Stories

Drilling to Doomsday

Drilling to Doomsday

For billions of years, it waited. A city-sized chunk of primordial space rock circled the solar system somewhere between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Earth took shape. Life evolved. And all the while, the space rock just drifted, tumbling end over end like a poorly thrown football. Then, some unknown celestial mechanics shoved...

Burn coal, feed the planet?

Burn coal, feed the planet?

State Senator Chester Crandell, R-Heber, says he doesn’t want the Environmental Protection Agency regulating carbon dioxide from Arizona’s coal-fired power plants because it could lead to global starvation. Crandell, who represents Flagstaff, made the comments during a hearing of SCR1022, at the Government and Environment committee meeting last week. The resolution’s stated purpose is to...

Secretive DEA ‘whisper’ stops get costly

Secretive DEA ‘whisper’ stops get costly

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency was monitoring a drug trafficking operation in Phoenix in 2005 when a GPS unit placed on an Acura sedan alerted them that the vehicle had left the Valley. Investigators knew it was on a drug run to Chicago. The feds asked the Arizona Highway Patrol to stop the car...

Mission Diminished: Flag USGS faces potential cuts

Mission Diminished: Flag USGS faces potential cuts

For almost 50 years, the U.S. Geological Survey Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff has played a critical role in NASA missions. The group’s scientists help NASA identify landing sites, design and program equipment, and then use mission data to publish groundbreaking new findings on everything from Mars to icy moons. It’s their job to...

Less than full orbit: The history of Flagstaff’s moon tree

Less than full orbit: The history of Flagstaff’s moon tree

There’s a small Douglas fir just uphill from Frances Short Pond. Since 1976, it’s grown slowly alongside what was once Flagstaff Junior High School. And beneath it is a fading, wooden sign. The sign reads: “This seedling was grown from the very seeds that journeyed to the moon and back on board Apollo 14.”...

Astronomers fight back against electronic billboards

Jeff Hall, director of Lowell Observatory, is concerned about statewide loosening of regulations concerning electronic billboards. (Josh Biggs/Arizona Daily Sun)

Astronomy is big business in Arizona. And it also protects national security interests. That’s the case the state’s astronomy community is making against HB2757, which would lift the state ban on electronic billboards and let local jurisdictions take responsibility for them. The astronomy sector supports more than 3,000 jobs with a total capital investment...

Exploring SSC: The high water mark of American science

Exploring SSC: The high water mark of American science

In the 1980s,the Department of Energy started to design what would have been the biggest science experiment in the world, the Superconducting Super Collider. Waxahachie, Texas was all set to host a particle accelerator that would have dwarfed Switzerland’s Large Hadron Collider, today’s reigning champ. Construction began in 1991, then was abruptly canceled in 1993. Today...

Conference focuses on defending the planet

David Trilling holds a rock in his Northern Arizona University office as he talks about meteors and asteroids. Trilling is helping plan a conference to discuss how to plan for and avoid potential asteroid strikes. (Jake Bacon/Arizona Daily Sun)

A flash lit up the dawn sky above Chebarkul. Thousands of Russians flocked to their windows and watched the fireball. Without warning, an explosion rang out. The infrasound waves sent a shock through windows, dishware and electronics, spraying glass shrapnel and injuring more than 1,000 people. Incredibly, no one was killed. The meteor was...

The next Cape Canaveral

Credit: Courtesy of Spaceport America | Photo by Mark Greenberg

A runway in an otherwise vast, empty stretch of desert in southern New Mexico will soon become the starting point of weekly sightseeing trips to space for anyone who can afford the $200,000 ticket, and with NASA retiring the Space Shuttle, that might eventually include traditional astronauts as well. Read more at Phys.org 

No such thing as free parking

No such thing as free parking

Next time you’re searching for a parking space and someone grabs a spot from right in front of you, it might seem like the last space left on Earth, but ponder this: there are at least 500 million empty spaces in the United States at any given time. The 250 million cars and trucks...