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Sep 6, 2020

Japan’s Science Missteps Risk Major Diplomatic Incident In Mauritius Over Wakashio Oil Spill

Posted by in categories: science, sustainability

As Japanese scientists try to claim no Wakashio oil in Mauritian waters despite images, Mauritius sign a major trade deal with China amid growing frustration with Japan. What started as a shipping incident is fast turning into a major diplomatic crisis for Japan.

Sep 6, 2020

Lighting the way for new solar fuels science

Posted by in categories: science, solar power, sustainability

Yale chemists are pushing forward with innovative work to develop tomorrow’s liquid fuels from sunlight.

A quintet of Yale researchers — Sharon Hammes-Schiffer, Nilay Hazari, Patrick Holland, James Mayer, and Hailiang Wang — are among the principal investigators (PI) for the U.S. Department of Energy’s $40 million Center for Hybrid Approaches in Solar Energy to Liquid Fuels (CHASE).

CHASE, which involves six scientific institutions, will be based at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Yale’s portion of the funding is $6.27 million over five years, and will support dozens of graduate student and postdoctoral co-workers on Science Hill and in the Energy Sciences Institute at West Campus.

Sep 6, 2020

SpaceX broke a record by launching 180 satellites in 1 month — accelerating Elon Musk’s project to blanket Earth in high-speed internet

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, internet, satellites

SpaceX just launched more satellites in a month than history has ever seen. But that’s bad news for astronomers.

SpaceX’s newest satellites sport sun visors — an effort to reduce their brightness in the night sky and their impact on astronomers’ telescopes.

Sep 6, 2020

China hails ‘key breakthroughs’ as reusable spacecraft returns safely

Posted by in categories: innovation, space travel

“It will provide more convenient and cheaper transport for the peaceful use of space in the future.”

Experimental vessel lands safely after spending two days orbiting the planet.

Sep 6, 2020

EPA approves two Lysol products as the first to effectively kill novel coronavirus on surfaces

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Lysol Disinfectant Spray and Lysol Disinfectant Max Cover Mist meet the EPA’s criteria for use against the SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the ongoing pandemic, based on laboratory testing that found both products kill the virus two minutes after contact, the agency announced in a statement Monday.

While there are more than 420 products on the list of disinfectants that the EPA says are strong enough to ward off “harder-to-kill” viruses than the novel coronavirus, the two Lysol products are the first to have been tested directly against the virus and proved effective.

Sep 6, 2020

Earth Should Be Dry – An Unexpected Meteorite Discovery Reveals the Origin of Earth’s Vast Oceans

Posted by in categories: materials, space

Meteorite material presumed to be devoid of water because it formed in the dry inner Solar System appears to have contained sufficient hydrogen to have delivered to Earth at least three times the mass of water in its oceans, a new study shows.

While the idea that enstatite chondrite (EC) meteorites contained enough hydrogen to provide water to the growing proto-Earth has been proposed, efforts to rigorously test this scenario have been hampered by difficulties in measuring hydrogen concentrations in ECs — an obstacle this study overcame.

According to models of Solar System formation, Earth should be dry. However, our blue planet’s vast oceans, humid atmosphere and well-hydrated geology boldly defy such predictions, making it unique among the other rocky planets of the inner Solar System.

Sep 6, 2020

California ISO Declares Stage 2 Emergency, Warns of Rotating Blackouts

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

California’s Independent System Operator declared a Stage 2 emergency Saturday, warning residents to expect rotating blackouts and advising them to conserve energy.

Stage 2 means, “The ISO has taken all mitigating action and is no longer able to provide its expected energy requirements.”

The declaration was due to high heat and increased demand, according to CAISO. In addition, CAISO said fires caused a generator and a solar farm to trip offline, highlighting the need for residents to reduce energy use.

Sep 6, 2020

Ultracold atoms can work together to shape or steer light

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

At these temperatures, the atoms move extremely slowly and can be controlled through quantum mechanical effects that are negligible at higher temperatures.

The team used lasers to excite the atoms and coax them into one shared motion. They found that when the atoms act collectively, they can shape and steer light through their electrical and magnetic interactions with it. The shared behavior allows them to act like a collection of electric charges or very small magnets that affect the light.

Sep 6, 2020

Elon Musk: I’m pretty confident, Giga Berlin will be the most environmental-friendly factory in the world

Posted by in category: Elon Musk

Featured image: @tobilindh/Twitter

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is now in Germany on a visit. During the trip, he met with several politicians, discussed a number of important issues, and visited Giga Berlin.

On September 3, Musk made his first visit to the construction site of Tesla’s plant in Grünheide, near Berlin. He arrived at 12:30 pm in a black Model X, where the media and film crews were already waiting for him. Apparently, he is very pleased with the progress of the construction, which was expressed in an enthusiastic greeting: “Deutschland roks! Yeah!”

Sep 6, 2020

SpaceX shares photo of gigantic Starship vacuum-optimized Raptor engine

Posted by in category: space travel

Featured Image Source: SpaceX

SpaceX is rapidly manufacturing multiple Starship prototypes at the South Texas facility located in Brownsville’s Boca Chica beach. An orbital-class Starship will be equipped with six powerful Raptor engines. Raptors are fueled by cryogenic methane and liquid oxygen which is a unique fuel combination in the aerospace industry. Each Raptor is capable of producing over 200 tons, or 2MN (meganewtons), of thrust at full throttle. Three of Starship’s Raptors will be sea-level engines for atmospheric flight, and three vacuum-optimized Raptors for propulsion in space. Vacuum-optimized engines are more complex and different than sea-level engines; they’re specifically designed to have a higher performance in the vacuum of space. A visible difference between the two engines is that the bell nozzle is larger in the Raptor vacuum engine. Today, SpaceX shared a photograph showcasing the gigantic Raptor vacuum engine, pictured below.