Around 1730, astronomers noted that Eta Carinae—one of the most massive stars known to science—had gotten brighter. It soon faded, only to intensify again in April 1843. Despite its enormous distance from Earth—about 7,500 light years—Eta Carinae became the second brightest star in the sky before again fading. Though the star was not destroyed in the 1843 "supernova imposter event," it could undergo a catastrophic explosion in the relatively near future. How might such an event affect Earth?
Back in the day
About 120,000 vehicles pass under the Hudson River by way of the 1.5-mile (2.4-km) Lincoln Tunnel every day. A vital link between New York's Manhattan borough and Weehawken, New Jersey, the tunnel was constructed under the supervision of civil engineer and underwater tunnel pioneer Ole Singstad. The first two-lane tube opened in 1937, with two others opening in 1945 and 1957. To accommodate rush-hour traffic patterns, lanes can be reversed. How much was the original fare when the tunnel opened?
Born on a day like today
Considered by some to have been the best American poet of his time, Robinson is now primarily remembered for his short poems about the lives—mostly tragic—of people in a small New England village. He briefly attended Harvard but had to drop out after his father's death and thereafter endured years of poverty and obscurity before his poetry was noticed. A quiet, introverted man, Robinson never married and became legendary for his reclusiveness. Why did he have no name until he was six months old?