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NEWS
December 30, 2003 | From Times staff
These items harness the sun's rays to drive gadgets or recharge batteries. But you'll need an adapter to make various plugs fit together.
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SCIENCE
April 17, 2014 | By Amina Khan
Sifting through observations from more than 100,000 distant stars, astronomers say they have discovered the first definitive Earth-sized planet that orbits in a habitable zone where water could exist in liquid form - a necessary condition for life as we know it. Scientists don't know whether the planet has water or a protective atmosphere. They don't even know its mass. But they said the landmark discovery gives astronomers great hope that a bumper crop of Earth-like planets is waiting to be found much closer to home, including around temperamental stars that until recently were considered inhospitable to life.
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REAL ESTATE
June 12, 2005 | From Times wire reports
Sacramento was apparently feeling a little green during the first days of June, judging from the willingness of the Assembly and Senate to act on two solar-power bills. The Senate passed a bill, introduced by Sens. Kevin Murray (D-Culver City) and John Campbell (R-Irvine), that would encourage the creation of 1 million solar energy systems by requiring utilities to subsidize such efforts and new home builders to offer solar roof panels as an option.
SCIENCE
March 26, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
In a first, scientists have detected rings encircling an M&M-shaped asteroid known as Chariklo. Until now, only the solar system's four gas planets - Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus and especially Saturn - were known to have rings. "It was an extremely surprising discovery," said James Bauer, a planetary astronomer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge who was not involved in the finding. "No one has ever seen rings around a comet or an asteroid before. This is a brand-new area.
SCIENCE
February 11, 2006 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Astronomers have spotted evidence of two mega solar systems -- giant stars enveloped by what appear to be huge disks of planet-forming dust. Cloudy disks around stars are believed to represent current or future planetary systems. Our sun is surrounded by the Kuiper Belt, a disk containing dust, comets and other bodies.
SCIENCE
August 7, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Our solar system may be unique -- or at least very unusual -- despite the discovery of at least 120 other systems with planets, astronomers said Wednesday. All the other solar systems that have been found have big, gassy planets circling too close to their stars to allow them to be anything like our system, the British and U.S. researchers said.
REAL ESTATE
April 23, 1995 | JAMES DULLEY, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
QUESTION: I like warm swimming water and I want several extra months of use. How effective are the new pool solar heating systems that help to cool a house too? Are there any budget-priced do-it-yourself solar units? ANSWER: Installing a budget-priced solar system can easily extend your swimming season by several months and warm the water. If your pool overheats in mid- summer, run the solar system at night instead of day.
NEWS
May 27, 1995
Peter van de Kamp, 93, a Dutch astronomer who searched for planets in other solar systems. After studying at the University of Utrecht and UC Berkeley, Van de Kamp taught at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania for 35 years, retiring in 1972. He received many professional honors for his discoveries of planetary companions to stars, and an asteroid was named after him in 1980 by the International Astronomical Union. In Middenbeemster, the Netherlands, on May 18.
REAL ESTATE
June 3, 1990 | JAMES DULLEY
QUESTION: My regular swimming pool heater is very expensive to operate. I would rather use a solar system, but I don't like the appearance of collectors on my roof. Is there anything new, and what options do I have? ANSWER: There are several new types of swimming pool solar systems that will not detract from the appearance of your home. Since they operate at a relatively low water temperature, they don't need all the insulation and glass covers of other types of solar collectors.
SCIENCE
June 14, 2002 | USHA LEE McFARLING, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Astronomers searching for worlds around distant stars announced the discovery Thursday of the first solar system like Earth's, boosting hopes that there are other habitable spots in the universe. "One of the big questions in science is, 'Are we alone?' " said Anne Kinney, who directs the astronomy and physics division at NASA headquarters. This "brings us one step closer to answering that." While scientists did not find an Earth, they found a close cousin: a Jupiter.
SCIENCE
March 26, 2014 | By Karen Kaplan
It began with a cryptic announcement of a press conference in Brazil where “an international team of astronomers” would announce “a surprise discovery in the outer solar system.” If that sounds intriguing to you, you're not alone. In the 27-odd hours between the time the heads-up reached folks' email in-boxes and the press conference (which kicks off at 3 p.m. local time (11 a.m. PDT) at Brazil's  National Observatory in Rio de Janeiro), clever people took to Twitter to make their best guesses about what this surprise discovery might be. The predictions make reference to the ill-fated Comet ISON, Neil deGrasse Tyson's reboot of “Cosmos,” the Voyager spacecraft and even the 1990s sitcom “Friends.” The European Southern Observatory tweeted Wedned say morning that “Some of your #ESOrumors are really funny.
