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SCIENCE
February 6, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
On the 529th day of Curiosity's journey on Mars, the rover turned its cameras to the skies and sent back this humbling image of Earth and our moon. Our planet and moon appear as two small dots in the Martian sky, no bigger or more significant than Mars or Jupiter look to us. The image was taken Jan. 31 Earth time, 80 minutes after the sun set on Mars. Although Earth and the moon look small, they are currently the two brightest bodies in the Martian night sky, according to a release from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  If you or I were standing on the Martian surface, we would have no trouble seeing our home planet with the naked eye.  PHOTOS: Moons of the solar system Earth does not always appear so bright on Mars.
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SCIENCE
February 6, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
On the 529th day of Curiosity's journey on Mars, the rover turned its cameras to the skies and sent back this humbling image of Earth and our moon. Our planet and moon appear as two small dots in the Martian sky, no bigger or more significant than Mars or Jupiter look to us. The image was taken Jan. 31 Earth time, 80 minutes after the sun set on Mars. Although Earth and the moon look small, they are currently the two brightest bodies in the Martian night sky, according to a release from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  If you or I were standing on the Martian surface, we would have no trouble seeing our home planet with the naked eye.  PHOTOS: Moons of the solar system Earth does not always appear so bright on Mars.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 22, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn
The largest and brightest full moon of 2013 will light up the sky this weekend when it passes the closest point to the Earth in its elliptical orbit. The so-called supermoon will reach its closest distance to the Earth at exactly 4:32 a.m. PDT Sunday, but both Saturday night and Sunday morning will offer good opportunities to observe the spectacle, according to NASA. The supermoon will be up to 14% larger and 30% brighter than a typical full moon. When the moon reaches its perigee, it will be just 221,824 miles away from Earth -- or 16,176 miles closer than usual.
NEWS
December 20, 2013 | By Catharine M. Hamm, Los Angeles Times Travel editor
Saturday is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year in terms of daylight hours -- and perhaps a sun lover's nightmare and a stargazer's delight. Jack Fusco falls into the second category, and his time-lapse video above shows how fascinating the heavens can be. The more than 2,000 photos he took during the October Jasper Dark Sky Festival in Alberta, Canada , create an ethereal portrait of an area that ranks low in light pollution. That's distinctly different from New Jersey, where he began to experiment with photography by taking photos of the ocean at sunrise.
SCIENCE
August 16, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn
This week an amateur Japanese astronomer discovered a new nova shining in the night sky, and experts say it is getting brighter by the hour. If you are familiar with the constellations and can read a star map, you can try to find it for yourself. The newly discovered nova is just north of the constellation Delphinus. As of Friday afternoon , it was a magnitude 4.4, which means it is just on the edge of vision in a somewhat light-polluted suburb, said Alan MacRobert, a senior editor at Sky & Telescope magazine.
NEWS
December 20, 2013 | By Catharine M. Hamm, Los Angeles Times Travel editor
Saturday is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year in terms of daylight hours -- and perhaps a sun lover's nightmare and a stargazer's delight. Jack Fusco falls into the second category, and his time-lapse video above shows how fascinating the heavens can be. The more than 2,000 photos he took during the October Jasper Dark Sky Festival in Alberta, Canada , create an ethereal portrait of an area that ranks low in light pollution. That's distinctly different from New Jersey, where he began to experiment with photography by taking photos of the ocean at sunrise.
MAGAZINE
March 21, 1999
We city dwellers miss much of the experience of awe and wonder that the night sky can bring ("Star-Struck," by K.C. Cole, Feb. 14). I just got back from a tour of the Mayan ruins at Uxmal, Mexico, deep in the Yucatan jungle and away from the artificial lights of the city. The highlight there was a night show during which a narrator tells of two young lovers while the lighting on the temples plays off and on against the blackness of the sky. When the lights first went off, I was hit by vertigo--the sky was so deep and filled with stars.
NEWS
December 24, 1992 | ANNE KLARNER
Consider it an astronomical time machine. Thanks to the magic of physics and mathematics, the Griffith Observatory--in its "Christmas Star"' show--has used the Zeiss planetarium star projector to create an image of what the night sky was like in 3 or 2 BC. It was about then that three men--tradition names them as Gaspar, Balthazar and Melchior--followed a star in search of a newborn king.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 24, 2000 | JANA J. MONJI, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Susan Yankowitz's "Night Sky" is an engrossingly painful examination of an astronomer's fall into a black hole of aphasia. Lawrence Miller's set at the Odyssey Theatre separates three main spheres of existence in the astronomer's life--academic, personal and medical--by placing them on platforms that lift them above a blackened floor. Anna (Kimberly King) commands attention as a lecturer whose tools are words.
NEWS
November 16, 1997 | From Associated Press
Some callers saw many lights in the night sky across the Northwest. Others said it was one broad streak of light. A few people even called a UFO group to report the sighting. "It was the most bizarre thing I've ever seen," Dave Way of Keizer, Ore., told the Statesman Journal in Salem, Ore. "It looked like something out of 'Star Trek.' " What it was, was space junk, the body of an old Russian rocket burning up as it reentered the atmosphere Friday night, state and federal officials said.
