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I have to admit, I rent a house that is solar-powered and it is amazing. My bills dropped from around $1600 per quarter to around $30 and I could not be any happier, unless I was pulling power from the moon.
This is exactly what André Broessel, a European architect and engineer has built. A weatherproof harvesting system that can accept power from multiple light sources, including our moon. The liquid-filled glass sphere design not only looks great, but it is able to turn light into heat, meaning it can harvest the rays of our sun, and our moon.
The sphere is made to me mounted on buildings individually, or in arrays, with a computerized control system taking control, tracking available illumination in the day, but it can also track the moon and harness its energy. I'd like one, now.
In a "why didn't I think of it first" we can expect the microwave industry to be completely turned on its head, with a next-generation microwave coming which will be a 'reverse-microwave' which will be capable of chilling down a drink in 45 seconds.
The new reverse-microwave will be capable of chilling down soft drinks and wine bottles from room temperature to just four degrees in seconds. The device will cool drinks of all shapes and sizes to different temperatures without disturbing the contents of the drink itself, or the carbonation. The technology has been developed with the help of research funding from the European Union, which works with the help of a cooling vortex which spins the drink around.
This starts a stop-start rotational sequence which creates something known as a Rankine vortex, which is a collapsed vortex in a viscous fluid. The drink will be rotated quickly around twin axes in water which will keep the drink in its original state, all while cooling it down for your pleasure. V-Tex created the technology, where it has said that the process requires just 20% of the energy required by standard drink chillers.
The US Army's job of protecting fuel convoys is an important one, where it sees a casualty for every 24 missions in some years. Commanders have now found a way to save lives through energy conservation, moving from fossil fuels to renewable energy such as solar power.
Richard Kidd, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army in charge of energy security, Richard Kidd, said: "there is no supply chain vulnerability, there are no commodity costs and there's a lower chance of disruption. A fuel tanker can be shot at and blown up. The sun's rays will still be there." The US Army is cutting down on fossil fuel use and moving toward renewable energy sources, where it will spend $7 billion buying electricity generated by solar, wind, geothermal and biomass projects over the next 30 years.
Another benefit, is that renewable energy projects in the US are mainly financed by third parties, meaning that a government shutdown won't affect the US Army's energy supplies or its members of the armed forces.
aWe're all used to the naming scheme that AMD has adopted for its GPUs, with the current high-end single GPU being the Radeon HD 7970. This is all going to change with the next generation of GPUs from the chipmaker, and we have some leaked specifications to now share with you.
The next-gen GPUs from AMD will adopt a new name, with the high-end GPU to arrive as the Hawaii R9 290X GPU. This GPU is set to be based off of AMD's second generation Graphics CoreNext architecture, based on a 28nm process and will go head-to-head with NVIDIA's best GPU, the GTX Titan. We should expect an estimated die area of 430 mm², which is 18% bigger than Tahiti.
On top of that, the R9 290X - this is going to get very confusing, but we'll get used to it soon enough - will feature 2,816 stream processors across 44 clusters of 64 stream processors each. This represents a 37.5% increase over its predecessor, Tahiti. Base clock speeds should float at around 900MHz, but we should see overclocked models that will pass this easily.
Tonight will be one of the last nights that you will be able to catch a trio of heavenly bodies hanging out in the night sky in the same neighborhood. This evening's sky watchers in the northern hemisphere will be treated to Saturn, Venus, and the Crescent Moon all within a few degrees of each other.
Tonight around 45 minutes after sunset, you will be able to look toward the southwestern sky and see the waxing crescent moon. To the lower right, you will see a very bright star which is actually the planet Venus. Above Venus, you will see another brightly lit star that will actually be the planet Saturn. The distance between the moon and Saturn will be roughly 5 degrees, which is equal to about half your fist or 3 fingers held at arm's length.
