Solar

Space rock rips through ISS solar panel, gives hull a miss

Space rock rips through ISS solar panel, gives hull a miss

Space is a dangerous world. Debris is flying around everywhere, including small space rocks (read: bits of asteroid or meteoroid), which means that the International Space Station is constantly prone to getting hit by these small objects, and when you're traveling at 4.8 miles per second, even small objects can have a big impact. ISS Commander Chris Hadfield tweeted a photo of a hole in the one of the solar panels where a space rock ripped through.

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World’s largest solar power plant opens in Abu Dhabi

World’s largest solar power plant opens in Abu Dhabi

The Middle East is known for their vast amounts of oil, and of course the money that comes from that oil. However, the region is also getting into renewable energy and alternative methods for providing electricity, most specifically the United Arab Emirates, which is now home to the world's largest solar power plant, located in Abu Dhabi.

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New Apple patent suggests solar-powered iPhone on the way

New Apple patent suggests solar-powered iPhone on the way

Let's face it: battery life in smartphones is pretty awful, with only a few devices that are actually worthy of a battery-life crown. However, what if smartphones were powered by solar cells? That would basically change how we use devices, and we would essentially not have to worry about battery life anymore. A new patent from Apple may very well point to a possible solar-powered iPhone in the future.

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Scientists develop first all-carbon solar cell

Scientists develop first all-carbon solar cell

Scientists at Stanford University have built the world's first all-carbon solar cell. Because carbon offers a combination of low cost and high performance, it is a viable alternative to current photovoltaic materials, which are expensive. This new solar cell is made from materials such as carbon nanotubes and "buckyballs".

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Scientists warn massive solar flare could harm power grid and satellites

Scientists warn massive solar flare could harm power grid and satellites

A group of scientists have put the world on alert that a massive solar flare could happen within the next two years that could harm power grids, communications, and satellites around the world. The scientists say that the risk of a massive flare that could harm systems on the earth increase as the sun reaches the peak of its 10-year activity cycle. The scientists say "governments are taking it very seriously."

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Walmart announces 100th solar installation in California

Walmart announces 100th solar installation in California

You only have to set foot in most Walmart stores to know that the company wants to be green. For instance, in my local store, there are hordes of skylights all around the building in the ceiling and lights in the store turn off and on depending on how much light is coming through those skylights from the outside. That means you to be walking around and suddenly some of the lights turn off making the interior darker. I assume most Walmart locations use similar systems.

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Huge sunspot forebodes major solar flares

Huge sunspot forebodes major solar flares

An enormous sunspot observed on the sun over the weekend may portend problematic solar activity, according to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report. The cool area of the sun known as AR1476, which contains multiple sunspots big enough to see with even basic astronomy equipment, displayed complex beta-gamma magnetic fields as it passed within view of the Earth on May 6th.

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Scientists develop printable liquid solar cells

Scientists develop printable liquid solar cells

Scientists at the University of Southern California have developed new solar cells in the form of a liquid that can be painted or printed onto clear surfaces. The new technology is cheap to produce and relies on stable solar nanocrystals that are only four nanometers in size, which is so small you could fit 250 billion on the head of a pin. These particles are then suspended in liquid like pigment and can be printed like ink.

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Solar tornado wide as five Earths caught on camera

Solar tornado wide as five Earths caught on camera

Sun observers have released clips of a vast solar tornado, as wide across as five Earths, that broke the surface of the star back in September 2011. Caught on camera by NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory and spotted in the footage by the Institute of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Aberystwyth in Wales, the "coronal mass ejections" spurt from solar prominences and the coronal cavities above them.

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Venus Express blinded after massive solar storms

Venus Express blinded after massive solar storms

For those of you unfamiliar with the term "Venus Express," do not worry: it's not a train heading into outer space - it's already out there, and it's a spacecraft in crisis. There aren't any humans aboard this spacecraft at the moment, it being the eyes and ears of the European Space Agency around the second planet from the sun in our solar system, but concern remains as 40 hours have passed since the most recent solar storm has pushed over the unit and it's gone "blind." The cameras aboard this spacecraft have been rendered inoperable for the time being with officials racing to get them back online before they're lost for good, they meanwhile relying on gyroscopes to keep the unit online and on track.

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