November 11, 2011 |
For the first time, astronomers have discovered clouds of pristine gas in the distant universe about 12 billion light-years away. The finding offers a peek at what primordial gas looked like just a few minutes after the big bang, before heavier elements formed — a time when star formation was very different than it is today. The gas clouds, which appear — surprisingly — to have survived for about 2 billion years after the big bang almost 14 billion years ago, were discovered through looking at the light from distant quasars, some of the brightest objects in the universe.
April 1, 2011 |
April Fools' has been a busy "news" day for the airline industry. In the name of fun, many carriers worldwide are announcing groundbreaking innovations aimed at improving the passenger experience, cutting costs and even defying the laws of physics. Earlier, I wrote about Ryanair's move to offer child-free flights . Here's a roundup of more April Fools' airline news/gags: -- In a post on its blog, Southwest announced that its team of scientists (the kind who study time travel, not the kind who build planes)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 30, 2010 |
Astronomer Leonard Searle, a former director of the Carnegie Observatories whose observations provided crucial information in determining the conditions of the Big Bang that created the universe and helped explain how heavy elements are produced in stars, has died. He was 79. Searle died July 2 at his home in Pasadena, according to the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C. No cause of death was released. Searle also played a crucial role in the construction of the twin 6.5-meter (255-inch)
March 23, 2010 |
It's raining on Jupiter. And probably on Saturn too. But it isn't raining rain, you know. It's raining . . . helium. Yes, droplets of that inert gas that keeps the Goodyear blimp aloft and that powers the runaway house in the movie "Up" are falling like a soft rain from the upper atmosphere of the planet into the gas giant's high-pressure interior. In the process, they're washing away the neon that should also be in the upper atmosphere, researchers from UC Berkeley reported Monday in the online version of the journal Physical Review Letters.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 7, 2009 |
The Orange County Great Park's main attraction -- a giant helium balloon ride -- has seen more colorful days. Two years out in the sun on an old airfield in Irvine has faded the painted surface of the giant balloon from a vibrant orange to a pale peach. So the vessel is being outfitted with a bright-new envelope shipped in from France, which was inflated last week so it can once again carry visitors in a gondola 400 feet into the air. It will take a crew of 30 workers five days to replace the balloon and pump it full of helium, officials say. This time around, the city is using a dye-impregnated fabric with UV-protected pigment, which is expected to retain its radiant orange hue for at least five years.
May 29, 2009 |
As success follows success for animation powerhouse Pixar, the pressure to maintain the streak must be phenomenal. Will the next film be the one that stumbles, the one that breaks stride? No one need worry, however, about "Up," Pixar's 10th and latest effort. It's not only good, it's one of Pixar's best. Some films are an obligation to write about, "Up" is the purest pleasure. Though films such as "Toy Story," "A Bug's Life," "Toy Story 2," "Monsters, Inc."