New study: Wind power will work on Mars. This is a game-changer.
Wind power on Mars makes it possible for any rover or other craft to collect power at the poles or other areas on the planet that don't get constant sunlight.
A small, lightweight wind turbine has been successfully tested in conditions that simulate the surface of Mars.
Dubbed the Aarhus Wind Tunnel Simulator II, it was tested at Aarhus University in Denmark back in 2010, but the study results and details were presented at the Mars Workshop on Amazonian and Present Day Climate in Lakewood, CO last week.
"For now, we can say for the first time and with certainty, that, YES, you can use wind power on Mars!" the researchers, led by Christina Holstein-Rathlou of Boston University's Center for Space Physics, wrote in the study.
Mars' atmospheric conditions are notoriously dicey; the rover Curiosity just survived a hellish sand and windstorm that eventually kicked up over most of the planet's surface.
But the conditions tested in the wind tunnel mimic the far northern area of the planet, where winds don’t go above 35 km/hr.
"The optimal locations for this type of power production are areas where the sun doesn't always shine, but winds will blow, such as latitudes poleward of the polar circles," the researchers wrote.
In this artist's illustration, NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander begins to shut down operations as winter sets in. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona)
The nature of Mars missions so far have meant larger craft won’t suffice; since this was tested in 2010, everything has become smaller in size to the point where, using similar but much more compact equipment and technology than the device tested, development of wind power equipment is now quite doable—especially with batteries to store the power.
Pay attention to the decisions made by the provinces.
- China leads the world in numerous green energy categories.
- CO2 emissions in the country totaling more than all coal emissions in the U.S. have recently emerged.
- This seems to be an administrative-induced blip on the way towards a green energy tipping point.
NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller is coming back to Big Think to answer YOUR questions! Here's all you need to know to submit your science-related inquiries.
Big Think's amazing audience has responded so well to our videos from NASA astronomer and Assistant Director for Science Communication Michelle Thaller that we couldn't wait to bring her back for more!
And this time, she's ready to tackle any questions you're willing to throw at her, like, "How big is the Universe?", "Am I really made of stars?" or, "How long until Elon Musk starts a colony on Mars?"
All you have to do is submit your questions to the form below, and we'll use them for an upcoming Q+A session with Michelle. You know what to do, Big Thinkers!
Or how I learned to stop worrying and love my tsundoku.
- Many readers buy books with every intention of reading them only to let them linger on the shelf.
- Statistician Nassim Nicholas Taleb believes surrounding ourselves with unread books enriches our lives as they remind us of all we don't know.
- The Japanese call this practice tsundoku, and it may provide lasting benefits.
Calling all big thinkers!
The Boring Company plans to offer free rides in its prototype tunnel in Hawthorne, California in December.
- The prototype tunnel is about 2 miles long and contains electric skates that travel at top speeds of around 150 mph.
- This is the first tunnel from the company that will be open to the public.
- If successful, the prototype could help the company receive regulatory approval for much bigger projects in L.A. and beyond.
Money makes the world go 'round. Unfortunately, it can make both children and adults into materialists.
- Keeping a gratitude journal caused children to donate 60 percent more to charitable causes.
- Other methods suggested by researchers include daily gratitude reflection, gratitude posters, and keeping a "gratitude jar."
- Materialism has been shown to increase anxiety and depression and promote selfish attitudes and behavior.
Anatomy and physiology professor David Harper claims a recent study in The Lancet is flawed.
- The low-carbohydrate group in a recent Lancet study were typically middle-aged, obese, sedentary, diabetic smokers.
- The study was not a randomized, controlled, double-blind experiment.
- Harper has been in ketosis for six years, and says it has profound effects on cancer patients, among other chronic ailments.
A mind-bending paradox questions the nature of reality.
- Boltzmann Brains are hypothetical disembodied entities with self-awareness.
- It may be more likely for a Boltzmann Brain to come into existence than the whole Universe.
- The idea highlights a paradox in thermodynamics.
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