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IBM Solar Collector Magnifies Sun By 2000X – These Could Provide Power To The Entire Planet

IBM Solar Collector Magnifies Sun By 2000X – These Could Provide Power To The Entire Planet | Outer Space | Scoop.it
A team at IBM recently developed what they call a High Concentration Photo Voltaic Thermal (HCPVT) system that is capable of concentrating the power of 2,000 suns. “Each 1cmX1cm chip can convert 200-250 watts, on average, over a typical eight-hour day in a sunny region. In the HCPVT system, instead of heating a building, the 90 degree Celsius water will pass through a porous membrane distillation system where it is then vaporized and desalinated. Such a system could provide 30-40 liters of drinkable water per square meter of receiver area per day, while still generating electricity with a more than 25 percent yield or two kilowatts hours per day. A large installation would provide enough water for a small town.”

Via Sepp Hasslberger
Scott Baker's insight:

Well, we just ended the fresh water crisis.  Next problem, please :)

Seriously though, we will need the proper economic incentives - like true pricing of water - to make this happen.  Otherwise, we will have water wars, shortages, and drought instead.

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Sepp Hasslberger's curator insight, March 2, 2014 8:03 AM
Concentrating solar energy ... providing electricity and process heat which can be used to desalinate water. One more instrument to help us get off the fossil fuel addiction and find more clean ways to make our energy...
David Carvalho's curator insight, March 21, 2014 6:02 PM

... Et c'est beau

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Virgin Galactic boldly goes into small satellites, telling future astronauts 'you have to wait'

Virgin Galactic boldly goes into small satellites, telling future astronauts 'you have to wait' | Outer Space | Scoop.it

AC Charania, director of strategy and business development at Virgin Galactic, claims “We are the Uber of small launch.”

“You can’t tell the big rocket where to go and you can’t tell it when to go,” says Charania. “You essentially have to get on a bus.

“With Uber, you go when you want to go, you pick the service you want – UberX or UberXL, it goes exactly where you want and it’s an easy transaction. That’s essentially the model for us.”


Via Stratocumulus
Scott Baker's insight:

On this, the 50th anniversary of the orbital flight of Gemini (pre-Apollo), none of the commercial space-faring companies can even launch a single astronaut into space. Tell me again why private industry does things better than the public sector?

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The Moon and Mars: a flawed article’s false choice | The Space Review

The Moon and Mars: a flawed article’s false choice | The Space Review | Outer Space | Scoop.it

A recent essay argued for going to the Moon now because of the considerable challenges of sending humans to Mars. David Whitfield critiques the article and argues that there are ways to accomplish human missions to both worlds.


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Scottish Researchers claim hydrogen energy advance

Scottish Researchers claim hydrogen energy advance | Outer Space | Scoop.it

Researchers at Glasgow University have claimed a breakthrough in producing hydrogen fuel from water. 

 

They said their process is fast, clean and cheap. It can store energy from the sun and wind.

 

Writing in the journal Science, the Glasgow researchers said their process is thirty times faster than the current method.

 

Without using any more energy, it is claimed to store the hydrogen in a carbon-free liquid.

 

Prof Lee Cronin, of the university's School of Chemistry. said: "The process uses a liquid that allows the hydrogen to be locked up in a liquid-based inorganic fuel.


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Sepp Hasslberger's curator insight, September 12, 2014 12:01 PM

This looks like an important advance ... with it, hydrogen becomes a useable way to store excess electricity production for later use.  

Of course in the end all depends on engineering and on actually getting the technology in use. That is where we seem to be a bit weak.  

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What you need to know about commercial spaceflight

What you need to know about commercial spaceflight | Outer Space | Scoop.it

In May 2012, the International Space Station's robotic claw, the Canadarm2, caught and secured the first commercial spacecraft to ever dock with the ISS: SpaceX's Dragon capsule. The bullet-shaped vehicle flew to the ISS carrying cargo for its crew, making history for the private space sector in the process. SpaceX has grown leaps and bounds since then, signing contracts with NASA and other government agencies and developing more advanced technologies for space travel. It's even in the midst of designing Dragon version 2, which, unlike its unmanned predecessor, will be able to fit up to seven passengers. While Elon Musk's company is the most well-known commercial spaceflight firm today, it's hardly the only one. The private space industry is huge and it continues to grow; read on to know more about it.


