• Pattern of light from early universe detected by NASA

    Does light leave tracks? How is it possible for scientists to observe light that originated billions of years ago? These are questions that intrigue us and we are amazed when scientists figure out a way to observe what to most of us is un-observable. The journey of light from the very early universe to modern telescopes is long and winding. The ancient light traveled billions of years to reach us, and along the way, its path was distorted by the pull of matter, leading to a twisted light pattern. This twisted pattern of light, called B-modes, has at last been detected. The discovery, which will lead to better maps of matter across our universe, was made using the National Science Foundation's South Pole Telescope, with help from the Herschel space observatory. >> Read the Full Article
  • Red Smog alert chokes northern China

    A red alert has been issued for several cities in northern China including Changchun and Harbin. A red alert is the highest level on the four-tiered alert system and is defined as serious air pollution for three consecutive days. According to Xinhuanet News, "the density of PM 2.5 -- airborne particles measuring less than 2.5 microns in diameter, exceeded 500 micrograms per cubic meter on Monday morning." Visibility is presently less than 50 meters in the downtown capital city of Harbin of Heilongjiang Province. >> Read the Full Article
  • Park Your Electric Truck on a Manhole Cover to Charge It

    Wireless electric vehicle charging is beginning to trickle into the market, which adds an appealing convenience factor that conventional gas-powered cars just can’t match. Meanwhile, consolidation in the retail gas sector has resulted in a long-term decline in the number of gas stations, while the number of public, private, and workplace EV charging stations has been skyrocketing. >> Read the Full Article
  • Stricter Standards are Needed for Cruise Ship Sewage Treatment

    Cruise ships are no doubt engineering marvels that are meant to provide vacationers a luxurious and entertaining vacation. In 2012, there were approximately 200-300 active cruise ships, and with most of these ships operating 24 hours/day year-round, one can imagine all of the resources that go into daily operations. From the endless buffets and drinks available to staff making sure guests have access to clean drinking water and amenities, these floating cities are faced with some other hidden issues – one being what to do with all that sewage. While cruise ships operating are required to discharge only treated wastewater within three miles of the shore, beyond that limit, pretty much anything goes in terms of sewage discharge. According to Friends of the Earth (FoE), the Environmental Protection Agency estimates an average cruise ship with 3,000 passengers and crew produces 21,000 gallons of sewage daily — and this is a conservative estimate, since some new ships can carry as many as 8,000 passengers and crew. >> Read the Full Article
  • The Yeti: A hoax or an ancient polar bear species?

    The purported Yeti, an ape-like creature that walks upright and roams the remote Himalayas, may in fact be an ancient polar bear species, according to new DNA research by Bryan Sykes with Oxford University. Sykes subjected two hairs from what locals say belonged to the elusive Yeti only to discover that the genetics matched a polar bear jawbone found in Svalbard, Norway dating from around 120,000 (though as recent as 40,000 years ago). >> Read the Full Article
  • Some meteorites that hit Earth ARE from Mars!

    Examination of the Martian atmosphere by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover confirms that some meteorites that have dropped to Earth really are from the Red Planet. For some time, scientists have postulated that some of the many meteorites striking Earth originated on Mars! How this may have happened is unknown, but the composition of some meteorites found on Earth gave rise to this theory. A key new measurement of the inert gas argon in Mars' atmosphere by Curiosity's laboratory provides the most definitive evidence yet of the origin of Mars meteorites while at the same time providing a way to rule out Martian origin of other meteorites. The new measurement is a high-precision count of two forms of argon -- argon-36 and argon-38 -- accomplished by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument inside the rover. These lighter and heavier forms, or isotopes, of argon exist naturally throughout the solar system. On Mars the ratio of light to heavy argon is skewed because much of that planet's original atmosphere was lost to space. The lighter form of argon was taken away more readily because it rises to the top of the atmosphere more easily and requires less energy to escape. That left the Martian atmosphere relatively enriched in the heavier isotope, argon-38. >> Read the Full Article
  • Clouds observed on an Exo - Planet!

    Do other planets have atmospheres? Clouds? What about planets so close to their suns that they are thousands of degrees hot? NASA is helping answer these questions! Astronomers using data from NASA's Kepler and Spitzer space telescopes have created the first cloud map of a planet beyond our solar system, a sizzling, Jupiter-like world known as Kepler-7b. The planet is marked by high clouds in the west and clear skies in the east. Previous studies from Spitzer have resulted in temperature maps of planets orbiting other stars, but this is the first look at cloud structures on a distant world. >> Read the Full Article
  • Plants Absorb Carbon, Reduce Historical Warming

    From providing habitat to food sources, to regulating water cycles, plants are the backbone of all life on Earth. What often goes unrecognized, but is equally as important are plants' roles as climate controllers. According to a new study conducted by researchers at Princeton University, Earth's leafy greens have significantly slowed the planet's warming by absorbing carbon in the form of CO2, a popular greenhouse gas, especially during the past 60 years. How much carbon are we talking about? Approximately 186 billion to 192 billion tons of carbon have been taken out of the atmosphere since the mid-20th century! >> Read the Full Article
  • 30 Year-Old Dream Comes True With The Construction Of Israel’s Biggest Solar Power Plant

    The earth revolves around the sun, and so does the green-tech industry. Some of the earliest pioneers of solar energy started in Israel 30 years ago with the company Luz. Luz went on to become Luz II, then BrightSource, which is now a US-based solar power company about to flip the switch on a massive 377-megawatt solar thermal farm in the California desert. >> Read the Full Article
  • Breaking Urban Ground for Community Gardens

    Community Gardens bring people together, builds relationships, improves quality of life and activates communities through its bounty, exercise, therapy, education, family budget augmentation, social interaction and neighborhood beautification. A community garden can be used for food, ornamental gardening, urban forestry, preservation and management of open space, memorial gardening and any other types of gardening that a community collectively values. But much goes into creating one especially if it's an urban garden. >> Read the Full Article