Manhattanhenge, a portmanteau of “Manhattan” and “Stonehenge,” is a twice-a-year solar event when the sunset lines up directly with the city’s grid, casting golden rays down city streets. Several of the stones in Stonehenge, the prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, experience perfect alignment with the sun during the summer and winter solstices, which is why the event takes its name from the rock formation.
Of all the asteroids they modeled, the one with the largest risk of impact was a kilometer-wide asteroid known as 1994 PC1. Over the next thousand years, the probability that 1994 PC1 will cross within the orbit of the Moon is a paltry 0.00151%, hardly worth worrying about.
Thanks to Glen Hill over at Engagin’ Science (formerly Scientia, which apparently was far too Latin- and science-esque for search engines to handle) for bringing this (not-so Earth-shattering) info to my attention.
Sorry, folks. Hollywood was once again wrong (sigh).
From 11 to 17 January, the Demonstration Business Promotion Team Osaka along with Sustainable Energy Inc. ran trials on a synthetic fuel produced from water and carbon dioxide present in the air. If successful, this could become the first carbon-based and truly carbon-neutral fuel of its kind.
So basically this company in Osaka did some water 💧 experiments with “radical water” (water whose molecules were subjected to a kind of electrolysis⚡️ to ionize them), then a “seed fuel” (a fossil fuel like kerosene) was added to create synthetic fuel ⛽️ which in turn will create more CO2 that can be used to create more synthetic fuel.
And no, I didn’t have to insert goofy 😜 icons, but I’m on the train right now 🚊 so why not. 😝
Anyway, this all just sounds too good to be true. Surely it’s prohibitively expensive 💴 to constantly electrify water to the point where its unbound electrons can be available to bind with synthetic fuel electrons. Tidal 🌊 generators, wind 💨 turbines, solar sun ☀️ panels, and thermal heat from volcanos 🌋 all seem more likely a source of electricity to power EVs. 🚗
At any rate, there’s been nothing in the news 📰 about this, so I doubt the experiments worked. Or if they did, someone has a vested interest in continuing Japan’s reliance on Middle Eastern, Indonesian, and Russian fossil fuels.
OK I arrived, so I can stop it with the icons 🛑 ✋ for now.
Maybe it’s because most of my students (to the order of 90%) come from medium and large cities. To me, having grown up in a mostly rural area (in elementary school, my town had about 400 residents and in junior and senior high I lived in a “queen village” that had — gasp — an incredible 4,000 residents) — well, being surrounded by darkness was no big deal.
We could see stars from our backyard. Lots of stars. We learned all the major constellations (of the Northern Hemisphere, anyway, since that’s what we could see).
And more importantly we could see lightning bugs (or “fireflies” or “glowworms” or “candle bugs” etc). Decreasing water quality is thought to contribute to their declining numbers, but it’s far more likely that our insistence on lighting up the skies all the time are preventing them from finding a mate (hence the reason they “flicker” at night).