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NASA: Earth escaped a near-miss solar storm in 2012

NASA: Earth escaped a near-miss solar storm in 2012 | Outer Space | Scoop.it

Back in 2012, the Sun erupted with a powerful solar storm that just missed the Earth but was big enough to "knock modern civilization back to the 18th century," NASA said. The extreme space weather that tore through Earth's orbit on July 23, 2012, was the most powerful in 150 years, according to a statement posted on the US space agency website Wednesday.

 

However, few Earthlings had any idea what was going on. "If the eruption had occurred only one week earlier, Earth would have been in the line of fire," said Daniel Baker, professor of atmospheric and space physics at the University of Colorado. Instead the storm cloud hit the STEREO-A spacecraft, a solar observatory that is "almost ideally equipped to measure the parameters of such an event," NASA said. Scientists have analyzed the treasure trove of data it collected and concluded that it would have been comparable to the largest known space storm in 1859, known as the Carrington event. It also would have been twice as bad as the 1989 solar storm that knocked out power across Quebec, scientists said.

 

"I have come away from our recent studies more convinced than ever that Earth and its inhabitants were incredibly fortunate that the 2012 eruption happened when it did," said Baker. The National Academy of Sciences has said the economic impact of a storm like the one in 1859 could cost the modern economy more than two trillion dollars and cause damage that might take years to repair. Experts say solar storms can cause widespread power blackouts, disabling everything from radio to GPS communications to water supplies -- most of which rely on electric pumps.

 

They begin with an explosion on the Sun's surface, known as a solar flare, sending X-rays and extreme UV radiation toward Earth at light speed. Hours later, energetic particles follow and these electrons and protons can electrify satellites and damage their electronics.

 

Next are the coronal mass ejections, billion-ton clouds of magnetized plasma that take a day or more to cross the Sun-Earth divide. These are often deflected by Earth's magnetic shield, but a direct hit could be devastating.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Tekrighter's curator insight, July 26, 2014 10:44 AM

I have touched on this topic before in my blog (Is Technology a Trap for Humanity? - http://tekrighter.wordpress.com/page/3/). Perhaps it's time for an update.

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Earth's magnetic field is weakening 10 times faster than originally predicted, swarm satellites show

Earth's magnetic field is weakening 10 times faster than originally predicted, swarm satellites show | Outer Space | Scoop.it

Earth's magnetic field, which protects the planet from huge blasts of deadly solar radiation, has been weakening over the past six months, according to data collected by a European Space Agency (ESA) satellite array called Swarm.

 

The biggest weak spots in the magnetic field — which extends 370,000 miles (600,000 kilometers) above the planet's surface — have sprung up over the Western Hemisphere, while the field has strengthened over areas like the southern Indian Ocean, according to the magnetometers onboard the Swarm satellites — three separate satellites floating in tandem.

 

The scientists who conducted the study are still unsure why the magnetic field is weakening, but one likely reason is that Earth's magnetic poles are getting ready to flip, said Rune Floberghagen, the ESA's Swarm mission manager. In fact, the data suggest magnetic north is moving toward Siberia.

 

In fact over the past 20 million years, our planet has settled into a pattern of a pole reversal about every 200,000 to 300,000 years; as of 2012, however, it has been more than twice that long since the last reversal. These reversals aren't split-second flips, and instead occur over hundreds or thousands of years. During this lengthy stint, the magnetic poles start to wander away from the region around the spin poles (the axis around which our planet spins), and eventually end up switched around, according to Cornell University astronomers.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Commercial space advocates rally against Senate report language | Space Politics

Next week, the Senate is expected to take up the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) appropriations bill that the Senate Appropriations Committee approved earlier this month.

