A section of the Sutter's Mill meteorite, dubbed "Darth Vader," is studied at a lab at the University of California, Davis. The meteorite is made of carbonaceous chondrite, which contains materials that formed the planets of the solar system.
Credit Rich Pedroncelli / AP
Robert Ward found a piece of the meteorite at a park in Lotus, Calif., on April 25. The 100,000-pound meteorite was blown apart into small pieces as it met the Earth's atmosphere.
On the crisp, clear morning of April 22, a 50-ton asteroid slammed into the Earth's atmosphere and shattered into countless pieces. Remarkably, they rained down onto Sutter's Mill, Calif., the exact spot where gold was discovered back in 1848, triggering the gold rush. And so follows a story of serendipity and scientific discovery.
"I was out on my hillside burning some branches and so forth, and I heard this sonic boom," says Gold Country resident Ed Allen. "It wasn't just one boom. It was a series of booms, literally right over my head."
Have you noticed, perhaps, that some of your store-bought salad dressings or spaghetti sauces taste a little less salty lately?
Probably not. The companies that make those products are doing their best to keep you from noticing. Yet many of them are, in fact, carrying out a giant salt-reduction experiment, either because they want to improve their customers' health or because they're worried that if they don't, the government might impose regulations that would compel more onerous salt reductions.
Here was the choice facing Newark Mayor Cory Booker: Run next year against New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whose popularity would have made the Republican exceedingly difficult to beat; or fix his gaze on the Senate seat now occupied by an 88-year-old fellow Democrat, Sen.
Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 8:15 am
NPR has worked for years to make its shows and content available on mobile devices (beyond the radio, that is). As part of that effort, NPR produces several podcasts that have proven incredibly popular with audiences and critics. Don't take our word for it, though. Check out how NPR podcasts are making headlines.
Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 10:00 pm
Clarification at 7:32 p.m. ET: Vaccination Campaign Not Suspended:
The U.N. has halted its participation in a Pakistani-run polio vaccination program following attacks on health care workers. Lack of U.N. support is a big setback, but the government said it would not end the campaign. Officials say the country is committed to seeing polio eradicated and has suspended vaccinations only in Sindh province, where Karachi is located.
Earlier we reported that the campaign was suspended; it is the U.N.'s participation that has been suspended.
Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 10:03 am
At the opening of his 2009 Newport Jazz Festival appearance, Dave Brubeck said, "A few concerts ago, we were in Washington, D.C., and [it] was Duke Ellington Month. So every church, joint and street corner were doing Duke Ellington, and I said to myself, 'He was my mentor, he helped me get started. Why don't I do some Ellington?' [And I said to the guys], 'Follow me, and I'll think of tunes as we go along.'"