Eric Niiler
Eric Niiler
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NASA Wants to Set a New Radiation Limit for Astronauts

NASA Wants to Set a New Radiation Limit for Astronauts

Biden administration has for NASA’s Artemis mission to the moon, maybe we should think about the risks astronauts will face when they get there, and what might happen during a longer trip to Mars.Of all the things to worry about while traveling in space—equipment malfunctions, the , , and —one the most difficult to deal with is the health effects of radiation from the sun or cosmic events. This radiation consists of atoms that have lost their electrons as they accelerate in interstellar space, approaching the speed of light—something that happens right after a star explodes, for example. It...

Feb 11
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Biden Returns the US to the Paris Climate Accord. Will It Matter?

Biden Returns the US to the Paris Climate Accord. Will It Matter?

of a pen from his new desk in the Oval Office, President Joe Biden pulled the US back into the Paris climate accord on Wednesday, an international agreement that experts say is vital to getting the world’s nations to slow the emissions of planet-warming greenhouse gases. The executive order— on his first day in office—means that US officials now will begin calculating a new target for the nation’s overall carbon emissions by the year 2030.That target, in turn, will require federal, state, and corporate decisionmakers to set new standards for factories, cars, and power plants to use cleaner...

Jan 21
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Could Carbon Dioxide Be Turned Into Jet Fuel?

Could Carbon Dioxide Be Turned Into Jet Fuel?

has been looking for ways to reduce its global carbon footprint for the past decade, such as purchasing so-called —like tree-planting projects or wind farms—to make up for the carbon dioxide spewed out by high-flying jets. At the same time, airports in , Chicago, and Los Angeles, along with a , are fueling planes with greener alternative fuels to help reach carbon-reduction goals.Now a team at Oxford University in the United Kingdom has come up with an experimental process that might be able to turn carbon dioxide—a greenhouse gas emitted by all gas-burning engines—into jet fuel. If...

Dec 22
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An Enormous Iceberg Is Headed for South Georgia Island—Again

An Enormous Iceberg Is Headed for South Georgia Island—Again

iceberg is headed straight for South Georgia Island, a remote outpost in the southern Atlantic Ocean that is home to millions of seabirds, penguins, and seals that may find their route to the sea blocked if the Delaware-sized chunk of ice gets stranded near their breeding grounds. Known officially as A-68A, the iceberg has been meandering north since it broke off from Antarctica’s Larsen Ice Shelf in September 2017. Measuring 94 miles long and 30 miles wide, it's nearly as big as South Georgia Island itself, and is expected to arrive sometime in the next two weeks. “They can move their own...

Nov 19
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Trump Bans Travel From Europe—but Covid-19 Is Already Here

Trump Bans Travel From Europe—but Covid-19 Is Already Here

As the number of new coronavirus cases in China, there are new fears that Europe may emerge as a center of the global pandemic. Outbreaks in Italy, Spain, and Germany led President Donald Trump to announce new restrictions on visitors from 26 European countries (except the UK) for the next month. The limits, which take effect on Friday at midnight, don’t include US citizens, although they could be subject to enhanced airport screening. "This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history," Trump said during an Oval Office address Wednesday...

March 12, 2020
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Are Running or Cycling Actually Risks for Spreading Covid-19?

Are Running or Cycling Actually Risks for Spreading Covid-19?

Belgian-Dutch research team self-published a report advising runners and cyclists that they should take extra care while passing others on the road, warning them that respiratory droplets that could potentially contain the novel coronavirus might spread further than the 6 feet buffer recommended by public health officials. Their paper quickly initiated an online debate over both its conclusions and the value of circulating unpublished papers, given the superheated coronavirus research environment and the need to give the public clear information about how to stay healthy. Normally, an...

April 14, 2020
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