September 1, 2009 |
For nearly half a century, the Mt. Wilson Observatory was not only the center of the universe for the study of space science, it taught us just how huge that universe was. At the eyepiece of the observatory's then ground-breaking 100-inch Hooker telescope astronomer Edwin Hubble made two of the most shocking scientific discoveries of the 20th century: The universe was far larger than anyone imagined and it was expanding. Those discoveries knocked man from his cherished place at the seat of creation to the status of a middling creature scuttling across the surface of an obscure planet among trillions of stars.
April 6, 1993 |
Dangerously high winds delayed Tuesday's launch of space shuttle Discovery on a mission to study the thinning of the Earth's protective ozone layer. Discovery was supposed to lift off at 1:32 a.m. EDT, but NASA held the countdown at the nine-minute mark in hopes the strong crosswinds would subside at the shuttle emergency landing strip at the space center. Safety guidelines are stricter for nighttime launches.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 6, 1996 |
Discussion of the Ventura Pier, the city's most vulnerable landmark, veered into a new direction Thursday night as the public urged city officials to also consider the issue of width, rather than just length, when rebuilding. Until now, consultants, engineers and local pier supporters had all fixated on how to return the pier to its original 1,958-foot length. But city staff, speaking at a special public hearing held by the Community Affairs Commission, made it clear that a $2.
June 26, 1988 |
Explosions last week on the sun's surface were some of the most spectacular in recent years, but scientists say they expect their effect on Earth to be minimal. Radioactive particles from Friday's solar explosions have not reached Earth's atmosphere as expected, space scientist Kent A. Doggett said Saturday, downgrading earlier predictions of a "major" magnetic storm and disruptions to communications systems, as well as dazzling aurora displays in some northern states.
October 15, 1989 |
A geomagnetic storm battering the Earth's poles is growing increasingly violent, and northern lights researchers call it the best thing that's ever happened to them. The storm, caused by the bombardment of energy from solar activity, is making the shimmering aurora borealis brighter, more colorful and more spectacular than usual this year.
March 7, 2006 |
The next sunspot cycle will be a year late and as much as 50% stronger than the last one, according to a forecast released Monday by scientists from NASA and the National Science Foundation. Such predictions are vital because the solar storms associated with the sunspots not only endanger humans in space, but can slow satellites in orbit, disrupt communications, interfere with Global Positioning Systems and bring down power grids.
January 18, 2009 |
Iceland is famous for two kinds of night life. One is the manic weekend reveling in the capital, Reykjavik, where young folk stream from bar to bar in the narrow cobblestone streets, drinking, dancing and striking occasional sparks until daybreak.
July 12, 2012 |
A heavy-duty solar flare erupted on the surface of the sun midmorning Thursday, and it appeared from early data that a solar storm from the X-class eruption was headed toward Earth. "It looks to be headed in the Earth's direction," Alex Young of Maryland's Goddard Space Flight Center told the Los Angeles Times in an interview Thursday. But, he noted, that's based on a view from just one of two spacecraft monitoring the sun. The so-called coronal mass ejection -- a violently released bubble of gas and magnetic fields -- could veer off. Scientists are waiting on more data from spacecraft within the next few hours to pinpoint the speed and severity of the storm. PHOTOS: Solar flare close-ups Mike Hapgood, a space weather scientist at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford, England, explained coronal mass ejections in a recent interview with The Times: "Coronal mass ejections are caused when the magnetic field in the sun's atmosphere gets disrupted and then the plasma, the sun's hot ionized gas, erupts and send charged particles into space.
January 30, 2000 |
To avoid the dread of a 17 1/2-ton astronomy satellite tumbling at random out of the sky, NASA is considering sending it on a controlled suicide dive over the Pacific in March. The 9-year-old Compton Gamma Ray Observatory is still on a scientific par with the newly mended Hubble Space Telescope despite the failure of one of three gyroscopes in December. But NASA isn't sure whether the Compton Observatory can function in orbit if another gyroscope breaks.
January 9, 2010 |
NASA heads into 2010 with the bittersweet assignment of retiring the space shuttle after nearly three decades. But the agency also plans to launch three new satellites aimed at better understanding the sun and Earth's climate and oceans. Two satellites will examine Earth -- specifically, the concentration of salt in the world's oceans and the presence of aerosols, or minute particles, such as dust or ash, in the atmosphere. A third satellite mission will study the sun and its effect on space weather, including solar flares that can disrupt communication on Earth.