Heavens

A new study from the United States Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) used high-performance computing capabilities and innovative visualization tools to model, in unprecedented detail, how the power grid of the eastern United States could operationally accommodate higher levels of wind and solar photovoltaic generation. The analysis considered scenarios of up to 30 percent annual penetration of wind and solar.

Researchers at the University of Rochester have moved beyond the theoretical in demonstrating that an unbreakable encrypted message can be sent with a key that's far shorter than the message -- the first time that has ever been done.

In his General Theory of Relativity, Albert Einstein predicted gravitational waves over a century ago; this year, they were detected directly for the first time: The American Gravitational Wave Observatory LIGO recorded such curvatures in space from Earth, which were caused by the merging of two massive black holes.

In an effort to increase the understanding of HIV and cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) co-evolution, and improve the development of T cell-mediated AIDS vaccines, which induce the creation of HIV-specific T cells within the body, a research collaboration between researchers in Japan, China, France, Kazakhstan, and the UK analyzed T cell responses to a single HIV escape mutation. The researchers looked at how the HIV single mutant was selected by different (RW8- and RF10-specific) CTLs, and investigated the new corresponding CTLs.

Researchers have created an interactive web tool to estimate the amount of energy that could be generated by wind or solar farms at any location.

The tool, called Renewables.ninja, aims to make the task of predicting renewable output easier for both academics and industry.

The creators, from Imperial College London and ETH Zürich, have already used it to estimate current Europe-wide solar and wind output, and companies such as the German electrical supplier RWE are using it to test their own models of output.

Washington, DC-- Cool brown dwarfs are a hot topic in astronomy right now. Smaller than stars and bigger than giant planets, they hold promise for helping us understand both stellar evolution and planet formation. New work from a team including Carnegie's Jonathan Gagné has discovered several ultracool brown dwarfs in our own solar neighborhood. Their findings are published in The Astrophysical Journal.

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the Sea of Japan and saw Tropical Depression Namtheun weakening.

On Monday, Sept. 5 at 0300 UTC (Sept. 4 at 11 p.m. EDT) Tropical depression Namtheun was dissipating over the Sea of Japan. Infrared imagery from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite revealed patchy and limited convection (rising air that condenses and forms the clouds and thunderstorms that make up a tropical cyclone).

Using colors to identify the approximate ages of more than 130,000 stars in the Milky Way's halo, Notre Dame astronomers have produced the clearest picture yet of how the galaxy formed more than 13.5 billion years ago.

Spatial memory is something we use and need in our everyday lives. Time for morning coffee? We head straight to the kitchen and know where to find the coffee machine and cups. To do this, we require a mental image of our home and its contents. If we didn't have this information stored in our memory, we would have to search through the entire house every time we needed something. Exactly how this mental processing works is not clear. Do we use one big mental map of all of the objects we have in our home? Or do we have a bunch of small maps instead - perhaps one for each room?

Operation IceBridge, NASA's airborne survey of polar ice, is flying in Greenland for the second time this year, to observe the impact of the summer melt season on the ice sheet. The IceBridge flights, which began on August 27 and will continue until September 16, are mostly repeats of lines that the team flew in early May, so that scientists can observe changes in ice elevation between the spring and late summer.