Archive for October, 2017

Mars [image credit: ESA]

Invisible goings-on at Mars. Having referred to ‘the magnetotail found at Venus, a planet with no magnetic field of its own’, it seems clear that such things must have a lot to do with the electro-magnetic forces being delivered in the solar wind, as this ScienceDaily report explains.

Mars has an invisible magnetic “tail” that is twisted by interaction with the solar wind, according to new research using data from NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft.

NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) spacecraft is in orbit around Mars gathering data on how the Red Planet lost much of its atmosphere and water, transforming from a world that could have supported life billions of years ago into a cold and inhospitable place today.

The process that creates the twisted tail could also allow some of Mars’ already thin atmosphere to escape to space, according to the research team.

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Credit: ITER


A rosy picture of cheap renewables is put forward by Bloomberg, but they rely on ‘promises’ and ignore the true logistics of plastering the world with their Hollywood-style vision of wind turbines, solar panels and industrial-scale batteries. The extravagant claim is made that ‘the concept of the need for baseload generation is fading away’. How’s that going in Australia for example?
H/T The GWPF

The world’s biggest scientific experiment is on course to become the most expensive source of surplus power. 

With wind-farm campaigners starting to promise subsidy-free power by 2025 and electricity demand in Europe stagnating, the future of fusion research looks bleak.

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Image credit: energy-storage.news


As the advance of subsidised renewables makes new gas or coal fired power stations ever less economic to build and operate, one of the supposed answers to the artificially created reliability problem is to add batteries to help ‘balance’ the grid. Of course this will also be expensive, and only marginally useful as batteries don’t generate their own power, but that’s just an issue for bill-paying consumers in the privatised UK energy system.

A battery installation at a UK biomass power plant is making news this month says TechXplore . Supporters call it an important recognition of the “enormous potential for battery solutions” in the UK.

The company is E.ON. The challenge, as they attempt to meet it, is doing their bit to balance the grid.

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Image credit: Statoil


They’re only tethered to the sea floor, but you still wouldn’t want to bump into one. The five turbines are 253 metres tall (of which 78m. submerged) and 720-1,600 metres apart, about 25 km.(15 miles) offshore. Will they throw the towel in if one floats away – or sinks?

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has officially opened the 30 MW Hywind Scotland windfarm today (18 October), which is situated 25 kilometres off the coast of Aberdeenshire, and being operated by Statoil in partnership with Masdar reports Utility Week.

“This marks an exciting development for renewable energy in Scotland,” said Sturgeon. “Our support for floating offshore wind is testament to this government’s commitment to the development of this technology and, coupled with Statoil’s Battery Storage Project, Batwind, puts us at the forefront of this global race and positions Scotland as a world centre for energy innovation.”

Statoil’s executive vice president of new energy solutions, Irene Rummelhoff, said Hywind can be used for water depths up to 800 metres and will be able to open areas “that so far have been inaccessible for offshore wind”.

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Saturn’s moon Janus


Cassini maintains its reputation for surprises right to the end. It’s the ‘moon resonances’ that maintain ring stability, but with a new twist.

For three decades, astronomers thought that only Saturn’s moon Janus confined the planet’s A ring – the largest and farthest of the visible rings.

But after poring over NASA’s Cassini mission data, Cornell astronomers now conclude that the teamwork of seven moons keeps this ring corralled, as Phys.org explains.

Without forces to hold the A ring in check, the ring would keep spreading out and ultimately disappear.

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How bright is the moon, really?

Posted: October 17, 2017 by oldbrew in moon, research, solar system dynamics
Tags:


Researchers aim to find out. It’s an interesting question as ‘our Moon’s average visual albedo is 0.12’, similar to soil or asphalt, and yet songwriters can describe ‘the light of the silvery Moon’.

The “inconstant moon,” as Shakespeare called it in Romeo and Juliet, is more reliable than his pair of star-crossed lovers might have thought, says Phys.org.

Now researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) plan to make the moon even more reliable with a new project to measure its brightness.

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Power lines in Victoria, Australia [credit: Wikipedia]


Still trying to square the circle of unreliable, expensive renewables and reliable, affordable electricity supplies. At least one backbencher is starting to get it: “The problem with solar and wind … you’ve got to have them backed up in some way, and that’s either got to be a coal-fired power station, a gas generator or some form of battery.” And making batteries to the scale of power stations is neither practical nor affordable.

The details have not officially been released, but the ABC understands Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will argue his policy will lower electricity bills more than a Clean Energy Target (CET), while meeting Australia’s Paris climate change commitments, as the GWPF reports.

It is understood Cabinet last night also agreed to force retailers to guarantee a certain amount of so-called dispatchable power that can be switched on and off on demand, to avoid outages.

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A computer-generated image of Apple’s first Irish data centre [credit: Apple]


Data centre owners won’t like the idea of being at the mercy of unreliable power sources for their vital electricity. ‘Welcome to the energy crunch’ seems to be the message out of this report from Power Engineering International.

