September 13, 1994 |
Gather 'round, young people, because it's back-to-school time, and Uncle Dave wants to give you some important advice to help you excel in the classroom and have successful, rewarding careers, assuming that the Earth is not destroyed by giant comet chunks. This is definitely a possibility. Just recently, giant comet chunks whomped into Jupiter and caused destruction so massive that it would have wiped out all human life if there had been any, which there probably wasn't because the atmosphere on Jupiter has essentially the same chemical composition as Drano.
February 9, 1994 |
It's clear that the campaign to fix the nation's troubled inner-city schools has reached a crossroads. Most Americans remain committed to the goal of improving those schools, but one also senses a growing pessimism over the prospects for success and a reluctance to invest more resources. The reasons are obvious. Over the last two decades, the nation's leading educational reformers have cooked up a host of innovative schemes designed to transform those schools "from the ground up," but none has made a significant difference in student performance.
December 21, 1993 |
The foot lights from a passing pair of sneakers and the glare from patrolling police car headlights were the only sources of illumination for a recent nighttime gathering of about 100 people in Rose Tree Park. Young, old, human and nonhuman (dogs, not aliens) got together on a chilly Friday evening to explore a mystery of the universe - the night sky. But clouds blocked their view of the planets, so Scott Manning of Astronomy To Go focused the 25-inch, $7,500 telescope on an earthly point of light.
July 23, 1992 |
A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the Shoemaker-Levy comet brought more than 100 people to Washington Crossing State Park on Sunday night for a stargazing party. The park, usually the site of family picnics and historical re-enactments, was chosen for the first time as the site for the annual star-watching party given by the Philadelphia Franklin Institute because "it's a good, dark sky location - no city lights," said Derrick Pitts, vice president and director of the Fels Planetarium/Tuttleman Omniverse Theater of the Franklin Institute.
July 17, 1992 |
This weekend's stellar selection of special family events includes a Space Day celebration at the New Jersey State Museum and the Franklin Institute's "Comet Watch Party" at Washington Crossing Historic Park. At 9 a.m. Saturday, the State Museum in Trenton will launch its annual Space Day celebration to salute America's achievements in space. It will include special planetarium shows, a hands-on workshop for kids, NASA exhibits and astronomy information booths. For aspiring astronomers, the birds, bears and other stars of the planetarium's newest show, "Summer Sky Zoo," will be in full view at 10 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m. Young visitors to the planetarium can explore the solar system in "Worlds of Wonders" (11 a.m. and 1 p.m.)
July 15, 1991 |
When he was just a toddler, the Rev. Edward F. Jenkins began developing a lifelong fascination with astronomy that would lead him to build telescopes, observatories and a respected astronomy department at Villanova University. "I remember being told by my mother to look at Halley's Comet in 1910, when I was three years old, but unfortunately, I do not remember seeing it," Father Jenkins wrote in 1981, when he celebrated his 50th anniversary as a priest. "I had always been interested in astronomy.
July 12, 1991 |
Iris Vinokur of Wilmington, Del., found an unusual way to spend her 46th birthday yesterday. She and her daughter, Meredith, 16, and 400 stargazers converged from as far away as Alabama to the Franklin Institute's rooftop observatory to goggle at the partial eclipse of the sun. The institute aired broadcasts in its Stern Auditorium from Hawaii and Mexico where the full eclipse could be seen. "I was pretty excited that this was happening on my birthday," Vinokur said. She had heard about the eclipse on a local radio station in her area, which threw a contest to send a lucky listener to view the eclipse in Hawaii.
June 19, 1991 |
The year: 27291. The place: On board the starship Quasar en route to a giant black hole in the heart of the Milky Way galaxy. Astronaut Tim Golden has prepared for this voyage since his youth and now stands on the brink of being the first human to visit these mysterious objects that have fascinated people for thousands of years. During his long voyage he has experienced a dazzling light show, passing through a region where stars are 100 million times more common than in the region near our sun. After penetrating a watermelon-shaped mass of stars guarding the core of the galaxy, he sees huge currents of superhot gases and a 90 trillion-mile-long river of cold gases streaming toward a violently spinning disk of dust and superheated gas. As he approaches, he puts the Quasar on automatic pilot so that it orbits the black hole.
October 25, 1990 |
Louis Green remembers the days he could walk out the door of his building on the Haverford College campus and see the Milky Way shivering in the sky. "You could even see the fainter parts," said Green, a retired astronomy and physics professor at the school. "What a gorgeous site. You could never see that now. " Blame that on Thomas Edison: Light pollution in the Philadelphia area makes it impossible to see any but the brightest stars. And even with a telescope, the brightness makes it harder to see heavenly bodies.
April 4, 1990 |
During the 12 years that Derrick H. Pitts has worked at the Franklin Institute, he has created miles of paper (in the papermaking exhibit), dunked thousands of objects into liquid nitrogen (in the supercold show) and conducted countless other demonstrations (in virtually every nook and cranny of the science museum). But Pitts has loved astronomy best, and he has reveled in the chance to show individual visitors the rings of Saturn or the moons of Jupiter at the museum's rooftop observatory.