The Place Where Stars Are Made

“I probably sound naive to say I have never heard of Atlas Obscura, but man, I am so thrilled I found this insanely amazing site. I found out that in my home state of California, hides the most unique and amazing place. The National Ignition Facility is described on Atlas Obscura: “Luckily the NIF has the largest laser in the world. The laser itself is an enormous feat of engineering and involved breakthroughs of its own, among others: the creation of the largest optical instrument ever built, via a rapid growth system that grew an 800-pound crystal used to be used to focus the laser, in only two months, special “deformable” mirrors that help compensate for focusing mistakes, a three-story spherical diameter target-chamber weighing some 287,000 pounds, and 60 miles of mirrors and fiber optics, all of which is housed in a 10-story warehouse building the size of three football fields.”

The facility is the place that contains the possibility to give birth to stars “technically”. “The aim of the NIF (which recently hung a banner reading “Bringing Star Power to Earth”) is not really to make tiny stars (they only last five billionths of a second so there is not much chance to appreciate their beauty) but to create a fusion burn, the kind which happens in the sun and during atomic explosions.”

Although this technology could be quite controversial, I just really find it absolutely cool that I live in the state with giant lasers. California’s desire to find new energy and our desire to explore the universe around us is seen everywhere. Being within driving distance to NASA, the two largest telescopes, and more. It’s absolutely fascinating to live in such a place that contains such awesome connections to science. 

Who knows what might be hidden in your town? Visit here

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