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SCIENCE
January 3, 2014 | By Amina Khan
Dogs can typically smell and hear far better than their human companions. Now it appears they can sense Earth's magnetic field too, say a team of biologists - and they show it when they poop. These canine compasses prefer to align themselves along a north-south magnetic axis when they relieve themselves, according to a study in the journal Frontiers in Zoology. The findings may help scientists better understand how that strange sense called magnetoreception manifests in mammals. Dogs wouldn't be the only animals thought to use magnetoreception: Birds do it, bees do it - and certain types of mammals do it, according to study coauthor Sabine Begall, a biologist at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany.
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NATIONAL
January 9, 2014 | By Saba Hamedy
A solar storm may cast colored lights - known as the Aurora Borealis or Northern lights - in the sky over parts of the northern Plains, the Great Lakes region and Northeast on Thursday and Friday, forecasters say. “It's a very rare occurrence,” Joe Kunches of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colo., told the Los Angeles Times. It may be only be visible for five or 10 minutes, most likely as far south as Colorado, Illinois and Iowa and potentially from Chicago, Boston, Cleveland, Seattle and Des Moines.  MORE: How to see the Northern lights The time, location and duration of an appearance is a calculated guess.
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 2, 2010
BOOKS Seth Grahame-Smith Hot on the heels of his successful "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," the author and film producer turns his spoofing sights from British literature to American history with " Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter." The amusing mash-up of fiction and fact has the 16th president avenging the unnatural death of his mother by ridding the world of vampires. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd. 7 p.m. Free. (310) 659-3110. www.booksoup.com. COMEDY Sister Groundling The funny women of the legendary improv group's Main Company regale audiences with a one-off evening of sketch comedy, improv and other mixed media shenanigans.
SCIENCE
January 3, 2014 | By Amina Khan
Dogs can typically smell and hear far better than their human companions. Now it appears they can sense Earth's magnetic field too, say a team of biologists - and they show it when they poop. These canine compasses prefer to align themselves along a north-south magnetic axis when they relieve themselves, according to a study in the journal Frontiers in Zoology. The findings may help scientists better understand how that strange sense called magnetoreception manifests in mammals. Dogs wouldn't be the only animals thought to use magnetoreception: Birds do it, bees do it - and certain types of mammals do it, according to study coauthor Sabine Begall, a biologist at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany.
NEWS
September 18, 1997 | From Newsday
An American spacecraft that went into orbit around Mars last week has found the first conclusive evidence the Red Planet has a magnetic field, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said Wednesday. The Mars Global Surveyor detected the magnetic field Monday as its instruments began gathering data. The field is no more than 1/800th as strong as Earth's.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 12, 2001 | K.C. COLE
The sun has a flair for putting on spectacular shows, and last month's was a doozy. Images taken at various National Science Foundation-funded observatories caught our local star in the act of spitting out glowing filaments 22 times the diameter of the Earth--dragon's breath streaming into space for 86,000 miles. Such flares create the beauteous aurora borealis, or northern lights, which in this case reached as far south as Palm Springs.
NEWS
October 15, 2001 | From Times staff and wire reports
University of North Carolina scientists have found the strongest evidence yet that baby loggerhead turtles "read" the Earth's magnetic field to help them navigate the massive clockwise current that sweeps the northern Atlantic Ocean. Small magnetite deposits in the turtles' brains allow them to recognize magnetic fields that mark geographic regions where they must change direction to stay on course, biologist Kenneth J. Lohman and his colleagues reported in the Oct. 12 Science.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 13, 2000 | RICHARD CROMELIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Who wrote the book of love? That question from the dawn of rock 'n' roll has an answer for the independent rock world of 2000. Stephin Merritt, a reclusive New York pop auteur who makes records under several band names, came blinking into the bright light of cult celebrity last year when his group Magnetic Fields released a three-CD set called "69 Love Songs."
HEALTH
September 29, 2003 | Dianne Partie Lange, Special to The Times
Researchers using a low-frequency magnetic field have confirmed that chronic tinnitus, or a ringing in the ears, is a problem in the brain. And, they've suggested, it can be eased. In a small study of people who had been troubled with tinnitus for years, transcranial magnetic stimulation reduced hyperactivity in a specific area of the brain in more than half of the participants. Those people subsequently reported that the troubling sound diminished.
SCIENCE
December 20, 2008 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
Recent satellite observations have revealed the largest breach yet seen in the magnetic field that protects Earth from most of the sun's violent blasts. The discovery, made by a fleet of five small NASA satellites known as Themis, was reported at the American Geophysical Union meeting. Last summer, Themis calculated a layer of solar particles to be at least 4,000 miles thick in the outermost part of the Earth's magnetosphere. Such breaches are temporary, and this one lasted about an hour.