Data centres will consume 20 per cent of Ireland’s power generation capacity by 2025, according to the country’s main grid operator, Eirgrid.

Eirgrid added that the huge increase in data centre activity in the country would eat up to 75 per cent of growth in Irish power demand.

The Irish Independent reports that the amount of power needed to store emails, texts and other online data could rise seven-fold as Ireland chases inward investment from tech giants including Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft.

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Waves in Lake Ontario [image credit: SYSS Mouse / Wikipedia]


Researchers say ‘a consistent signal emerges’ over longer periods. In theory the Moon should be a suspect given its role in tides?

Beneath the peaceful rolling waves of a lake is a rumble, imperceptible to all but seismometers, that ripples into the earth like the waves ripple along the shore, reports Phys.org.

In a study published today in the Journal of Geophysical Research Solid Earth, scientists at the University of Utah report that these small seismic signals can aid science.

As a record of wave motion in a lake, they can reveal when a lake freezes over and when it thaws. And as a small, constant source of seismic energy in the surrounding earth, lake microseisms can shine a light on the geology surrounding a lake.

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Lunar precession update

Posted: October 15, 2017 by oldbrew in Fibonacci, Maths, moon, Phi, solar system dynamics
Tags: ,

Credit: NASA


I found out there’s an easy way to simplify one of the lunar charts published on the Talkshop in 2015 on this post:
Why Phi? – some Moon-Earth interactions


In the chart, synodic months (SM) and apsidal cycles (LAC) are multiples of 104:
79664 / 104 = 766
728/104 = 7

The other numbers are not multiples of 104, but if 7 is added to each we get this:
86105 + 7 = 86112 = 828 * 104 (TM)
85377 + 7 = 85384 = 821 * 104 (AM)
5713 + 7 = 5720 = 55 * 104 (FMC)
6441 + 7 = 6448 = 62 * 104 (TY)

TM = tropical months
AM = anomalistic months
SM = synodic months
LAC = lunar apsidal cycles
FMC = full moon cycles
TY = tropical years


Here’s an imaginary alternative chart based on these multiples of
104. [Cross-check: 828 – 766 = 62]

In reality, 55 FMC = just over 62 TY and 7 LAC = just short of 62 TY.
For every 7 apsidal cycles (LAC), there are 766 synodic months (both chart versions).

In the real chart:
For every 104 apsidal cycles, all numbers except SM slip by -1 from being multiples of 104. So after 7*104 LAC all the other totals except SM are ‘reduced’ by 7 each.

In the case of tropical years, 6448 – 7 = 6441 = 19 * 339
19 tropical years = 1 Metonic cycle

If the period had been 6448 TY it would not have been a whole number of Metonic cycles.
Also 6441 * 4 TY (25764) is exactly one year more than 25763 synodic years i.e. the precession cycle, by definition.

Fibonacci: 104 is 13*8, and the modified FMC number is 55 (all Fibonacci numbers).

Phi: we’ve explained elsewhere that the number of full moon cycles in one lunar apsidal cycle is very close to 3*Phi².
We can see from the modified chart that the FMC:LAC ratio of 55:7 is 3 times greater than 55:21 (55/21 = ~Phi²)
– – –
Note – for more discussion of the ~62 year period, try this search:
site:tallbloke.wordpress.com 62 year
[see Google site search box in grey zone on left of this web page]


Enough is enough, at least for some Australians who are seeing through the alarmist propaganda smokescreen pushed by many of their recent leaders as an excuse to spend fortunes in the vain pursuit of unrealistic climate targets.

Finally the green madness that’s threatening our ability to turn on the lights and air conditioners is being exposed as a con, writes Julian Tomlinson (via The GWPF).

Global temperatures have risen nowhere near the rate at which even the most conservative models predicted, and finally a group of warmist scientists have admitted same in the Nature Geoscience journal last month.

Bear in mind the current mess Australia finds itself in with regards to power generation and business-killing high prices is a result of blindly following these flawed models.

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Anyone who thought switching from diesel to a petrol vehicle would be a good idea might have to think again, if they ever intended to drive into UK city centres. And that’s just the start, if the Oxford plan sets the tone.

Oxford is to become the world’s first zero-emissions zone, as it looks to ban all non-electric vehicles from its city centre by 2020, says the IB Times.

The university town will become the first city in the UK to ban all polluting vehicles from its centre. All petrol and diesel vehicles, including cars, buses and vans, will be barred from six main streets in the centre as of 2020.

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Alaskan permafrost [image credit: insideclimatenews.org]


The idea, so heavily pushed these days, that we are on the brink of ‘hot’ times looks more than a bit weak when compared to some earlier epochs on Earth. Regarding raised CO2 levels, the finding that ‘the most likely source of the carbon [dioxide] came from thawing permafrost during the period studied’ strongly suggests that the thaw would be causing the gas release, not the other way round. Phys.org reporting.

