Monthly Archives: August 2009

Mount Wilson Observatory threatened by fire

The Mount Wilson Observatory, where Edwin Hubble made the observations that he used to show that the Universe was expanding, is being threatened by the California Wildfires. Staff and firefighters have been evacuated from the area.

A webcam at the Observatory currently shows smoke but no flames.


I really hope that the observatory survives. The 2.5-metre Hooker Telescope played an important role in advancing our knowledge of the Universe and there is still important research being carried out at MWO.

Further information is available about the Station Fire that is causing the damage.

Magnetic levitation

The electric currents used in some Japanese trains are so high that the electromagnetic fields created are strong enough to affect paperclips on board the train.

Watch how the paperclips dance as the train accelerates (uses more electric current) and decelerates (uses less electric current).