Hurricane WiFi

Editorial Attribution - Anton Oparin / Shutterstock.com

As Hurricane Sandy battered the Northeast, power outages wreaked havoc on telecommunications networks, knocking out cell phone usage by the millions. If a future hurricane triggers similar failures, regulators say they have a potential solution with floating wireless antennas from balloons or drones. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is exploring the use of such airborne technology to restore communications after disasters. Beaming 3G or Wi-Fi signals from the sky may be especially useful to emergency responders in the immediate aftermath of a hurricane. Though not as severe as Hurricane Katrina, the damage to telecommunications networks after Hurricane Sandy was significant. After… read more

Life On Europa

One of Jupiter's moons, named Europa.

In early 2012, NASA announced that they may be planning to send a robot submarine to the oceans of Europa to discover if the lunar object contains extraterrestrial life. Europa is one of the largest of Jupiter’s 63 known moons, and is part of the four “Galilean Satellites”. The unfortunate news is that NASA’s decreased planetary research budget of $1.2 Billion, set by President Obama, isn’t enough to cover the costs of this endeavor. Steve Squyres, lead scientist for NASA’s Opportunity rover, places this venture at the top of his wish list, and believes it will receive the green light… read more

Impacts of Fracking

Hydraulic fracturing

Though difficult to determine, the rare earthquakes which occurred in Dallas recently may have been the result of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. It is well known a consequence of fracking is the possibility of earthquakes, but it is not known how powerful an earthquake caused by fracking can be. However, the logistics of fracking seem to create a “perfect storm” situation, where underground shale formations are destroyed, resulting in geological instability under the surface. Further, the most efficient way of getting rid of the wastewater is to pump it back underground where, if a fault-line is present, essentially acts as… read more

Faster Than Light

Einstein drawing on blackboard.

Albert Einstein in 1905 suggested that travelling faster than the speed of light was impossible, both physically and mathematically. According to his Theory of Relativity, which encompasses several relativity hypothesis’, the speed of light is invariant, or the same for all observers. This means that nothing can exceed that set speed, with zero exceptions. However, a duo of Australian scientists believe that Einstein’s theory is open for translation, and allows for an extension that might prove the theory’s “insurmountable wall” as not so unattainable after all. They believe that the equation to validate faster than light travel’s feasibility actually lies… read more

The Farthest Galaxy

Image of numerous galaxy clusters

Scientists this past week, using a collaboration of natural and artificial telescopes, discovered the farthest known galaxy on record: MACS0647-JD. The galaxy is approximately 13.3 billion light years away, which also makes it one of the oldest known galaxies in the universe. Astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institude in Baltimore, M.D. found the galaxy with assistance from the Hubble and Spitzer telescopes, along with utilizing naturally occurring cosmic “lenses”. The new found galaxy is much smaller than the Milky Way, at less than 600 light-years wide. Astronomers believe MACS0637-JD will one day collide with another galaxy and become a… read more

The Power of the Sun

Using the Power of the Sun

We keep thinking about our depleting natural resources and the eminent energy crisis that we all might face in the near future. But in spite of that, we are ignoring the never-ending nuclear fission gifted to us by nature: the SUN. This billion megaton powerhouse has been radiating its energy on earth for the past 4.5 billion years and is still no way near exhaustion. Even if we tap a fraction of this radiation it could permanently end our worries of depleted resources. The methodologies to tap this energy are many: Metal Smelting Solar Furnaces: By the use of large… read more

Creative Energy

Creative Energy

Popular sustainable energy choices like solar and wind are thankfully becoming more prevalent. However, there are some other really interesting innovations in energy research and application. Typically present things capable of producing power, like motion, are being successfully looked into for energy sources. Items that are in movement possess kinetic energy, which can then be turned into even more energy. The motions created from things like vibrations are being considered for netting and producing energy because of their usually constant availability. The pulsating caused from repeated movements can be manufactured into small bursts of power. Since there are numerous things… read more

Viewing The Stars

Stargazing

We all enjoy a good stargazing session every once in awhile, though many of us live in the city, which makes it difficult to see through the lights, pollution, and skyscrapers. Fortunately, there are better solutions available than driving great distances to experience nature firsthand (although we recommend that also). Along with live stargazing resources, below are some terrific industry news websites for the space enthusiast in you. The first is called Spacevidcast. It’s a website with free live-streaming of celestial events, such as meteor showers, lunar eclipses, asteroid passes, and more. Whether you’re on break at work, or at… read more

Cleaning Space Junk

Space junk

Space exploration is a very important and interesting field. With satellites and other materials going to space every day there are many things up there which simply shouldn’t be there. Space landfill is becoming a big problem and one cannot ignore that as it will pose a serious threat to operational satellites and future satellites. British engineer, Dr. Jaime Reed, has come up with an innovative way to clean this junk from space with the help of a space harpoon, measuring only 30cm in length. The harpoon would be mounted onto a chaser satellite which would take the harpoon to 100m… read more

Renewable Energy Storage

Storing renewable energy

As renewable energy technology has gotten better and experienced an increase in production, there has been a shift from developing the technology to generate energy to developing the technology to store the energy. Renewable energy storage is incredibly important, since the sun doesn’t always shine, the wind doesn’t always blow, wind speeds fluctuate, the amount of sunlight is dependent on cloud coverage, etc. However, the storage options up until now have only been theoretical, impractical, or too costly to produce. Fossil fuel plants are seen as too difficult to adjust to modern storage options, since it takes a long time retrofit the energy-producing power… read more