Life Imitates Art …

Posted on May 3, 2007
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t’s right out of a 1950s science fiction movie. A rocket carrying a NASA spacecraft was launched at the end of April on a first-ever mission to study mysterious clouds that float 80 kilometers above the Earth. The noctilucent clouds, which cluster around the polar regions and can only been seen at night, have appeared more often and grown brighter in recdark_matter.jpgent years. Scientists are puzzled by the clouds, but some suggest they may be due to global climate change. These mysterious clouds shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone — several years ago astrophysicists lost virtually all the matter of the universe and to this day they can’t seem to find it. See DarkMatter for more information.


new mineral matching the unique chemistry described in the film “Superman Returns” has been identified in a mine in Serbia last month. As we know from comic book lore, kryptonite is supposed to sap Superman’s powers whenever he is exposed to its large green crystals. The real mineral is white and harmless, says Dr Chris Stanley, a mineralogist at London’s Natural History Museum.

white_kryptonite.jpg“I’m afraid it’s not green and it doesn’t glow either — although it will react to ultraviolet light by fluorescing a pinkish-orange,” he told BBC News. “Towards the end of my research I searched the web using the mineral’s chemical formula — sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide — and was amazed to discover that same scientific name, written on a case of rock containing kryptonite stolen by Lex Luthor from a museum in the film “Superman Returns.”


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