August 27, 1989 |
If there is one thing that scientists have learned to expect from the Voyager missions' 12-year odyssey, it has been the unexpected, as the striking pictures sent back from the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune generated surprise after surprise. Those large gaseous planets have conformed to the basic outlines scientists had drawn from previous observations, but Voyager pictures of their moons and rings provided dramatic detail. Photos of Jupiter's moon Io, for example, spotted nine active volcanoes on its surface, including one that spewed sulfur-laden ash over an area four- fifths the size of Texas.
September 5, 1997 |
Franklin Institute astronomer Derrick Pitts has been getting 10 calls a day for the last month from people asking about the luminous objects visible in the evening sky. His explanation: If they look bigger and less twinkly than stars, they are probably two of our fellow planets of the solar system - Jupiter in the south and Venus in the west. Those are just two of the six planets that will be visible in the evening sky during September, says Pitts. Mars and Saturn are also visible, and Uranus and Neptune show up with the help of a telescope.
October 6, 1991 |
The year is 1945, and although the two postwar settings are worlds apart geographically, they share moral ground. In the bombed-out Normandy village of Claude Berri's Uranus, bitter men sit in a cafe and angrily accuse each other of Nazi collaboration. After the Allied victory, it's payback time, and those who didn't cooperate with the Germans want the blood of neighbors and former friends who welcomed and even profited from the invasion and occupation. On the remote Indonesian island of Ambon in Stephen Wallace's Prisoners of the Sun, the tables also have been turned.
August 24, 1989 |
Voyager 2 has exceeded scientists' wildest dreams by investigating twice as many planetary systems as the government was willing to pay for when the spacecraft was designed in the early 1970s. It was built to photograph only Jupiter and Saturn during a five-year life, but Voyager's handlers creatively re-engineered the probe as it cruised through space, coming up with ways to heal it when its systems developed glitches. Their work enabled the craft to function for 12 years and to explore Uranus and now Neptune as well.
September 16, 1998 |
Like its neighbor Saturn, the planet Jupiter is surrounded by rings, but ones so faint they have been all but impossible to see. New images from the Galileo spacecraft, now exploring Jupiter, show four distinct sunlit rings in stark detail. Using those images, scientists have figured out how the rings formed, according to an announcement yesterday by a team from NASA and Cornell University. Each of the four rings is made of the dust of one of Jupiter's four tiny innermost moons - Metis, Adrastea, Almathea and Thebe.
October 22, 2008 |
1986: Mike Schmidt led the National League in home runs (37) and RBIs (119) again, each for the last time. That was during the long-ball era. He won the NL home-run title eight times (one of them shared) and the RBI crown four times, although he hit at least 40 homers three times, with a high of 48. However, a more interesting Schmidt-Ryan Howard batting comparison (there is no glove comparison) would be from their early years. In Schmidt's first 2,115 at-bats, through 1976, he had 131 homers, 373 RBIs and 618 strikeouts.
July 21, 1999 |
Thirty years ago yesterday, Apollo 11 astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin followed Neil Armstrong out of the lunar module Discovery onto the surface of the moon and into heroic legend. Tonight, he'll step onto the Mann stage in front of the Philadelphia Orchestra in a special multimedia celebration of music and space travel. The program will begin as Charles Dutoit conducts a suite from John Williams' music to "Star Wars," probably more familiar globally than any classical work in the catalog.
October 31, 1996 |
The graffiti mystery that has confounded officials for months may have come to an end Tuesday when police arrested a local high school student on numerous counts of criminal mischief. Police took Washington Township High School senior Mandel Harris, 19, into custody at the end of the school day Tuesday. Police said they soon uncovered several pieces of evidence linking Harris to more than three dozen cases of graffiti that included the word sour on private and government property throughout the community.
September 20, 1997
In Bridesburg, the hazards of being a dump site I am in complete sympathy with the people of Manheim, the little town in Lancaster County that is receiving sludge from New York ("A growing protest - that Pa. is getting dumped on," Sept. 9). We in Bridesburg are known as the garbage dump of the East. To live in Bridesburg is to live within one mile of four trash-transfer stations, only one of which does not accept out-of-town trash. The general offices of these businesses are not even in Philadelphia.
February 11, 1986 |
In one of his short stories, O. Henry said a certain kid had red hair. So OK, red hair, and you keep reading. But O. Henry knew that if he really wanted to make that red hair unforgettable, make it something really spectacular, he had to say it again. And so he did, without using the word "red. " He said the kid had hair the color of a magazine cover - the kind that stops you dead at the newsstand when you're running for a train. After that, you never forgot that the kid had red hair.