This will also be one of the last spectacular shows Saturn provides us for the year, because in just a few weeks, it will have dipped below the horizon and become visible to those in the southern hemisphere. For those of you with medium power binoculars or a telescope of at least 30-power, you would be able to view Saturn's rings tonight, even with it so close to the moon. I plan on taking out my telescope and imaging gear and getting a couple nice still shots of the trio. If you get any good shots, post them up in the comments and I will share them on our TweakTown Facebook Page.
Last Thursday, Virgin Galactic's private spaceship flew higher and faster than it has ever before. This experience provided company officials the confidence they needed to announce that the vehicle is on track to start taking passengers on suborbital jaunts next year.
This was the second time that Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo has had a rocket-powered test flight, which took off on Thursday morning from Mojave Air and Space Port in California. SpaceShipTwo reached a maximum altitude of 65,000 feet, and hit a top speed of Mach 1.6, which is 1.6 times the speed of sound - or around 761 mph.
The first test flight saw SpaceShipTwo reach just 56,000 feet and a speed of just Mach 1.2, which took flight on April 29.
Does Elon Musk get any sleep? I don't think so. The SpaceX founder has tweeted that he has invented a new way of creating rocket parts, by simply using hand gestures and a laser printer. He has posted a video showing this off, which is an incredible achievement.
Musk explains in the video above: "Right now we interact with computers in a very unnatural, 2D way. And we try to create these 3D objects using a variety of 2D tools. And it just doesn't feel natural - it doesn't feel normal, the way you should do things." Musk continues, demonstrating how he combined a bunch of technologies, including Oculus Rift, Leap Motion 3D controllers and holograms, in order to create a way to engineer a rocket engine, all without physically touching it.
Musk says that this system is "going to revolutionize design and manufacturing in the 21st century." The technology shown off by Musk is quite incredible, as it's all in early stages right now.
It has been quite a while since NASA has bothered with the moon in any great deal, but the US space agency is looking to make a lunar come back next month.
NASA sent up its Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer from its Wallops Flight Facility launch pad based in Virginia. LADEE is currently orbiting the Earth at the moment, but next month it will be circling the moon conducting various experiments, all without a human being on-board the craft.
NASA will be using a Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration, which, in a nutshell is fancy laser-powered space Internet that puts anything you use to shame.
Recently, NASA released images captured by the Hubble Space Telescope that show off what scientists are describing as a "Cosmic Caterpillar" that stretches across the universe for nearly 6,000,000,000,000 miles. The so-called Caterpillar is actually a massive cloud of space dust and gas that is collapsing in on itself to form a new star.
Unfortunately for the could-be new star, there are roughly 65 very large and extremely hot stars lurking nearby that can be seen on the right side of the image. These started producing what is said to be a powerful stellar wind, which is doing its best to disperse the cloud of gas and dust and form the long tail-like structure seen in the image. Additionally, 500 less bright stars are in the vicinity, which are adding to the destructive forces at large.
At the moment, it is unclear if the "caterpillar cloud"--or IRAS 20324+4057--will be able to fight back by gathering enough mass to counteract the erosion. However, it could eventually one day collect enough material to collapse into a very bright and quite large star, but everyone reading this will have long been dead and forgotten about before that event happens.
Our final science Friday post for this week is a story about rebirth, about breathing new life into a hibernating spacecraft to help hunt for near Earth asteroids. Today, NASA announced that it would be bringing the WISE Space Telescope back online and tasking it with an entirely new mission.
Before being mothballed for 2.5 years, the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer Telescope, aka WISE, spent 13 months composing a map of the entire sky that highlighted comets, asteroids, stars, and other objects that emit infrared light. As an additional feature to the survey, WISE also hunted asteroids that could pass relatively close to Earth at some point in the future.
Today's announcement states that NASA will bring WISE out of mothballs for a three-year mission, during which it will hunt for asteroids that may be on a collision course with the earth. Additionally, NASA is hoping to find a few non-threatening asteroids that would allow the space agency to use them as targets for a robotic mission that would relocate an asteroid into a safe and stable orbit around the moon.