Texas adds most wind power capacity

October 23, 2008

Texas led all U.S. states in the amount of wind power capacity added in the third quarter, and now stands not only as a national leader in wind energy but an international one as well.  The third quarter also pushed Texas past the 6 gigawatt plateau, ensuring its rank among global leaders. According to AWEA, only three countries — Germany, India and Spain — had more capacity by the end of 2007. 

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Liquid Mirror Telescopes on the Moon

October 9, 2008

“It’s so simple,” says Ermanno F. Borra, physics professor at the Optics Laboratory of Laval University in Quebec, Canada. “Isaac Newton knew that any liquid, if put into a shallow container and set spinning, naturally assumes a parabolic shape—the same shape needed by a telescope mirror to bring starlight to a focus. This could be the key to making a giant lunar observatory.” Borra, who has been studying liquid-mirror telescopes since 1992, and Simon P. “Pete” Worden, now director of NASA Ames Research Center, are members of a team taking the idea for a spin. “A mirror that large could peer back in time to when the universe was very young, only half a billion years old, when the first generation of stars and galaxies were forming,” Borra exclaimed. “Potentially more exciting is pure serendipity: new things we might discover that we just don’t expect.” Says Worden: “Putting a giant telescope on the Moon has always been an idea of science fiction, but it soon could become fact.”

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