tech and geek stuff
Solar system: New insights into ring system
Astronomers have modeled the two rings around Chariklo, the smallest body in the Solar System known to have rings. This is the first time an entire ring system has been simulated using realistic sizes...
Solar hits big, brief milestone in California
For three hours on March 11, solar power met roughly half of all electricity demand across a big swath of California, according to a new estimate from the federal government. The administration used data...
Solar panels to power the Kentucky Coal Museum
FRANKFORT, KY. — Don’t look to the Kentucky Coal Museum to bring coal back.The museum is installing solar panels on its roof, part of a project aimed at lowering the energy costs of one of the city’s...
Kentucky Coal Museum Gets Power From Solar Panels
Don't look to the Kentucky Coal Museum to bring coal back. The museum is installing solar panels on its roof, part of a project aimed at lowering the energy costs of one of the city's largest electric...
How One US School is Going Solar
The cost for individual homes to go solar has dropped by more than 60 percent over the last decade. Those low costs helped convince more than a million private homes to install solar panels. Now schools...
How Schools Are Going Solar
The cost for individual homes in the U.S. to "go solar" has dropped by more than 60 percent over the last decade. Those low costs helped convince more than a million Americans to install solar panels on...
Three solar thermal plants in Chile could generate electricity 24 hours a day
reader comments 10 Share this story An artist's rendering of what a 24-hour solar thermal plant at Tamarugal plant could look like. SolarReserve The Tamarugal site today. SolarReserve A close look at...
New Northern Lights research will make your sat nav mapping apps more accurate
As many of you probably know, the polar regions' magical, dancing Northern Lights are actually the result of zillions of high-energy cosmic particles smashing into the Earth's magnetic field. Now, electrical...
Oakland solar company Sungevity files for bankruptcy
The company specialized in a software platform that connected homeowners interested in going solar with installers who could perform the work, supplying instant online quotes. [...] Sungevity has reportedly...
US Solar Soared in 2016, But Investors Still Leery
New U.S. solar installations nearly doubled last year, but slowing demand for both residential and large-scale systems, falling panel prices and concerns about looming federal tax reform are still dampening...
Solar Energy Station to Power Hawaiian Island
One of Hawaii's islands may soon be powered by solar energy, at least during the night. In the biggest project since it acquired the solar cell giant SolarCity, the Tesla company will build a 13-megawatt...
Chemists create molecular 'leaf' that collects and stores solar power without solar panels
An international research team has engineered a molecule that uses light or electricity to convert the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide -- a carbon-neutral fuel source -- more efficiently...
Brighter sky helped boost US crop yields – but it may not last
Boosted by the sunFuse/GettyBy Chelsea WhyteThe US corn belt is having its moment in the sun. Corn yields have been steadily rising since the first hybrid plants were introduced in the mid-1930s, but...
Amazon pledges to cover 15 massive warehouse rooftops with solar panels
Enlarge / Amazon solar rooftop.Amazon reader comments 0 Share this story On Tuesday, Amazon said that it would install solar panels on 15 of its fulfillment and sorting centers around the US in 2017....
NASA's Solar Probe Plus spacecraft to fly to sun
Humans have sent spacecraft to the moon, Mars and even distant interstellar space, but could we send a spaceship to the scorching sun?The answer is yes, and it’s happening soon.In 2018, NASA plans to launch...
Stunning views of rare "ring of fire" eclipse
The first solar eclipse of 2017 treated viewers to a rare “ring of fire” in the sky on Sunday. The annular eclipse — which occurs when the Earth, moon and sun all align, with the moon appearing to block...
Pluto scientists are mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore
Enlarge / Just one of ... 110 planets in the Solar System?NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI reader comments 53 Share this story It's no secret that Alan Stern and other scientists who led the New Horizons mission were...
Chinese solar exports fall in 2016 with global anti-dumping measures
EnlargeDennis Schroeder, National Renewable Energy Lab reader comments 0 Share this story Chinese financial and business news site Caixin Media wrote that Chinese solar equipment exports fell 10 percent...
The future of solar power technology is bright
reader comments 4 Share this story Enlarge / Making tea with the sun in Tibet.McKay SavageWhile our recent look at residential solar may lead you to believe harnessing that power is a newer initiative,...
The most famous solar eclipses in history
In 1302 B.C., Chinese historians documented an epic total eclipse that blocked out the sun for 6 minutes and 25 seconds. Because the sun was a symbol of the emperor, an eclipse was seen as a warning to...
Magnetic meteorites narrow down solar system’s birthdate
Empire of the sunNASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle (SSC)By Leah CraneThey grow up so fast. A new limit on how long the early solar system was full of dust and gas gives us clues about how and when the sun and...
Are solar storms causing mysterious whale beachings?