SCIENCE
November 25, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn
Comet ISON's day of reckoning is nearly upon us. On Thursday -- Thanksgiving Day -- the comet will reach perihelion, its closest approach to the sun. Whether it will survive the blistering heat of this encounter, and the powerful pull of the sun's gravity, or disintegrate into a shower of fragments is still unclear. Regardless of what happens, the journey has been captivating. "We are all standing side by side as we witness a complete scientific mystery unfold before us," astronomer Karl Battams wrote on NASA's Comet ISON Observing Campaign blog . "We have absolutely no idea if ISON will survive past the sun or not, and how it might look in our December night skies, if it ever gets that far. " ISON's journey toward the sun has been epic.
NEWS
November 14, 2013 | By Anne Harnagel
It's easy to spot heavenly bodies in SoCal -- just check out the beach or your local gym -- but heavenly bodies of the celestial kind, well, not so much. That's where Joshua Tree National Park and its dark night skies can help. It is partnering with Celestron Telescopes , NASA, American Park Network and the Joshua Tree National Park Assn . to host a stargazing event for the public on Nov. 23 from 6:30 to 10 p.m. As part of "My Night Sky," stargazers will learn about the night sky from local experts and use a variety of telescopes from the most basic to high-powered computerized models.
SCIENCE
August 16, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn
This week an amateur Japanese astronomer discovered a new nova shining in the night sky, and experts say it is getting brighter by the hour. If you are familiar with the constellations and can read a star map, you can try to find it for yourself. The newly discovered nova is just north of the constellation Delphinus. As of Friday afternoon , it was a magnitude 4.4, which means it is just on the edge of vision in a somewhat light-polluted suburb, said Alan MacRobert, a senior editor at Sky & Telescope magazine.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 22, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn
The largest and brightest full moon of 2013 will light up the sky this weekend when it passes the closest point to the Earth in its elliptical orbit. The so-called supermoon will reach its closest distance to the Earth at exactly 4:32 a.m. PDT Sunday, but both Saturday night and Sunday morning will offer good opportunities to observe the spectacle, according to NASA. The supermoon will be up to 14% larger and 30% brighter than a typical full moon. When the moon reaches its perigee, it will be just 221,824 miles away from Earth -- or 16,176 miles closer than usual.
SCIENCE
May 27, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn
As you head home from the barbecue or the beach Monday evening, take a moment for a little planet gazing. Jupiter, Mercury and Venus form a close triangle in the night sky Monday, and they shine brightly enough that even light pollution from a city like Los Angeles won't get in the way of their visibility. To find the planetary trio, wait 45 minutes after the sun has set. You will need an unobstructed view of the Western night sky. Look for the planets low in the sky, just above where the sun has set. You can find a map of where the planets will be in the sky here . PHOTOS: Awesome images from space Jupiter and Venus will be shining brightly, respectively making up the left- and right-hand points of the base of this planetary triangle.
SCIENCE
April 27, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn
Saturn is having a moment, and you won't want to miss it. The ringed planet -- arguably the most beautiful in the solar system -- will reach opposition on Saturday, making this weekend an optimal time to see it in the night sky. When a planet is in opposition, it is exactly opposite the sun as seen from Earth. So this weekend, when the sun sets in the west, Saturn will rise in the east, and when the sun is farthest below the horizon, Saturn will reach its highest point above the horizon.
BUSINESS
June 28, 1994 | From Associated Press
Some fireworks facts: How they work: The basic ingredient in fireworks is old-fashioned gunpowder. The black powder, as it is known, is what lifts a rocket shell. The loud "boom" comes from flash powder. Visual effects occur when certain chemicals are burned. Strontium salts, for instance, produce a red light, copper oxide creates blue, barium nitrate gives off green and charcoal or iron radiate orange.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 8, 2001 | JOSE CARDENAS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The camera captured a heavenly sight--Comet Hale-Bopp, shining brightly in the desert night sky, floating away from the viewer. From the desert floor, the eye behind the camera saw the comet just to the left of a red-rock formation in the foreground. That mysterious image was named picture of the year by Time magazine in 1997. But the photograph--and others seen by schoolchildren and astronomy buffs around the world--was not the work of a scientist or an astronomy professor.
NATIONAL
March 23, 2013 | By Paloma Esquivel
A large meteor lit up the night sky across the East Coast, leading hundreds of dazzled spectators to report sightings in more than a dozen states. The event was not unusual but was widely reported because it happened across a populated area on a Friday night, said Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environments Office. “There was a lot of people out and it got everyone's attention,” Cooke told the Los Angeles Times. The meteor was reported at about 8 p.m. EDT. It was probably the size of a boulder, about one yard across, and was bright enough to be classified as a fireball, Cooke said.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 28, 2013 | By Sheri Linden
The affections of the New Yorkers in the drama "Almost in Love" are unsteady, in flux, half-articulated. But director Sam Neave is unequivocal in his love for the two most gorgeous times of day, dusk and dawn, setting his improvising actors against the changing light. If the romantic fate of the central triangle never matters, the sumptuous wistfulness of the filmmaking does. Neave shapes his story as a double dose of unrequited love that plays out at two parties, separated by a year and a half.
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