 

What has attracted the most attention about the bill is not its funding levels but language in the report accompanying the bill that would require “certified cost and pricing data” from commercial crew and cargo providers. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) said the language provided needed “transparency” for those contracts.

 

Commercial space advocates see something different. “We believe this is actually about control,” claims the Space Access Society in a policy alert earlier this week. “Specifically, about bringing control over all NASA space transportation development back to the Alabama-based NASA old guard faction that’s running SLS, about bringing control over all NASA space transportation funding back under Senator Shelby’s thumb, and also about maintaining his control over Defense space transportation funding.”


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New evidence reveals what a 'typical' solar system looks like

New evidence reveals what a 'typical' solar system looks like | Outer Space | Scoop.it

Prior to the discovery of exoplanets, astronomers assumed that our solar system's configuration was typical. But now, some 1,715 exoplanets later, we know that we're far from ordinary. So what passes for 'normal' in the annals of solar systems?

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Eli Levine's curator insight, April 29, 2014 8:20 PM

I like this physical universe.  It's beautiful physically (as far as I'm able to see it) and it's grown up in such a way that it's able to support a reasonable level of consciousness and intelligence.

 

Is it, shall we say, emotionally stable? 

I don't think so.

 

It's really cool, were it not for that which causes mental or physical harm to myself and to others.

 

Imagine a world where the same things happen, but there is no perception of pain or real suffering associated with those events.  Everything taken in their stride, adaptations made to improve our chances of survival in a constantly changing environment and universe.  Sure, notions of well being are rendered moot, since you're always technically "well".  But what's the point of the "highs" if in order to experience them, you have to go through so many "lows"?  Personally, I'd rather just be left alone by the universe.

 

But, apparently, that's probably not going to be the case, and I'm going to have to shuffle in the same lamentable dance of birth, death and rebirth like the rest of ya'll.

 

Think about it.

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14 Intriguing Ways To Detect Signs Of An Alien Civilization In Deep Space

14 Intriguing Ways To Detect Signs Of An Alien Civilization In Deep Space | Outer Space | Scoop.it

For the past 50 years, our efforts to detect extraterrestrial civilizations have largely focused on the search for radio emissions. But this is hardly the only strategy at our disposal. Here are 14 intriguing ways we could prove that aliens really exist:

 

Radio SignalsOptical SignalsMicrowave SignaturesArtificially Appearing X-Ray and Gamma Ray BurstsNeutrino CommunicationGravitational WavesIndustrial Waste SignaturesCalling CardsDyson Spheres and Niven RingsExoplanets That Appear Out of the OrdinaryArtificial IlluminationTransiting Space HabitatsSpacecraftsVon Neumann Probes
Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Shorten dependence on Russia for spaceflights

Shorten dependence on Russia for spaceflights | Outer Space | Scoop.it

It's been almost three years since the U.S. lost the capability to blast astronauts into orbit when the space-shuttle program ended. Congress hasn't made restoring that capability a priority.

 

If lawmakers aren't kicking themselves now for their myopia, they should be.

 


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'Extremely Red' Brown Dwarf Discovered With Water, Methane and Ammonia in Atmosphere

'Extremely Red' Brown Dwarf Discovered With Water, Methane and Ammonia in Atmosphere | Outer Space | Scoop.it
European astronomers led by Dr Federico Marocco from the University of Hertfordshire have discovered a brown dwarf with unusually red skies.

 

Brown dwarfs are too big to be considered as planets; yet they do not have sufficient material to fuse hydrogen in their cores to fully develop into stars. Sometimes described as failed stars, they are midway in mass between stars, like our Sun, and giant planets, like Jupiter and Saturn.

 

Using ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile and an innovative data analysis technique, Dr Marocco’s team detected a very thick layer of clouds in the upper atmosphere the brown dwarf ULAS J222711-004547. “These are not the type of clouds that we are used to seeing on Earth. The thick clouds on this particular brown dwarf are mostly made of mineral dust, like enstatite and corundum. Not only have we been able to infer their presence, but we have also been able to estimate the size of the dust grains in the clouds,” Dr Marocco said.