SCIENCE
March 26, 2014 | By Amina Khan
Planet-hunters scouring the heavens have found thousands of distant worlds around other stars, but astronomers may have overlooked one lurking much closer to home. Scientists searching for glimmers of light beyond Pluto say they've discovered a new dwarf planet - and that its movements hint that an invisible giant planet far larger than Earth may inhabit the solar system's mysterious frontier. The new dwarf planet, dubbed 2012 VP113 and described in a study published in Thursday's edition of the journal Nature, helps confirm the existence of an "inner Oort cloud" in an interplanetary no man's land that was once thought to be barren but could be teeming with rocky objects.
NEWS
March 26, 2014 | By Amina Khan
Astronomers searching for the faintest glimmers of light beyond distant Pluto say they've discovered a new dwarf planet - and that this planetoid's movements hint that an invisible giant planet perhaps 10 times the size of Earth could be lurking around the dark fringes of our solar system. The new dwarf planet 2012 VP-113, described Wednesday in the journal Nature, helps confirm the existence of an “inner Oort cloud” in an interplanetary no man's land that was once thought to be empty but could potentially be teeming with rocky denizens.
BUSINESS
March 19, 2014 | By Shan Li
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said Wednesday it is hiring more workers and simplifying applications for customers who install solar panels on their roof. The efforts come as the utility faces criticism from many Angelenos who complain of long waits and bureaucratic hurdles when trying to get solar systems hooked to the power grid. The utility has doubled its staff for processing applications, and will also hire more workers to man its hotline, the LADWP said in a Wednesday statement.
SCIENCE
February 13, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
Scientists have a new map -- the best created so far -- of the largest moon in our solar system, Ganymede, and it is both beautiful and revealing. Ganymede is technically a satellite of Jupiter, but it is really a world unto itself. It is bigger than both Mercury and Pluto. If it orbited the sun rather than Jupiter, we would likely consider it a planet.  If we could peer deep beneath its icy surface, we might find a liquid ocean. And deep beneath that, at the center of the moon, there may be a different type of ice that forms under extreme pressure, scientists said.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 3, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
It was a threesome in Mumbai that persuaded the judges to give the 2013 Bad Sex in Fiction award to Manil Suri for his novel "The City of Devi. " The award was presented in London on Tuesday by film and television star Joan Collins. In one notable passage, Suri wrote , "Surely supernovas explode that instant, somewhere, in some galaxy. The hut vanishes, and with it the sea and the sands -- only Karun's body, locked with mine, remains. We streak like superheroes past suns and solar systems, we dive through shoals of quarks and atomic nuclei.
REAL ESTATE
October 31, 1993 | JAMES DULLEY, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
QUESTION: I want to install a simple solar system myself to heat our hot water. Are there any new types of small solar systems that won't look ugly on my roof and are easy to install? ANSWER: There are new designs of solar systems that are simple to install and are not "ugly." Installing one yourself can cut your annual water heating costs by as much as $200 and can easily pay-back its cost several times over its lifetime.
NEWS
June 11, 1996 | K.C. COLE, TIMES SCIENCE WRITER
Astronomers report that they have discovered a solar system far closer to our sun than any of the previous half-dozen planet discoveries. Moreover, the new planetary system has features strikingly similar to our own. Evidence presented today at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Madison, Wis., suggests that the fourth-nearest star to our sun has a Jupiter-sized companion orbiting at about the distance of Saturn--and possibly a smaller companion at the distance of the asteroid belt.
SCIENCE
November 21, 2013 | By Amina Khan
In a cosmos filled with darkness, scientists say they've discovered the first elusive neutrinos to come from  outside our solar system in a quarter-century. The groundbreaking discovery made beneath the ice of Antarctica opens a whole new window onto the high-energy universe -- one that will usher in a new era of astronomy. Using a cubic kilometer of ice buried deep beneath the surface of an Antarctic glacier, the international team of astrophysicists known as IceCube has picked 28 neutrinos that are so energetic that whatever created them must have been extremely powerful, utterly mysterious, or both.
SCIENCE
September 12, 2013 | By Monte Morin, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
NASA confirmed Thursday that after 36 years of space travel and months of heated debate among scientists, Voyager 1 has indeed left our solar system and had entered interstellar space more than a year ago. "Voyager has boldly gone where no probe has gone before, marking one of the most significant technological achievements in the annals of the history of science," said John Grunsfeld, NASA's associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate....
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