Science Profiles Keeping track of breakthroughs in science…


Solar Storm May Disrupt Soap Operas writes: EXTREME SOLAR ACTIVITY: One of the most powerful solar flares in years erupted from giant sunspot 486 on Oct. 28th. The blast measured X17 on the Richter scale of solar flares. As a result of the explosion, a strong S3-class solar radiation storm is underway. Click here to learn how such storms can affect our planet. The explosion also hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) toward Earth. The CME struck Earth's magnetic field on Oct. 29th and sparked an intense geomagnetic storm.

Source: Space Weather
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New Power Source Found in Water

EDMONTON, Alberta (UPI) -- Canadian scientists at the University of Alberta have discovered a new way to create electricity using water, the BBC reported Monday. "What we have achieved so far is to show that electrical power can be directly generated from flowing liquids in microchannels," said Professor Larry Kostiuk of the University of Alberta. The team says its "electrokinetic" battery could be further developed to provide a clean, non-polluting power source that could eventually drive small devices such as mobile phones. It is said to be the first new method of generating electricity in more than 150 years. The team created a glass block, one inch in diameter and 1.5 inches thick, containing about 400,000 to 500,000 individual channels. Because of a phenomenon called the electric double layer, when water flows through the 10-micron-diameter-wide channels, a positive charge is created at one end of the block and a negative charge at the other, just like a conventional battery.

Source: United Press International
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European Space Agency Embarking on Comet-Chasing Mission

Comet-chasing mission Rosetta will now set its sights on Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. During its meeting on 13-14th May 2003, ESA's Science Programme Committee decided Rosetta's new mission baseline. The spacecraft will be launched in February 2004 from Kourou, French Guiana, using an Ariane-5 G+ launcher. The rendezvous with the new target comet is expected in November 2014. New destination for Rosetta, Europe's comet chaser

Source: European Space Agency'