 

The giant planets of the Solar System, like Jupiter and Saturn, show various cloud layers including ammonia and hydrogen sulfide as well as water vapor. The atmosphere observed in ULAS J222711-004547 is hotter – with water vapor, methane and probably some ammonia but, unusually, it is dominated by clay-sized mineral particles. Getting a good understanding of how such an extreme atmosphere works will help us to better understand the range of atmospheres that can exist.

 

“Being one of the reddest brown dwarfs ever observed, ULAS J222711-004547 makes an ideal target for multiple observations to understand how the weather is in such an extreme atmosphere,” said Dr Avril Day-Jones from the University of Hertfordshire, who is a co-author of the paper published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society(arXiv.org).


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Celest Ybarra's curator insight, March 29, 2014 9:07 PM

Title: 'Extremely Red' Brown Dwarf Discovered With Water, Methane and Ammonia in Atmosphere

Author: Science News

Main Idea: European astronomers discovered a brown dwarf with unusually red skies.

Summary:

1) The atmosphere observed is hotter – with water vapor, methane and some ammonia but, it is dominated by clay-sized mineral particles

2) Brown dwarfs are too big to be considered as planets; yet they do not have sufficient material to fuse hydrogen in their cores to fully develop into stars.

3) Being one of the reddest brown dwarfs ever observed, it makes an ideal target for multiple observations to understand how the weather is in such an extreme atmosphere

Opinion: No, it was based off of a discovery

Question: Why is it called a dwarf?

Is this article important to science?: Yes, because it can help us better understand the range of atmospheres that can exist.

Source: http://www.sci-news.com/astronomy/science-red-brown-dwarf-01770.html

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OpEdNews Article: Obama Explains the FEMA Camps

OpEdNews Article: Obama Explains the FEMA Camps | Outer Space | Scoop.it
The Conspirosphere has been buzzing about FEMA camps - mass incarceration/relocation centers - for some years now.
But what does the president have to say about them? Quite a bit, it turns out.
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Affordable habitats means more Buck Rogers for less money says Bigelow | NASASpaceFlight.com

Affordable habitats means more Buck Rogers for less money says Bigelow | NASASpaceFlight.com | Outer Space | Scoop.it

Robert Bigelow, founder and President of Bigelow Aerospace, believes that cost effective habitats and transportation systems are key to America’s space explorations ambitions throughout the solar system. In expansive documentation provided to NASA, Bigelow Aerospace presented a fleet of vehicles that could enable humanity’s ambitions.

 


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Cold fusion reactor independently verified, has 10,000 times the energy density of gas

Cold fusion reactor independently verified, has 10,000 times the energy density of gas | Outer Space | Scoop.it

Against all probability, a device that purports to use cold fusion to generate vast amounts of power has been verified by a panel of independent scientists.

 

The cold fusion device being tested has roughly 10,000 times the energy density and 1,000 times the power density of gasoline. 

 

If Rossi and Focardi’s cold fusion technology turns out to be real — if the E-Cat really has 10,000 times the energy density and 1,000 times the power density of gasoline — then the world will change, very, very quickly.


Via Sepp Hasslberger
Scott Baker's insight:

Cold Fusion could change the world of energy ...

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Sepp Hasslberger's curator insight, July 29, 2015 4:14 PM

Cold Fusion could change the world of energy ...

SusanMichelle's curator insight, August 8, 2015 11:13 AM

Cold Fusion could change the world of energy ...

Mike Grozelle's curator insight, September 23, 2015 9:47 AM
This is an example of how LENR are producing massive amounts of heat on very little hydrogen. This was a stable, third party test result that allowed the lab to maintain temperatures in excess of 800+ degrees Celsius. After exporting data, it was found to be 10,000 times the energy production and 1,000 times the power of conventional gasoline. This is viable testing done by a third party to confirm the existence and how close we are to having this technology become the pillar in the technological evolution. Mike Grozelle
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One giant leap for...inflatable space houses

One giant leap for...inflatable space houses | Outer Space | Scoop.it

 

It's showtime for Robert Bigelow.