Concentration of carbon dioxide during an intense period of global warmth may have been as low as half the level previously suggested by scientists, according to a new Dartmouth College study.

The study found that carbon dioxide may have been less than 1000 parts per million, or ppm, during the Earth’s early Eocene period. This runs counter to thinking that concentration levels were as high as 2000 ppm in the same time frame.

By comparison, current levels of carbon dioxide observed at NOAA’s Mauna Loa Observatory are around 400 ppm.

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Teslas in Norway [image credit: Norsk Elbilforening (Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association)]


The electric subsidy party could be winding down for Norwegian car buyers if the government gets its way. It points out that ‘large electric cars wear out the roads just as much as normal cars’.

Norway plans to trim lavish tax breaks for Tesla and other electric cars that have given it the world’s highest rate of battery-vehicle ownership, the right-wing government proposed on Thursday [reports Reuters].

The draft 2018 budget would mainly affect large cars weighing more than two tons, it said. Norwegian media dubbed the changes a “Tesla Tax”, intended to cut down on sales of luxury models such as Tesla’s Model X sport utility vehicle.

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All talk and very little action it seems – so what are these ‘fully informed’ conservationists conserving? This Telegraph report gets funnier as it goes along.

Conservationists may preach about the importance of going green to save the planet, but most have a carbon footprint which is virtually no different to anyone else, a new study has shown.

Scientists as Cambridge University were keen to find out whether being fully informed about global warming, plastic in the ocean or the environmental impact of eating meat, triggers more ethical behaviour.

But when they examined the lifestyles of conservation scientists they discovered most still flew frequently – an average of nine flights a year – ate meat or fish approximately five times a week and rarely purchased carbon offsets for their own emissions.

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Image credit: winesandvines.com


Whatever happens with local or regional weather – hot, cold, wet, dry – if it’s anything out of the ordinary, it must be ‘extreme’ and due to ‘climate change’. At least that’s the implication of reports like this one from Phys.org.

Europe’s wine production has dropped to levels unseen since World War II as extreme weather battered top producers Italy, France, Spain and Germany, the main farmers’ union said Tuesday.

The Copa-Cogeca union said quality was high and prices will rise but not enough to compensate producers for losses as drought and frosts linked to climate change damaged grapes.

“This is the lowest (European) harvest that we have seen since World War II,” Copa-Cogeca executive Thierry Coste told reporters.

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US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt


It’s hard to miss an undercurrent of dislike for this new but expected US policy in the report, which will no doubt be amplified in the usual quarters.
H/T WGRZ

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that he will sign a new rule overriding the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era effort to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, the Associated Press reports.

“The war on coal is over,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt declared in the coal mining state of Kentucky. For Pruitt, getting rid of the Clean Power Plan will mark the culmination of a long fight he began as the elected attorney general of Oklahoma.

Pruitt was among about two-dozen attorney generals who sued to stop President Barack Obama’s push to limit carbon emissions.
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Orbiting dust cloud – artists’ impression [credit: Karen L. Teramura]


An orbiting cloud of dust round ‘Tabby’s star’ may lack excitement for casual observers, but there it is – probably.

University of Arizona astronomer Huan Meng and co-authors have found the long-term dimming of KIC 8462852 — a main-sequence F-type star located in the constellation Cygnus, about 1,480 light-years from Earth — appears to be weaker at longer infrared (IR) wavelengths of light and stronger at shorter ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths, reports Sci-News.com.

Such reddening is characteristic of dust particles and inconsistent with more fanciful ‘alien megastructure’ concepts, which would evenly dim all wavelengths of light.

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No certainties, but some bets are better than others in the mixed-up world of climate-related government policies.

The sage of Omaha knows a policy bubble when he sees it—and electric vehicles are a prime case, reports the GWPF.

A sucker is born every minute, and Warren Buffett just proved it. He agreed to spend an undisclosed sum of his shareholders’ money to buy a controlling stake in Pilot Flying J, the truck-stop chain that sells food, coffee and diesel fuel to truckers.

After all, aren’t truckers about to be replaced by robots, and diesel by battery power? The sucker in this scenario, we add, is anyone who believed such futuristic forecasts in the first place.

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Windy enough today?


One possibility is that ‘it could be due to ageing wind speed instruments producing inaccurate results’, says the GWPF. If not – bad news for wind turbine operators.

Wind speeds around the world seem to be decreasing in a phenomenon known as ‘stilling’ and European scientists are hoping to find out why.

Few people have probably noticed, but the world’s winds are getting slower. It is something that cannot be picked up by watching the billowing of dust or listening to the rustle of leaves on nearby trees.

Instead, it is a phenomenon occurring on a different scale, as the average global wind speed close to the surface of the land decreases.

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