July 26, 2005 |
I began learning about a universe beyond the bounds of Summit County, Ohio, on a dark summer night full of fireflies and fatherly wisdom. My dad and I had set up a rickety card table in our rural yard to begin drafting a star map of the heavens. It was going to be great. And when we'd finished translating all those distant dots to paper that night or perhaps the next, I would connect all the stars in the sky with dotted lines to reveal the ancient shapes secreted in their celestial positionings.
December 10, 2006 |
The shuttle Discovery roared into space Saturday night on a 12-day mission to continue construction of the International Space Station and reconfigure the station's electrical system. It was the third launch in the last five months and the first nighttime launch in more than four years as the American space agency continues its recovery from the 2003 Columbia disaster.
May 21, 1995 |
Trying to tell the story of a modern Huckleberry Finn, with present-day counterparts for Jim, Tom Sawyer, the raft and other situations and characters as well, Russell Banks takes some awful risks. Several he manages admirably, several he flunks, and the largest he ignores at his peril. "Persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished," Mark Twain wrote at the start of his masterpiece.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 7, 1990 |
This is the drudgery that leads to scientific discovery: the incessant clacking of a motor, a technician licking the cream center from a split Oreo cookie, and another talking at 4 in the morning about soap operas. A third worker suggests a soap opera title that would mirror life here, at the Palomar Observatory: "As the Dome Turns--The Continuing Saga." As she laughs, the dome is turning: the spherical roof above the 48-inch Oschin telescope atop Mt. Palomar.
December 9, 2012 |
At dusk, when this nighttime town flips on its klieg lights, Rob Lambert and Jim Gianoulakis go looking for darkness. These two graying stargazers want to establish an observatory in one of the most light-polluted places on the planet. For them, it's all about making the best of a bad situation: If the lights of Las Vegas unnaturally brighten the nighttime sky, well, just point your telescope in the other direction. "If you build a facility in a remote area with pristine night skies, you're probably going to be missing the people to come and utilize it," said Gianoulakis, president of the 150-member Las Vegas Astronomical Society, who recently inherited the post from Lambert.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 13, 2012 |
The summer sunset has painted a vivid watercolor of orange, coral and violet over the Pacific, just past the pier in Seal Beach. But Michael Beckage already has his telescope trained on the moon. Even in this light, the moon is bright and crystalline, like a salt mine with dimples and ridges. Yet Beckage hardly has a moment to take a peek. Instead, a little girl perches on a stepladder to squint into the eyepiece, a line forming behind her. "Do you see the holes in the moon?" Beckage says, pointing out the craters.
November 14, 2013 |
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.
November 25, 2013 |
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.
March 7, 1990 |
A blazing meteor streaked across the night sky over southern Florida Tuesday, appearing almost directly overhead, an official at the Buehler Planetarium said. "This was very, very bright--brighter than most fireballs ever get," said Ralph Battaline at the planetarium. "It was about 100 times brighter than the brightest star in the night sky."
January 24, 2013 |
When humans gaze up at the night sky, they may view the fuzzy streak of the Milky Way and contemplate their place in the universe. When dung beetles see the Milky Way, their thoughts turn to keeping their food source away from other insects. Scientists have found that these inch-long creatures use the glowing edge of the galaxy to guide them as they roll their balls of dung across the African landscape. The report, published online Thursday by the journal Current Biology, provides the first documentation of animals using the Milky Way for navigation.