Report: Offshore wind farms could tame hurricanes before they reach land

For the past 24 years, Mark Z. Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford, has been developing a complex computer model to study air pollution, energy, weather and climate. A recent application of the model has been to simulate the development of hurricanes. Another has been to determine how much energy wind turbines can extract from global wind currents.

Sentinel 1 satellite spreads its wings

When Sentinel-1 is placed in orbit around Earth in a few weeks, it has to perform a complicated dance routine to unfold its large solar wings and radar antenna. Engineers have recently been making sure the moves are well rehearsed.

Spitzer stares into the heart of new supernova in M82

The closest supernova of its kind to be observed in the last few decades has sparked a global observing campaign involving legions of instruments on the ground and in space, including NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. With its dust-piercing infrared vision, Spitzer brings an important perspective to this effort by peering directly into the heart of the aftermath of the stellar explosion.

NASA eyes four spacecraft to study magnetic reconnection

First thing every morning, the engineering team for NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale mission gathers for a 10-minute meeting. A white board sits at the front of the room with the day's assignments – who will wrap tape around the wires, which instruments need to be installed where, which observatory needs to undergo its next test.

Kite is an underwater energy device

The U.K. is putting fresh funding behind Deep Green, one of the most fascinating of the long parade of ocean-energy projects to come along.

What is the capacity of offshore wind power?

Offshore wind power has hit a rough patch in Europe. There have been troubles with basking sharks and red-throated divers, but mostly there have been challenges in making the difficult technology economically viable.

Want your computer to go faster? Just add light

Every second, your com­puter must process bil­lions of com­pu­ta­tional steps to pro­duce even the sim­plest out­puts. Imagine if every one of those steps could be made just a tiny bit more effi­cient. “It would save pre­cious nanosec­onds,” explained North­eastern Uni­ver­sity assis­tant pro­fessor of physics Swastik Kar.

Water detected on planet outside our solar system

Water has been detected in the atmosphere of a planet outside our solar system with a new technique that could help researchers to learn how many planets with water, like Earth, exist throughout the universe.

Stream of stars in Andromeda satellite galaxy shows cosmic collision

The Andromeda Galaxy is surrounded by a swarm of small satellite galaxies. Researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute, among others, have detected a stream of stars in one of the Andromeda Galaxy's outer satellite galaxies, a dwarf galaxy called Andromeda II.

Scientists complete top quark puzzle

Scientists on the CDF and DZero experiments at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory have announced that they have found the final predicted way of creating a top quark, completing a picture of this particle nearly 20 years in the making.

3D printer creates transformative device for heart treatment

Using an inexpensive 3-D printer, biomedical engineers have developed a custom-fitted, implantable device with embedded sensors that could transform treatment and prediction of cardiac disorders.

Does climate engineering have a future?

With global greenhouse gas emissions continuing to increase proposals to limit the effects of climate change through the large-scale manipulation of the Earth system are increasingly being discussed.

Vibration energy the secret to self-powered electronics

A multi-university team of engineers has developed what could be a promising solution for charging smartphone batteries on the go — without the need for an electrical cord.

Galactic diamonds in the tail of the scorpion

Messier 7, also known as NGC 6475, is a brilliant cluster of about 100 stars located some 800 light-years from Earth. In this new picture from the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope it stands out against a very rich background of hundreds of thousands of fainter stars, in the direction of the centre of the Milky Way.

Astronomers find solar storms behave like supernovae

Researchers at UCL have studied the behaviour of the Sun's coronal mass ejections, explaining for the first time the details of how these huge eruptions behave as they fall back onto the Sun’s surface. In the process, they have discovered that coronal mass ejections have a surprising twin in the depths of space: the tendrils of gas in the Crab Nebula, which lie 6500 light-years away and are millions of times larger.

How to make cheaper second-gen biofuel

Producing second-generation biofuel from dead plant tissue is environmetally friendly - but it is also expensive because the process as used today needs expensive enzymes, and large companies dominate this market.

Is Nissan's Leaf the greenest of them all?

What is the most environmentally friendly car in America? That is a question that is open to a huge debate, depending upon how many different factors you consider.

Obama admin wants more desert solar

The Obama administration marches on in its quest for more big renewable energy. This week, the Department of the Interior announced its 49th and 50th approvals of utility-scale renewable energy projects on public lands. Pre-Obama, there were zero such approvals.

A new laser for a faster Internet

The study was published the week of February 10–14 in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The work is the result of a five-year effort by researchers in the laboratory of Amnon Yariv, Martin and Eileen Summerfield Professor of Applied Physics and professor of electrical engineering; the project was led by postdoctoral scholar Christos Santis (PhD '13) and graduate student Scott Steger.

NASA's smart SPHERES are about to get a whole lot smarter

Smart devices – such as tablets and phones – increasingly are an essential part of everyday life on Earth. The same can be said for life off-planet aboard the International Space Station. From astronaut tweets to Google+ Hangouts, our reliance on these mobile and social technologies means equipment and software upgrades are an everyday occurrence – like buying a new pair of shoes to replace a pair of well-worn ones.