Why do otherwise healthy sea creatures end up stranded along coastal areas around the world? NASA scientists are searching for the answer.Whales, dolphins and porpoises — known collectively as cetaceans —...
The state of residential solar power
reader comments 9 Share this story Don't panic, but we will need to generate approximately 15TW of usable energy from renewable (carbon-neutral) sources by 2050 in order to stabilize the atmospheric CO2...
Calculating what it would take to park a solar sail at Alpha Centauri
EnlargeNASA reader comments 4 Share this story Breakthrough Starshot is an initiative that hopes to send miniature spaceships on a high-speed jaunt to the Centauri system sometime within the next few...
Want to minimize your home’s carbon footprint? Go for solar, forget the battery
Enlarge / 3d rendering of modern house interior with independent energy storage battery system. reader comments 9 Share this story Batteries are a big deal these days in renewable energy—utilities are...
Six cosmic catastrophes that could wipe out life on Earth
If you ask yourself what the biggest threat to human existence is you’d probably think of nuclear war, global warming or a large-scale pandemic disease. But assuming we can overcome such challenges, are...
Northern Lights may go out across the UK
University of Reading researchers say a big drop in solar activity could confine the spectacular aurora borealis to the Arctic Circle within decades.Study author Dr Mathew Owens said: "The magnetic activity...
Rare meteorites challenge our understanding of the solar system
Researchers have discovered minerals from 43 meteorites that landed on Earth 470 million years ago. More than half of the mineral grains are from meteorites completely unknown or very rare in today's meteorite...
Giant Solar Tower Highlights Israel's Move to Renewables
Between May and October, the nation of Israel gets an average of about 30 sunny days a month. That makes it a perfect place for solar power, a fact that the country and solar entrepreneurs are just starting...
Solar storms could spark soils at moon's poles
Powerful solar storms can charge up the soil in frigid, permanently shadowed regions near the lunar poles, and may possibly produce 'sparks' that could vaporize and melt the soil, perhaps as much as meteoroid...
Off-grid power in remote areas will require special business model to succeed
Low-cost, off-grid solar energy could provide significant economic benefit to people living in some remote areas, but a new study suggests they generally lack the access to financial resources, commercial...
The beating heart of solar energy
Using solar cells placed under the skin to continuously recharge implanted electronic medical devices is a viable one. Swiss researchers have done the math, and found that a 3.6 square centimeter solar...
Tesla, Panasonic to make solar cells in Buffalo, N.Y.
Japanese electronics company Panasonic and U.S. electric carmaker Tesla said Tuesday that they plan to begin production of solar cells at a factory in Buffalo, N.Y. The agreement builds off an existing...
Panasonic will spend $256 million on Tesla solar panel factory in Buffalo, NY
reader comments 1 Share this story Enlarge / A Tesla solar roof.Tesla On Tuesday Tesla announced that it had struck a deal with Panasonic to produce photovoltaic cells at the new Buffalo, New York, solar...
Stability challenge in perovskite solar cell technology
While solar cell technology is currently being used by many industrial and government entities, it remains prohibitively expensive to many individuals who would like to utilize it. There is a need for...
Solar is top source of new capacity on the US grid in 2016
EnlargeHawaii.gov reader comments 9 Share this story The US electric grid continued to transform in 2016. No new coal plants were added, and solar became the top new source of generating capacity. Combined...
Off-Grid Solar Power Booms in Africa as US Backs Technology Roll Out
More than 600 million people in Africa have no access to electricity, according to the International Energy Agency. But new technology could provide the solution. So-called off-grid solar systems have...
Solar Power is Increasingly Cheap and on the Rise Around the World
This week, Google announced it will be run entirely on renewable energy by 2017. And the amount of solar power being harnessed is rising exponentially. Just a few months ago, India opened one of the largest...
The solar plane that is flying to space
The invention is set to become the first manned solar plane to make a stratospheric flight. JUST months after two Swiss pilots completed a historic round-the-world trip in a Sun-powered plane, another...
Quantum solar cells could explain why plants are green
Quantum photocells could copy plantsNathaniel Gabor QMO LabBy Leah CraneThe next wave of solar cells might be green… literally. Quantum mechanics is helping to make better solar cells – and may give us...
SolarCity to open Florida facility
ORLANDO — San Mateo’s Solar City is moving into Florida’s residential market after the state’s voters last month rejected a utility-backed ballot measure that critics said would make going solar more...
What’s so strange about this island?
This island is nearly 100 per cent powered with solar energy. Picture: Solarcity NESTLED 6500km from the West Coast of the United States is a small island known as Ta’u. While its luscious landscape and...
The new Tesla is powering an entire island with solar energy (TSLA)
SolarCity developed a microgrid with 1.4 megawatts of solar generation capacity — enough to power nearly 100% of the island, according to a SolarCity blog posted on Tuesday. The microgrid is enabled by...
