dynamics Observatory. Although the SDO sees two to three lunar transits of this ilk a year, this one was especially cool for a few reasons. 1. At 2.5 hours, it was the longest lunar transit that the SDO has observed in its four years in space. 2. If you watch the video above closely, you can see the sun release a solar flare and a coronal mass ejection (CME)
January 28, 2014 |
If you're looking for hot spots of diversity, look to the Earth's warm, sweaty midsection. The tropical regions near the equator both produce new species faster and lose them more slowly, according to a study that analyzed the evolution and extinction rates of nearly all mammal species on Earth. The findings, published in the journal PLOS Biology, show that the tropics have been a major source of biodiversity for the cooler, more temperate regions of the planet. Scientists have long noticed that tropical ecosystems are rich with different kinds of animal species, while colder regions have far less diversity.
January 24, 2014 |
The film “20,000 Days On Earth” is that rare thing, a movie that is hard to classify. Even describing it is difficult to do. Screening as part of the World Cinema Documentary Competition at Sundance, it is a document of the recording of Nick Cave's most recent album “Push the Sky Away,” an intimate look at his life, creative process and where his mind is at now, as well as a burnishment of his carefully crafted persona as lover man, wild...
January 15, 2014 |
The apocalypse is a hot topic these days. "The Walking Dead" proved that big ratings can come from horrific end-of-the-world-style chaos. Now HBO is jumping into the fray with a new Rapture-based show called "The Leftovers," and the CW is banking on a new series called "The 100. " "The 100" takes place nearly a century after a nuclear war destroyed planet Earth. The only survivors were 400 inhabitants of 12 international space stations. The series, which is based on the book of the same name by Kass Morgan, picks up when the mothership is in desperate trouble.
January 10, 2014 |
The track lighting has been installed, the pamphlets have been printed, and the 357-pound metal space rock that crashed to Earth 50,000 years ago has been bolted to its small display table. UCLA's Meteorite Gallery is officially open to the public. To the casual observer, this small room on the third floor of the Geology Building might resemble the trophy room of a fastidious rock collector. But to curator John Wasson, a 79-year-old cosmochemist at the Westwood campus, it is much, much more.
December 26, 2013 |
"How are your kids, hon?" a woman asked Julia Roberts after stopping the actress on a Pacific Palisades sidewalk. She was a familiar neighborhood face to Roberts, and so the two caught up for a few minutes, hugged and parted ways. Here, in the tony enclave populated with Pilates studios and juice bars, this is how most people relate to Roberts - as a neighborhood mom. Someone who hides her makeup-less face behind Ray Bans while running errands; sets an alarm on her phone so she remembers to feed the meter; wears a neon-colored rubber band bracelet because her daughter made it for her. "The kind of energy I attract is very calm," said Roberts, 46, settling in for lunch at an empty local cafe.
December 19, 2013 |
Warner Bros.'s video gaming division has partnered with Wikia, an online social network for pop culture and entertainment enthusiasts, to connect with Middle-earth aficionados. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has teamed with Wikia to create the official interactive community site and a companion iPad application for its upcoming action game "Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor," which takes place between the narratives of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings.
December 18, 2013 |
There is a new island on our planet. Its name is Niijima, and you can see one of its newest baby pictures, courtesy of NASA, above. Niijima is a volcanic island. It emerged from the Pacific Ocean one month ago, about 600 miles south of Tokyo. It is still rather small -- just 13.8 acres according to a recent report . It rises 60 to 80 feet above sea level. The picture above was taken Dec. 8 by the Advanced Land Imager on NASA's Earth Observing satellite.
December 16, 2013 |
Hey there sky watchers, here's a subtle treat for your Monday evening: Tonight you can enjoy the smallest full moon of 2013. Mini-moon? Sure, you can call it that if you like. The moon does not move in a perfect circle as it orbits our planet, so there are times in the month when it is closer to us and times when it is farther away. When the moon hits the farthest point from Earth in its elliptical orbit, astronomers say the moon is at apogee. When the moon's orbit takes it closest to us, they say it is at perigee.
December 13, 2013 |
The habitable zone around sun-like stars might be a little wider - or thinner - depending on how big you thought the habitable zone was in the first place, suggests new research in the journal Nature. The findings, based on 3-D models of the runaway greenhouse gas effect, may alter the estimated number of habitable planets around sun-like stars in our galaxy - and they may also may affect how future planet-hunting space telescopes are designed and built. The habitable zone is the doughnut-shaped "Goldilocks" region around a star where a planet would be warm enough to have liquid water and cool enough to keep it from evaporating away.