December 14, 2010 |
Voyager 1, the little spacecraft that could, is nearing the edge of the solar system and continuing to prove theorists wrong about solar wind ? the massive outflow of particles produced by the sun. The tiny spacecraft, launched 33 years ago, is now 10.8 billion miles from Earth and has reached the region of the solar system where the hot ionized gas, or plasma, emitted by the sun is ramming into the cold gas and dust of interstellar space and...
March 21, 2010 |
"Hello, from the children of planet Earth!" Someday, these friendly words might greet beings from another world! No one knows whether life exists anywhere else but Earth. Even if it does, no one knows whether any alien life forms might be intelligent. Or whether they might be advanced enough to have space travel. But, what if . . . ? Let's go back to 1977. The United States launches two robotic spacecraft. Robotic means they have no people in them. The spacecraft are named Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. They are going to explore the outer planets of our solar system.
November 23, 2009 |
At a recent solar energy conference in Anaheim, economic development officials from Ohio talked up a state that seemed far removed from the solar panels and high-tech devices that dominated the convention floor. Ohio, long known for its smokestack auto plants and metal-bending factories, would be an ideal place for green technology companies to set up shop, they said. "People don't traditionally think of Ohio when they think of solar," said Lisa Patt-McDaniel, director of Ohio's economic development agency.
October 13, 2009 |
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has approved two major initiatives that will require utilities to pay consumers for generating extra power and will boost the payoff for certain solar facilities. Homes, businesses and schools that have solar panels or wind turbines previously had no financial incentive to use less electricity than they generated. But AB 920, written by Assemblyman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), will encourage efficiency, supporters say. SB 32, by state Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Chino)
May 19, 2009 |
After President Nixon went to China, the United States urged that nation's leaders to forget Marx and Mao and embrace the blessings of capitalism. Unfortunately, it's been wryly said, they took our advice. Americans have by now become inured to China peeling off layers of the U.S. manufacturing base. The Asian giant, though, has never been at the starting gate of a new industry that promised exceptional growth. That's a natural place for America, we like to think. Indeed, the U.S.
March 27, 2009
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has done a lot of admirable work protecting California's wild desert lands from development, but her latest plans for the Mojave threaten to split the state's environmental community and could stall clean- energy projects whose construction should be among the nation's highest priorities.
March 25, 2009 |
While President Obama has made development of cleaner energy sources a priority, an effort is underway to close off a large swath of the Southern California desert to solar and wind energy projects. In a move that could pit usual allies -- environmentalists and the solar and wind industries -- against each other, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is preparing legislation that would permanently put hundreds of thousands of acres of desert land off limits to energy projects.
September 27, 2008 |
The solar wind -- a stream of charged particles ejected from the sun's upper atmosphere at 1 million mph -- is significantly weaker, cooler and less dense than it has been in 50 years, according to new data from the solar probe Ulysses. The cause seems to be a change in its magnetic flux, said Dave McComas of the Southwest Research Institute. Why it's happening is a mystery, but it has fluctuated like this in the past. Normally the sun goes through an 11-year cycle of more, then fewer, sunspots and a similar solar wind cycle.
December 7, 2007 |
Data from the Japanese Hinode spacecraft have confirmed that a set of long-theorized magnetic waves help power the solar wind that drives charged particles to the frigid boundary of the solar system. Called Alfven waves in honor of the Swedish scientist who proposed their existence 60 years ago, they play an important role in accelerating the solar wind to speeds of about 2 million mph, according to results published today in the journal Science.
May 20, 2007 |
Before power lines, homesteaders had no choice. They lighted their lanterns, stoked their fires and packed away winter ice against sizzling summers. Owners of about 250 homes in the Three Rivers community near this central Oregon lake are far from homesteading or camping out. But they are among a growing number of Americans who shun power lines, choosing to live "off the grid," without commercial power.