Can your gadgets really live off solar power alone?
Mobile technology is advancing at a startling rate, with the average smartphone now boasting the kind of computational power we'd normally associate with laptops or even desktop PCs. However, one aspect...
Elon Musk says his smart solar roof could cost less than a regular roof
Not long after Tesla shareholders approved the company’s acquisition of renewable energy firm SolarCity, Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, proclaimed that Tesla’s new solar roof product will cost less to manufacture...
Tesla and SolarCity shareholders approve $2.6 billion merger
EnlargeTesla reader comments 0 Share this story On Thursday afternoon, Tesla announced that its investors and SolarCity investors agreed to a $2.6 billion all-stock merger of the two companies. The decision...
Back to the Future inspired this solar-powered clothing
For several years now, we've seen promises of 'smart clothing' that combines circuitry with fashion to create literally wearable technology.But powering these inventions is tricky. Batteries are heavy...
Solar cells get boost with integration of water-splitting catalyst onto semiconductor
Scientists have found a way to engineer the atomic-scale chemical properties of a water-splitting catalyst for integration with a solar cell, and the result is a big boost to the stability and efficiency...
“They thought we were building a death ray”: Meet Colorado’s solar java roasters
Enlarge / Mike Harktop checks the beans in his solar roaster.Megan Geuss reader comments 6 Share this story PUEBLO, CO—Even if you park a few blocks away from the Solar Roast Coffee building, you can...
Elon Musk’s solar roof is pretty, but it’s not the first
Friday evening in Los Angeles, Elon Musk unveiled his latest bid to save the planet — roofs that generate electricity. Rather than placing solar panels on top of regular roofing material, Musk showed...
Tesla's Musk adds solar roofs to his clean energy vision
(Reuters) - Tesla Motors Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk on Friday unveiled new energy products aimed at illustrating the benefits of combining his electric car and battery maker with solar installer SolarCity...
Tesla’s solar roof and energy ambitions on display at Los Angeles event
Enlarge reader comments 4 Share this story UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, CA—On Friday evening Tesla officially announced an integrated solar roof and Powerwall product for individual use, which is most likely contingent...
Sunrun to offer solar panels plus batteries with LG Chem
The same company that builds the battery for GM’s upcoming Bolt electric car now wants to put one in your basement — and plug it into solar panels on your roof. LG Chem and San Francisco’s Sunrun announced...
Hunt for elusive Planet Nine heats up
Astronomers say there may be a ninth planet, about 10 times the mass of Earth, in the outer solar system. Is Planet Nine out there? Picture: M. Kornmesser THE hunt for the elusive Planet Nine could be...
Mysterious Planet Nine may Explain Solar System’s 'Wobble'
The mysterious Planet Nine could be responsible for the slight tilt of our solar system relative to the sun, new research suggests. Writing in the Astrophysical Journal, researchers from the California...
Panasonic, Tesla strengthen partnership with solar deal
Japanese electronics giant Panasonic has already helped Tesla Motors move into the market for giant batteries. The two companies announced late Sunday an agreement under which Panasonic will begin the...
Walking on sunshine: Could the future of energy be in solar sidewalks?
SANDPOINT, Idaho -- Scott Brusaw has a vision for the nation’s roads.He believes the solar-powered glass pavers his company makes could transform thousands of miles of pavement into a new energy source.His...
Non-toxic solvent removes barrier to commercialization of perovskite solar cells
Scientists have developed a solvent system with reduced toxicity that can be used in the manufacture of perovskite solar cells, clearing one of the barriers to the commercialization of a technology that...
New advances in solar cell technology
With the high environmental cost of conventional energy sources and the finite supply of fossil fuels, the importance of renewable energy sources has become much more apparent in recent years. However,...
Advance in low-cost clean energy generation
A substantial advance in generating electricity has now been realized through a combination of concentrating solar power and thermoelectric materials. By combining concentrating solar power -- which converts...
Pokemon Stars: all the latest leaks from the rumored Nintendo Switch game
Though there’s been no official confirmation that a game called Pokémon Stars is coming to the Nintendo Switch, we do know that a Pokémon game will make its way to the console eventually. There are many...
The best PC games of 2017… so far
Blimey! We’re not even halfway through the year and we’ve already had a veritable smorgasbord of gaming delicacies served to us in 2017. And it’s not one genre or tier dominating the scene either, with...
Acer’s Predator Triton aims to be the king of ultra-thin gaming laptops
Acer has unveiled a pair of new gaming notebooks, including a super-thin laptop which packs an impressive amount of power for its size.The Predator Triton 700 is the first in a new series of laptops designed...
Slender: The Eight Pages
Falling into the broad category of survival horror, Slender: The Eight Pages is a first person puzzler based on the Slender Man myth. Your mission is to find the titular eight pages about the pale, faceless...
I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its component fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark