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Fireflies, Moon, Astronauts, the Nobel Prize and World Standard Time - 2002-12-31


A listener in Sagaing wants to know how fireflies glow, humans visit the moon, and spacecrafts endure the sun's temperature.

A:In accordance with research done by the scientist McElroy in 1951, fireflies produce light via a chemical reaction consisting of Luciferin (a substrate) combined with the enzyme ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and oxygen. Light is produced when these three are mixed.

The Moon is the only natural satellite of Earth. The Soviet spacecraft Luna 2 first visited the Moon in 1959. It is the only extraterrestrial body to have been visited by humans.

The first landing was on July 20, 1969. The distance between Earth and Moon is about 240,000 miles. Clothing for astronauts and their food supplies are specially made to be long-lasting and weatherproof. Spacecraft are built to endure extreme weather.

A listener from Natsin St.Tamwe, Rangoon wants informations on two-time Nobel Prize winners and time standards UTC & GMT.

A:The Nobel Prize Internet Archive lists several two-time winners of the Nobel Prize: (1) Marie Sklodowska Curie -1903 in Physics and 1911 in Chemistry; (2) Linus Pauling-1954 and 1962 in Peace; (3) John Bardeen-1956 and 1972 in Physics; (4) Frederick Sanger-1958 and 1980 in Chemistry; (5) International Committee of the Red Cross-1917,1944 and 1963 in Peace; and (6) Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees-1954 and 1981 in Peace.

Sanford Fleming (1827-1915), a Scottish railroad chief engineer from Canada, created the worldwide system of Standard Time. In 1884, he organized a seminar in Washington, DC for delegates from 27 nations to discuss Standard Time.

In 1884, he agreed on a system which is basically the same as the one still in use. Standard Time uses Greenwich, a borough of London, England as the zero degree meridian, or “Prime Meridian”, to divide the world into 24 zones from pole to pole.

Time is uniform throughout each zone and differs from the international basis of legal and scientific time called “Coordinated Universal Time” (UTC) by a set number of hours.

UTC is used worldwide, but the British use GMT. In fact, GMT and UTC are the same in terms of time.

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