The real estate developer and hotel magnate estimates he's spent $275 million of his own fortune researching, building, and testing expandable living areas for outer space at Bigelow Aerospace, a company he founded in North Las Vegas 16 years ago.

NASA wants to see if he's right. It's paying him almost $18 million for one of his inflatable habitats to go to the International Space Station later this year.


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New satellite maps show polar ice caps melting at 'unprecedented rate'

New satellite maps show polar ice caps melting at 'unprecedented rate' | Outer Space | Scoop.it

Climate News Network: Scientists reveal Greenland and Antarctica losing 500 cubic kms of ice annually.

 

German researchers have established the height of the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps with greater precision than ever before. The new maps they have produced show that the ice is melting at an unprecedented rate.

 

The maps, produced with a satellite-mounted instrument, have elevation accuracies to within a few meters. Since Greenland’s ice cap is more than 2,000 meters thick on average, and the Antarctic bedrock supports 61% of the planet’s fresh water, this means that scientists can make more accurate assessments of annual melting.

 

Dr Veit Helm and other glaciologists at the Alfred Wegener Institute’sHelmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany, report in the journal The Cryosphere that, between them, the two ice sheets are now losing ice at the unprecedented rate of 500 cubic kilometres a year.

 

The measurements used to make the maps were taken by an instrument aboard the European Space Agency’s orbiting satelliteCryoSat-2. The satellite gets closer to the poles − to 88° latitude − than any previous mission and traverses almost 16m sq km of ice, adding an area of ice the size of Spain to the big picture of change and loss in the frozen world.

 

CryoSat-2’s radar altimeter transmitted 7.5m measurements of Greenland and 61m of Antarctica during 2012, enabling glaciologists to work with a set of consistent measurements from a single instrument.

 

Over a three-year period, the researchers collected 200m measurements in Antarctica and more than 14m in Greenland. They were able to study how the ice sheets changed by comparing the data with measurements made by Nasa’s IceSat mission.

 

Greenland’s volume of ice is being reduced at the rate of 375 cubic km a year. In Antarctica, the picture is more complex as the West Antarctic ice sheet is losing ice rapidly, but is growing in volume in East Antarctica.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Tvashtar Catena, an active volcanic region on Jupiter’s moon Io

Tvashtar Catena, an active volcanic region on Jupiter’s moon Io | Outer Space | Scoop.it

Tvashtar Catena is one of the most interesting features on Jupiter’s moon Io. It is an active volcanic region located near the moon’s north pole. This ever-changing, extremely active volcanic field consists of a chain of giant volcanic paterae, caldera-like depressions.

 

This chain has exhibited highly variable volcanic activity in a series of observations. Tvashtar was studied by the Galileo spacecraft over several years, from late 1999 until early 2002. In December 2000, the Cassini spacecraft had a distant and brief encounter with the Jupiter system en route to Saturn, allowing for joint observations with Galileo.

 

During this time, a 25 kilometres (16 mi) long, 1 to 2 kilometres (0.62 to 1.2 mi) high curtain of lava was seen to erupt from one crater, a lake of superheated silicate lava erupted in the largest crater, and finally a plume of gas burst out, rising 385 kilometres (239 mi) above the moon and blanketing areas as far away as 700 kilometres (430 mi).

 

Therefore scientists expected that the lava flow margins or patera boundaries within Tvashtar would have changed drastically. However, the series of observations revealed little modification of this sort suggesting that the intense eruptions at Tvashtar are topographically confined.

 

Another eruption on Tvashtar on February 26 2007 was photographed by the New Horizons probe as it went past Jupiter en route to Pluto. The probe observed an enormous 330 kilometres (210 mi) high plume from the volcano, with an as-yet unexplained filamentary structure, made clearly visible by the background light from the sun.

