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May 20, 2022

Scientists Puzzled by “Spooky” Object Sending Radio Signals Every 18 Minutes From Deep Space

Posted by in categories: energy, space

Astronomers are flummoxed by a mysterious celestial object that appears to be releasing massive bursts of energy at regular 18 minute intervals.

Like a lighthouse, the beacon is sending out radiation three times an hour at such an intensity that it’s one of the brightest points in the sky — and, researchers say, it could turn out to be an entirely new class of celestial object.

A team, led by astrophysicist Natasha Hurley-Walker from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, had a closer look at the object after it was discovered by Curtin University student Tyrone O’Doherty, who used the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) telescope in outback Western Australia.

May 19, 2022

Blackouts possible this summer due to heat and extreme weather, officials warn

Posted by in categories: energy, health

We should really be looking to nuclear power FAR more than we have been. Until fusion finally comes of age anyway. It’s one of the most annoyingly counterproductive issue with many environmentalists I tend to have.


Extreme temperatures and ongoing drought could cause the power grid to buckle across vast areas of the country this summer, potentially leading to electricity shortages and blackouts, a US power grid regulator said Wednesday.

NERC, a regulating authority that oversees the health of the nation’s electrical infrastructure, says in its 2022 Summer Reliability Assessment that extreme temperatures and ongoing drought could cause the power grid to buckle. High temperatures, the agency warns, will cause the demand for electricity to rise. Meanwhile, drought conditions will lower the amount of power available to meet that demand.

Continue reading “Blackouts possible this summer due to heat and extreme weather, officials warn” »

May 19, 2022

Almost as contagious as measles: Coronavirus spins out worrisome new mutations

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, energy, health

The relentless evolution of the coronavirus, which has spawned new variants to fuel fresh surges of disease every four to six months, could in the not-distant future propel the virus to overtake measles as the most contagious of all known infections.

Increasing infectiousness does not necessarily make the virus deadlier, but it could make it harder to control, and leave communities vulnerable to the repeated waves of illness that have defined the pandemic.

The variants now dominating around the world may be five to 10 times more infectious than the original virus that sparked the pandemic in China in late 2019, health experts believe. Lately each variant has outpaced its parent — omicron, with its massive evolutionary jump, was about three times more infectious than delta. Its subvariants — BA.2 and BA.2.12.1, which are driving the latest surge in the Bay Area — are each more infectious still, by 20% to 30%.

Continue reading “Almost as contagious as measles: Coronavirus spins out worrisome new mutations” »

May 18, 2022

Ingenious Electric Train Fully Charges Itself

Posted by in categories: energy, physics, sustainability, transportation

Australian mining company Fortescue is looking to reduce the carbon footprint of its operations by allowing a specially designed electric “Infinity Train” to roll down a hill to recharge its massive batteries — without ever relying on an external charging system.

“The Infinity Train has the capacity to be the world’s most efficient battery electric locomotive,” Fortescue CEO Elizabeth Gaines said in a statement. “The regeneration of electricity on the downhill loaded sections will remove the need for the installation of renewable energy generation and recharging infrastructure, making it a capital efficient solution for eliminating diesel and emissions from our rail operations.”

It’s a cleverly designed system: since the train is far lighter on the way up, it will generate enough energy fully loaded with iron ore on the way down to make it back up to the mine. In other words, it might sound like a perpetual motion machine — which is impossible, of course — but in reality it’s just an ingenious exploit of conventional physics.

May 18, 2022

Ultra-light liquid hydrogen tanks promise to make jet fuel obsolete

Posted by in categories: energy, transportation

A revolutionary cryogenic tank design promises to radically boost the range of hydrogen-powered aircraft – to the point where clean, fuel-cell airliners could fly up to four times farther than comparable planes running on today’s dirty jet fuel.

Weight is the enemy of all things aerospace – indeed, hydrogen’s superior energy storage per weight is what makes it such an attractive alternative to lithium batteries in the aviation world. We’ve written before about HyPoint’s turbo air-cooled fuel cell technology, but its key differentiator in the aviation market is its enormous power density compared with traditional fuel cells. For its high power output, it’s extremely lightweight.

Now, it seems HyPoint has found a similarly-minded partner that’s making similar claims on the fuel storage side. Tennessee company Gloyer-Taylor Laboratories (GTL) has been working for many years now on developing ultra-lightweight cryogenic tanks made from graphite fiber composites, among other materials.

May 18, 2022

New technique produces hydrogen from banana peels within a few milliseconds

Posted by in category: energy

Over the last few decades, the high consumption of energy from fossil fuels has promoted a massive increase in greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. To address this, scientists have been searching for an alternative, renewable sources of energy.

One of the main candidates is hydrogen produced from organic waste, or biomass, of plants and animals. Biomass also absorbs, removes, and stores CO2 from the atmosphere, while biomass decomposition can also bring us ways to negative emissions or greenhouse gases removal.

Now, EPFL researchers have developed a way to maximize hydrogen yields from biowaste within a few milliseconds. The method uses rapid photo-pyrolysis to convert dried biomass powders such as banana peel into valuable gases and solids, including hydrogen and biochar.

Continue reading “New technique produces hydrogen from banana peels within a few milliseconds” »

May 18, 2022

Antarctic bacteria live on air and make their own water using hydrogen as fuel

Posted by in categories: economics, energy

A billion-year-old ‘hydrogen economy’ in the frozen soil of Antarctica provides bacteria with energy, water, and the carbon that makes up their bodies.

May 17, 2022

Dams are engineering marvels that produce massive amounts of energy every day; but how do they really do it?

Posted by in categories: energy, engineering

🤔

#engineering

May 16, 2022

Zero-Carbon Flat Glass Made for the First Time

Posted by in categories: energy, materials

French manufacturer used 100% recycled material, green energy.

May 15, 2022

Explosion on a White Dwarf Star Observed for the Very First Time

Posted by in categories: energy, physics

When stars like our Sun run out of fuel, they contract to form white dwarfs. Such dead stars can sometimes flare back to life in a super-hot explosion and produce a fireball of X-ray radiation. A research team from several German institutes including Tübingen University and led by Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) has now observed such an explosion of X-ray light for the very first time.

“It was to some extent a fortunate coincidence, really,” explains Ole König from the Astronomical Institute at FAU in the Dr. Karl Remeis observatory in Bamberg, who has published an article about this observation in the reputable journal Nature, together with Prof. Dr. Jörn Wilms and a research team from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, the University of Tübingen, the Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya in Barcelona, and the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam. “These X-ray flashes last only a few hours and are almost impossible to predict, but the observational instrument must be pointed directly at the explosion at exactly the right time,” explains the astrophysicist.

“These so-called novae do happen all the time but detecting them during the very first moments when most of the X-ray emission is produced is really hard.” —

Continue reading “Explosion on a White Dwarf Star Observed for the Very First Time” »

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