SCIENCE
October 31, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn
The sun has erupted more than two dozen times over the last week, sending radiation and solar material hurtling through space - and scientists say more eruptions may be coming. This shouldn't be unusual. After all, we are technically at solar maximum, the peak of the 11-year cycle of the sun's activity. But this has been a noticeably mellow solar maximum, with the sun staying fairly quiet throughout the summer. So when our life-giving star suddenly let loose with 24 medium strength M-class solar flares and four significantly stronger X-class flares between Oct.  23 and Oct. 30, it felt like a surprise.
SCIENCE
October 25, 2013 | By Amy Hubbard
The sun shot out a pair of gigantic solar flares early Friday -- the second one even bigger than the first, a NOAA expert tells the Los Angeles Times. An X1-class solar flare occurred at about 1 a.m. PDT, followed by an even larger one about eight hours later. "This one was an X2, twice as intense as the X1 that just occurred," said Bill Murtagh, program coordinator with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in an interview Friday morning. PHOTOS: Stunning views of the sun News of the latest activity came as NASA released a spectacular video and image, see above, of a solar eruption in September, what the space agency termed a "canyon of fire.
SCIENCE
August 15, 2013 | By Monte Morin
Voyager 1, where are you? After traveling more than 11 billion miles, there's no doubt the 36-year-old spacecraft is the farthest man-made object from Earth. But whether the probe has exited the solar system and is now speeding through interstellar space has become a contentious issue among scientists. NASA insists Voyager remains within the heliosphere, the bubble of magnetism that emanates from the sun and stretches far beyond the orbits of Neptune and Pluto. In fact, Voyager scientists say the craft is now traveling through a mysterious region at the very edge of the heliosphere.
SCIENCE
August 7, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn
The sun's enormous magnetic field is about to flip, and the effects of this massive realignment will be felt throughout the solar system, including here on Earth. But don't expect anything too crazy to happen. Chances are you've experienced a major solar magnetic flip already, probably without even realizing it. The sun flips its magnetic field once every 11 years, at the same time it reaches solar maximum, when sun spots and solar flares are at their height.   The magnetic flip doesn't happen all at once, explained Phil Scherrer, a researcher at Stanford University who studies the sun. "It's a long, slow process, and in fact it has already begun," he told the Los Angeles Times.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 29, 2013 | By Randall Roberts, Pop Music Critic
The moment of unplanned silence prompted by a midceremony miscue between groom and DJ still stings. Music, after all, was to occupy a key spot in our recent wedding, playing a role otherwise reserved for scripture, prayer, meditation or hymn in a more traditional religious ceremony. In place of the usual wedding march, my nephew Leo, 11, and his guitar teacher had earlier serenaded the gathering with an expert - objectively speaking, of course - version of the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun" as my soon-to-be wife, Jenny, and her father walked down the aisle.
SCIENCE
February 22, 2013 | By Joseph Serna
And you thought acid rain was bad? As it turns out, it literally rains fire on the sun. In a video released this week, NASA highlighted yet another beautiful, hellish phenomenon of our nearest star, coronal rain. Thanks to the sun's magma twisting and braiding and swirling the star's countless magnetic fields every which way, occasionally things get a little messy. Such as on July 19, when a moderately powerful solar flare burst hot plasma out from the surface. As the material cooled and condensed, it traced along the magnetic fields arcing back to the sun's surface, creating a glowing, reddish-yellow arch of searing plasma raining back onto the sun. The size of these arcs of death rain is highlighted at 1:06 into the movie when Earth is shown next to them in scale.
NEWS
July 26, 1990 | From Associated Press
A newly repaired unmanned rocket blasted into space Wednesday with a satellite that will use chemicals to transform Earth's invisible magnetic field lines into brilliant bursts of color. The 143-foot Atlas rocket roared into a clear sky, and the satellite separated from the booster 28 minutes after launch, drawing applause at the control center.
NEWS
August 19, 1989 | LEE DYE, Times Science Writer
For the first time, the spacecraft Voyager has detected intense radio signals coming from Neptune, revealing that the planet has a magnetic field and indicating that next week's close encounter will be as intriguing as scientists had hoped. The discovery suggests that the spacecraft will find a wide range of interesting phenomena as it passes close to the distant planet Thursday night, including the kind of auroral activity that produces the northern and southern lights on Earth.
SCIENCE
January 23, 2013 | By Joseph Serna
Scientists have taken the highest resolution images of the sun's atmosphere ever, and it offers an explanation for the decades-old mystery of why its outer most layer is up to 800 times hotter than its surface. Using photos from the High Resolution Coronal Imager (Hi-C) that was flung into space in July, scientists observed small bands of magnetism near the star's surface twist, turn and braid together before snapping apart, releasing heat and energy flares that heated up the star's atmosphere.
SCIENCE
July 13, 2012 | By Jon Bardin, Los Angeles Times
Animal migration is one of the great wonders of the natural world. Monarch butterflies, Arctic terns and humpback whales, among other species, travel thousands of miles to escape harsh seasonal weather and find more hospitable climes, like New Yorkers who high-tail it for Florida when the first snowflake drops. But, unlike humans, animal species don't have airlines and highways to guide them. How do they make their amazing journeys? With the help of magnets, according to new research.
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