 

In these images, taken by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft, we can see Tvashtar Catena just after an active volcanic eruption. The left one is taken on 26 Nov 1999 and the right one on 22 Feb 2000. The red and yellow lava flows we see are illustrations based upon imaging data.

 

The two small bright spots are sites where molten rock is exposed to the surface at the toes of lava flows. The larger orange and yellow ribbon is a cooling lava flow that is more than 60 kilometers (37 mi) long. Dark, diffuse deposits surrounding the active lava flow were not there during the November 1999 flyby of Io.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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While NASA fixates on Mars, space rivals shoot for the moon

While NASA fixates on Mars, space rivals shoot for the moon | Outer Space | Scoop.it

“I just have to say pretty bluntly here, we’ve been there before,” the President said, raising his right hand for emphasis. “Buzz has been there before.”

 

With this single line from his 2010 speech Obama reinforced the modern zeitgeist of the moon as a dead end on humanity’s path to the stars.

 

Yet much of the spaceflight community, many planetary scientists and all other space-faring nations do not share that view. The President, they say, had it all wrong. The moon, rather, offers an essential base camp for human exploration deeper into the solar system. From an outpost there explorers could fuel rockets, take on supplies and venture deeper into the solar system.

 


Via Stratocumulus
Scott Baker's insight:

Obama would be more believable if we still had the capability of reaching the Moon, but were just choosing to go to Mars.  Unfortunately, we can do neither, and can't even send people into orbit presently.  Pathetic excuse and rationalization, that's all this is, and everyone sees through it.

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Vincent Lieser's curator insight, July 29, 2014 1:57 AM

And I think they're right. If they're go there to stay. 

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Acid oceans threaten creatures that supply half the world's oxygen

Acid oceans threaten creatures that supply half the world's oxygen | Outer Space | Scoop.it
Ocean acidification is turning phytoplankton toxic. Bad news for the many species - us, included - that rely on them as a principal source of food and oxygen.

 

What happens when phytoplankton, the (mostly) single-celled organisms that constitute the very foundation of the marine food web, turn toxic? Their toxins often concentrate in the shellfish and many other marine species (from zooplankton to baleen whales) that feed on phytoplankton. Recent trailblazing research by a team of scientists aboard the RV Melville shows that ocean acidification will dangerously alter these microscopic plants, which nourish a menagerie of sea creatures and produce up to 60 percent of the earth's oxygen.


The researchers worked in carbon saturated waters off the West Coast, a living laboratory to study the effects of chemical changes in the ocean brought on by increased atmospheric carbon dioxide. A team of scientists from NOAA's Fisheries Science Center and Pacific Marine Environmental Lab, along with teams from universities in Maine, Hawaii and Canada focused on the unique "upwelled" zones of California, Oregon and Washington. In these zones, strong winds encourage mixing, which pushes deep, centuries-old CO2 to the ocean surface. Their findings could reveal what oceans of the future will look like. The picture is not rosy.


Scientists already know that ocean acidification, the term used to describe seas soured by high concentrations of carbon, causes problems for organisms that make shells. “What we don't know is the exact effects ocean acidification will have on marine phytoplankton communities,” says Dr. Bill Cochlan, the biological oceanographer from San Francisco State University oceanographer who was the project’s lead investigator. “Our hypothesis is that ocean acidification will affect the quantity and quality of certain metabolities within the phytoplankton, specifically lipids and essential fatty acids.”


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Scott Baker's insight:

will fertilization help?  http://nextbigfuture.com/2014/06/russ-george-blogged-about-fraser-river.html

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Diane Johnson's curator insight, June 25, 2014 12:12 PM

Understanding systems and interdependence is just so critical!

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SpaceX Dragon V2 - Unveil Event | YouTube

SpaceX Daragon V2 Unveiling at SpaceX Headquarters, Hawthorne, California.


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Researchers develop the first mobile charging system for electric vehicles

Researchers develop the first mobile charging system for electric vehicles | Outer Space | Scoop.it
The Instituto Tecnológico de la Energía (ITE) in Spain has developed the first mobile charging system for electric vehicles.

