Before you can peer back in time 13.2 billion years, your telescope needs to be calibrated correctly, so you can be sure objects in your mirror are really as bright (and therefore as distant) as they appear. Astronomers have a few tricks to help them do this, including using light bulbs and distant stars. Now one astronomer has a simple calibration solution: put a light bulb in space.
By Gregory MonePosted 07.31.2007 at 10:38 pm 1 Comment
Last week, 29-year-old Leonardo Molina was undergoing an emergency appendix operation in a small city hospital outside Buenos Aires when the power went out. The hospital had a generator, but something went wrong, and it didn't switch on, leaving the surgeons to work in the darkness.
Luckily, one of Molina's family members had the bright idea of gathering a few cell phones from people outside the operating room. Using the lights from the phones, the surgeons were able to complete the operation successfully. The patient's brother said power was out for a good hour, but hospital officials claimed it was no more than 20 minutes. This isn't the first such case of cell phone lights saving the day. Not too long ago, Vietnamese doctors used them to finish delivering a baby.—Gregory Mone