To fans of science fiction, the idea of having solar power stations in space sending down energy to Earth is far from new.
News is, however, the fact that Japan have drawn up plans for exactly such a power station.
The idea, which is still just an idea, goes as follows:
Take an island, fill it witl billions of tiny rectifying antennas able of converting microwave energy into DC electricity. Run a cable from the island, where no-one is going to want to live, because of the radiation, to the mainland. Now take a handfull (or two) of solar collectors, shoot them into space and have them set up in a geosynchronous orbit and beam down microwaves onto the island from 36 000 km above Earth.
Sounds great, and as long as the whole thing worked according to plan. If the solar collectors missed their target, or someone decided to tinker with the whole setup, things could be very, very different.
Imagine a giant microwave oven, and then stuff the population of Tokyo into it…..
The core of our planet seems to be a lot warmer than we previously thought. New measurements puts Earth’s core’s temperature (no apostrophe required) at 6,000 degrees Celsius – meaning that it’s about as hot as the surface of the Sun.
Previously, the temperature of Earth’s core was thought to be around 5,0000 degrees Celsius, but new experiments examined how iron reacts under extreme pressure, like that found at the centre of our planet, found that the temperature is likely to be 1,000 degrees higher.
According to the BBC, the new results are crucial for a number of fields study our planet.
“We have to give answers to geophysicists, seismologists, geodynamicists – they need some data to feed their computer models,” Dr Dewaele, co-author of the report on the new research, said.
According to a new study, Earth seems involved of bad, bad Christmas presents. Every year our planet seems to snap up a moon, but it usually doesn’t take it more than 12 months to tired of it and send it hurtling out into space again. Then it picks up another moon, but less than twelve months later, it grows bored with that one, and round and round we go. Oh, that’s a really poor pun isn’t it? Well, point for me then!
The new study in question has been published on arxiv.org and is called “The Population of Natural Earth Satellites”.
In it, Mikael Granvik, Jeremie Vaubaillon and Robert Jedicke talk of how Earth, at any given time, has what they term a ‘temporarily captured orbiter’.
The reason you haven’t noticed this is that the objects in question are quite a bit smaller than the object we know as our Moon. Actually they’re usually not more than a metre in diameter.
One such object was the asteroid 2006 RH120 which was discovered in 2006.