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SpaceX preps Mars-capable Falcon Heavy for first launch

SpaceX preps Mars-capable Falcon Heavy for first launch | Outer Space | Scoop.it

Privatized space exploration is big business these days, and nobody is bigger than SpaceX, the company founded by Elon Musk of Tesla electric car fame. We've already seen how SpaceX is picking up after the loss of the Space Shuttle when it comes to resupplying the International Space Station, but now they're setting the sights much higher.

 

Later this year SpaceX will launch the first demonstration flight of their massive Falcon Heavy rocket, which will be the largest space vehicle launched since the last time a Saturn V was used way back in 1973. The Saturn V is what NASA used to send us to the Moon, but Musk has a much more ambitious goal for the Falcon Heavy. He claims that when properly equipped, it can bring people to Mars and back again, without it having to be a one way trip.

 


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IBM Solar Collector Magnifies Sun By 2000X – These Could Provide Power To The Entire Planet

IBM Solar Collector Magnifies Sun By 2000X – These Could Provide Power To The Entire Planet | Outer Space | Scoop.it
A team at IBM recently developed what they call a High Concentration Photo Voltaic Thermal (HCPVT) system that is capable of concentrating the power of 2,000 suns. “Each 1cmX1cm chip can convert 200-250 watts, on average, over a typical eight-hour day in a sunny region. In the HCPVT system, instead of heating a building, the 90 degree Celsius water will pass through a porous membrane distillation system where it is then vaporized and desalinated. Such a system could provide 30-40 liters of drinkable water per square meter of receiver area per day, while still generating electricity with a more than 25 percent yield or two kilowatts hours per day. A large installation would provide enough water for a small town.”

Via Sepp Hasslberger
Scott Baker's insight:

Well, we just ended the fresh water crisis.  Next problem, please :)

Seriously though, we will need the proper economic incentives - like true pricing of water - to make this happen.  Otherwise, we will have water wars, shortages, and drought instead.

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Sepp Hasslberger's curator insight, March 2, 2014 8:03 AM
Concentrating solar energy ... providing electricity and process heat which can be used to desalinate water. One more instrument to help us get off the fossil fuel addiction and find more clean ways to make our energy...
David Carvalho's curator insight, March 21, 2014 6:02 PM

... Et c'est beau

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Get off my Lunar lawn - 7.04 | YouTube

In space news we look at the rebirth of China's Rover, the launch of Turksat 4A, the Earth does in fact revolve around the sun, 50 special Olympic gold metals and the Mars mystery rock is solved.

Main topic: Bigelow wants to have the Federal Aviation Administration's Office of Commercial Space Transportation to define Lunar zone of operations. What may follow defines Lunar law. We talk about what this means and if this is the right time.

Spacevidcast is a weekly show all about space and the comsos. Covering major events from NASA, ESA, JAXA, Roscosmos, SpaceX and more, Spacevidcast is your weekly news and views show for every space geek! Featuring monthly live shows and weekly cosmic updates, get your Space Geek on right here! Don't forget to subscribe.

 


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Stratocumulus's curator insight, February 16, 2014 10:35 PM

 

"For realsies?" Oh well. Still a pretty good episode, with a special focus on Robert Bigelow's ongoing efforts to seek clarification for a legal definition for lunar zones of operations.

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Why Do We Age? An animal that survives 1,400 years as part of a population

Why Do We Age? An animal that survives 1,400 years as part of a population | Outer Space | Scoop.it
Why we age is a tricky evolutionary question. A full set of DNA resides in each of our cells, after all, allowing most of them to replicate again and again and again.

 

In our youth we are strong and healthy and then we weaken and die - that's probably how most would describe what aging is all about. But, in nature, the phenomenon of aging shows an unexpected diversity of patterns and is altogether rather strange, conclude researchers from The University of Southern Denmark.

 

Not all species weaken and become more likely to die as they age. Some species get stronger and less likely to die with age, while others are not affected by age at all. Increasing weakness with age is not a law of nature.

