‘Like Salt Sprinkled on Black Velvet’
NASA – The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured this view of the dwarf galaxy UGC 5497, which looks a bit like salt sprinkled on black velvet in this image.
The object is a compact blue dwarf galaxy that is infused with newly formed clusters of stars. The bright, blue stars that arise in these clusters help to give the galaxy an overall bluish appearance that lasts for several million years until these fast-burning stars explode as supernovae.
UGC 5497 is considered part of the M 81 group of galaxies, which is located about 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major (The Great Bear). UGC 5497 turned up in a ground-based telescope survey back in 2008 looking for new dwarf galaxy candidates associated with Messier 81. Image Credit: ESA/NASA
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- Galactic Views (46) (theneteconomy.wordpress.com)
Posted in Nature, Science, SPACE WATCH
Tagged Astronomy, Dwarf galaxy, Galaxy groups and clusters, Hubble Space Telescope, Messier 81, Milky Way, NASA, Space, Ursa Major
By Brad Plumer – Right now, renewable energy sources like solar and wind still provide just a small fraction of the world’s electricity. But they’re growing fast. Very fast. Three new pieces of evidence suggest that many policymakers may be drastically underestimating just how quickly wind and solar are expanding.
- Solar is growing exponentially
- Official agencies keep underestimating the growth rate of renewables
- Using only current technology, renewables could technically provide the vast bulk of U.S. electricity by mid-century
And that’s where a new report from the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory comes in.
NREL even provides a nifty animated map of where different power plants–from hydropower to photovoltaic solar panels to wind turbines to concentrated solar plants — would need to be built to make this a reality. more> http://tinyurl.com/cglov9t
Posted in EARTH WATCH, Economic development, Energy, Technology
Tagged Climate change, Electricity, Industrial economy, Renewable energy, Solar cell, Solar power, U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Wind power, Wind turbine
By Paul Hsieh, MD – New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg recently proposed restrictions on sales of sugared drinks, on the grounds that the government must do more to fight obesity.
The recurring theme: The government must limit our freedoms to limit overall medical costs. But this issue can only arise in “universal” health systems where taxpayers must pay for everyone else’s medical expenses.
Other countries with nationalized health care routinely restrict individual freedoms in the name of controlling health costs. Norway taxes sugar and chocolate. Switzerland and Austria ban trans fats. Japan measures the waistlines of citizens between ages 40-75. If a man’s waistline exceeds 33.5 inches (35.4 inches for women), he must undergo counseling and his employer may face financial penalties. more> http://tinyurl.com/7k5tzn8
Posted in Business, Healthcare
Tagged Austria, Government, Health, Health system, Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, New York City, Soft drink, Tax, United States
SIEMENS – Cows for biogas, solar modules on the roofs, windmills on the wooded hillside: The community of Wildpoldsried in Germany‘s Allgäu region produces over three times more energy than it needs using renewable sources. With around 2,500 inhabitants, Wildpoldsried is one of the smallest independent communities in the Oberallgäu district of southern Germany. But it is probably also the community with the greatest vision – and the site of the most comprehensive test of Germany’s energy future.
A smart grid ensures that renewable energies can be better integrated into the grid by permitting a bidirectional flow of energy – from generators to consumers and vice versa – (orange line) and a bidirectional flow of communication (blue line). Whereas in conventional power supply networks generation follows consumption, a smart grid also controls consumption as a function of the availability of electrical energy in the grid. more> http://tinyurl.com/coh4dk4
Posted in Economic development, Energy, Energy & emissions, Nature, Technology
Tagged Climate change, Ecology, Germany, Renewable energy, Siemens, Smart grid, Solar panel, Test & certification
IBM – The new LRZ “SuperMUC” system was built with IBM System x iDataPlex Direct Water Cooled dx360 M4 servers with more than 150,000 cores to provide a peak performance of up to three petaflops, which is equivalent to the work of more than 110,000 personal computers. Put another way, three billion people using a pocket calculator would have to perform one million operations per second each to reach equivalent SuperMUC performance. Also, a revolutionary new form of hot-water cooling technology invented by IBM allows the system to be built 10 times more compact and substantially improve its peak performance while consuming 40 percent less energy than a comparable air-cooled machine.
“This year all the electricity consumed by state-funded institutions across Germany are required to purchase 100% sustainable energy,” said Prof. Dr. Arndt Bode, Chairman of the Board, Leibniz Supercomputing Centre. “SuperMUC will help us keep our commitment, while giving the scientific community a best-in-class system to test theories, design experiments and predict outcomes as never before.”
The center’s new SuperMUC system is the largest in Europe and one of the most powerful systems in the world. It is part of the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) high-performance computing infrastructure for researchers and industrial institutions throughout Europe. The supercomputer is jointly funded by the German federal government and the state of Bavaria. more> http://tinyurl.com/7yo6wss