Posts by Ilima Loomis

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Does astronomy have a future in Hawaii?

For weeks, the astronomers, technicians and support staff working on Mauna Kea watched the protesters. Native Hawaiians and others opposed to the massive Thirty Meter Telescope gathered near the 9,000-foot mark, their encampment near Hale Pohaku, the small campus where observatory workers stay when they’re not at the summit. In March, the protesters blocked the…

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

Does the universe’s acceleration create the right conditions for life?

Scientists have known for several years now that stars, galaxies, and almost everything in the universe is moving away from us (and from everything else) at a faster and faster pace. Now, it turns out that the unknown forces behind the rate of this accelerating expansion—a mathematical value called the cosmological constant—may play a previously…

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

“Author lets you take all the credit”

I profile local ghostwriter Leslie Lang in the current issue of Hawaii Business magazine. Read the full story here.

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

Sustainable shark fishing? Shark scientists say yes.

A new survey of shark and ray researchers takes a bite out of the popular belief that shark fishing and the shark fin trade should be banned. As it turns out, a large majority of shark experts believe that sustainable fisheries are not only possible, they are actually preferable to protecting sharks with sanctuaries or…

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

Hawaii wastes 26 percent of available food supply

We may buy that clamshell of beautiful, ripe strawberries with the best of intentions – pancakes! cobbler! fruit salad! – but when the end of the week comes and they’re getting soft and fuzzy in the back of the produce drawer, we’re likely to throw them in the trash. Multiply that process by several thousand households,…

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

First discovery of an NEO by ATLAS telescope

The term “killer asteroid” might bring to mind the kind of massive space rock that wiped out the dinosaurs millions of years ago. But such a large object — around 5 to 15 kilometers (3 to 8 miles) across — might hit Earth only once every few hundred million years. Smaller space objects hit more…

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

Solving the Mystery of How Sunspots are Formed

Sure, the sun’s light and heat make life possible on Earth, and its gravity holds our entire solar system together. But our nearest star remains surprisingly enigmatic. Scientists still don’t know, for example, why its magnetic activity fluctuates in an 11-year solar cycle. Or how powerful solar flares can knock out satellites, disrupt GPS systems,…

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

Thank you, readers!

My story on planets with two suns was one of Science News for Students’ top 10 most popular stories for 2015! Read the complete list here.

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

Solar system explorers

  I profiled a propulsion engineer on NASA’s Dawn mission, an asteroid spectroscoper, and a solar eclipse chaser for Science News for Students’ “Cool Jobs” series. Read the story here.

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

What will a Native Hawaiian economy look like?

It’s not clear how Native Hawaiian self-governance will affect Hawaii’s economy, but there is no shortage of ideas. Different Hawaiian leaders talk about changing taxes, control of land, lease rents, business incentives, ownership restrictions, import rules and much more. Read the rest of my story for Hawaii Business here.

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

Is your hospital prepared for a disaster?

  “Are you breathing?” Emergency-Room Doctor David Williams leans over a “patient” covered in realistic-looking ash and blood. Surrounding him in the pop-up hospital tent lie a dozen more volunteer victims, ready for triage after a plane has crashed at Kahului Airport. Don’t worry yet, it’s a simulation, part of a training program by Maui Memorial…

Ilima Loomis Latest News and Publications

Getting excited about Dark Matter!

It makes up a quarter of the universe. Without it, galaxies would fall apart, and stars would spin off into space. Dark matter is five times more abundant than normal matter (the stuff that makes up trees and stars and us), yet scientists can’t see it or figure out what it is. The one thing…