 

Researchers from the University of Southern Denmark have studied aging in 46 very different species including mammals, plants, fungi and algae, and they surprisingly find that there is a huge diversity in how different organisms age. Some become weaker with age – this applies to e.g. humans, other mammals, and birds; others become stronger with age – this applies to e.g. tortoises and certain trees, and others become neither weaker nor stronger – this applies to e.g. Hydra, a freshwater polyp.

 

"Many people, including scientists, tend to think that aging is inevitable and occurs in all organisms on Earth as it does for humans: that every species becomes weaker with age and more likely to die. But that is not the case", says evolutionary biologist and assistant professor Owen Jones from the Max-Planck Odense Center at the University of Southern Denmark .

 

He is the lead author of an article on the subject in the scientific journal Nature. Other authors are from the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany, the University of Queensland in Australia, University of Amsterdam in Holland and elsewhere.

 

Owen Jones and his colleagues studied aging in species ranging from oak trees, nematodes, baboons and lice to seaweed and lions. The species included 11 mammals, 12 other vertebrates, 10 invertebrates, 12 plants and one algae.

 

"The diversity of mortality and fertility patterns in these organisms surprised us, and there is clearly a need for more research before we fully understand the evolutionary causes of aging and become better able to address problems of aging in humans", says Owen Jones.

 

He points out that while there is plenty of scientific data on aging in mammals and birds, there is only sparse and incomplete data on aging in other groups of vertebrates, and most invertebrates, plants, algae, and fungi.

 

For several species mortality increases with age - as expected by evolutionary scientists. This pattern is seen in most mammal species including humans and killer whales, but also in invertebrates like water fleas. However, other species experience a decrease in mortality as they age, and in some cases mortality drops all the way up to death. This applies to species like the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) which experiences the highest mortality early on in life and a steadily declining mortality as it ages. Many plant species, e.g. the white mangrove tree (Avicennia marina) follow the same pattern.

 

Amazingly, there are also species that have constant mortality and remain unaffected by the ageing process. This is most striking in the freshwater polyp Hydra magnipapillata which has constant low mortality. In fact, in lab conditions, it has such a low risk of dying at any time in its life that it is effectively immortal.

 

"Extrapolation from laboratory data show that even after 1400 years five per cent of a hydra population kept in these conditions would still be alive", says Owen Jones.

 

Several animal and plant species show remarkably little change in mortality throughout their life course. For example, these include rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum), great tit (Parus major), hermit crab (Pagurus longicarpus), common lizard (Lacerta vivapara), collared flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis), viburnum plants (Viburnum furcatum ), oarweed (Laminaria digitata), red abalone (Haliotis rufescens), the plant armed saltbush (Atriplex acanthocarpa), red-legged frog (Rana aurora) and the coral red gorgonian (Paramuricea clavata).

 

When you look at the fertility patterns of the 46 surveyed species, there is also a great diversity and some large departures from the common beliefs about ageing. Human fertility is characterized by being concentrated in a relatively short period of life, and by the fact that humans live for a rather long time both before and after the fertile period.

A similar pattern of a concentrated fertile period is also seen in other mammals like killer whales, chimpanzees, and chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra), and also in birds like sparrow hawks (Accipiter nisus).

However, there are also species that become more and more fertile with age, and this pattern is especially common in plants such as the agave (Agave marmorata) and the rare mountain plants hypericum (Hypericum cumulicola) and borderea (Borderea pyrenaica).

 

On the contrary fertility occurs very early in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans. Actually this species starts its life with being fertile, then it quite quickly and quite suddenly loses the ability to produce offspring.

 

To sum up there is no strong correlation between the patterns of ageing and the typical life spans of the species. Species can have increasing mortality and still live a long time, or have declining mortality and still live a short time. "It makes no sense to consider ageing to be based on how old a species can become. Instead, it is more interesting to define ageing as being based on the shape of mortality trajectories: whether rates increase, decrease or remain constant with age", says Owen Jones.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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