As a teenager, I was privileged to see him fly his Shrike Aero Commander at a Northern California airshow. As an adult, I got to see him at an event in his honor at Torrance Airport. Robert Hoover, the pilot’s pilot and long-time South Bay resident, passed away today in Torrance at age 94. Rest in Peace, Sir.
A large, cold, dilute gas of hydrogen and space dust collapses slowly under its own gravity, compression, heating, and fusion take place aided and abetted by shock waves, and then a star glows for millions to trillions of years.
That’s how it is usually explained but the numbers are hard to grasp. The clouds can be dozens of light years across, the gas pressures are lower than the best vacuums on earth, the shock waves aren’t the kind we associate with sonic booms, and it can take tens of millions of years to get the party started.
The International Printing Museum in Carson showed (and, hopefully, still does show) visitors a working Linotype machine. Inspiring engineering that lasted a century, now surpassed by digital methods that are replaced at much greater frequency.