Scientific Discovery

Massive 8.6 Magnitude Earthquake shakes offshore of Indonesia

Map of current Earthquake Activity offshore of Indonesia - USGS.gov

(Best Syndication News) - A major 8.6 magnitude earthquake shook off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia this Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 02:38:37 PM local to the event. The US Geological Survey (USGS) downgraded the earthquake from an 8.9 down to an 8.6 magnitude.

The USGS reported the location of the 8.6 magnitude earthquake event was at 2.311°N, 93.063°E. The closest city was 269 miles, which was Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia.

There have been around 22 aftershocks above 5.0 magnitude ratings, with one measuring in as an 8.2 magnitude earthquake. Nearby, another fault may have been triggered from the 8.6 tremor in the North Indian Ocean with around eight earthquakes measuring over 5.0 magnitude rating.

Bee Colony Collapse could be related to Pesticide Usage

bee - BSN

(Best Syndication News) - A new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) is suggesting the cause of the honeybee colonies dying off since 2006 is related to imidacloprid, which is an extensively used pesticide. The study will be printed in the June issue of the Bulletin of Insectology.

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has been a puzzle for scientists as to what is causing the decline of honeybees. Scientists estimate that between 30% and 90% of honeybee colonies have collapsed since 2006.

The authors, led by Alex Lu, associate professor of environmental exposure biology in the Department of Environmental Health, along with his colleagues, hypothesized that the CCD was increasing at the same time that imidacloprid was introduced in the beginning of the 1990’s.

Electric Vehicle Pilot Program launched with Frito-Lay

Electric Vehicles International logo - credit Electric Vehicles International

(Best Syndication News) - A Frito-Lay delivery route in Alameda, California, will be used as a test run for an all-electric vehicle that was created by Electric Vehicles International (EVI). After completion of the pilot program, Frito-Lay has committed to purchase five additional EVI Medium Duty vehicles (EVI-MD) vehicles, which are planned to be used in Northern California.

EVI-MD vehicle has the ability to travel at the fastest speed of 65 miles per hour. A 99 kWh lithium phosphate battery system comes from Valence Technology power the vehicle.

Rotation of Neutron Star Influences Rate of Thermonuclear Explosions at Surface

cluster image

(Best Syndication News) Scientists have been studying neutron stars for decades and believe they have discovered one that could change the way they view their behavior.

Neutron stars are typically small, perhaps just 10 miles in width, but contain up to two solar masses. They are created when a massive star collapses after a supernova event. Several years ago scientists spotted eruptions on IGR J17480–2446, a neutron star near our galaxy’s center. They dubbed the neutron star, which is orbiting a star about the size of our sun, T5X2.

In 2010 astronomers noticed hundreds of X-ray bursts that were powered by a barrage of thermonuclear explosions on the neutron star's surface. T5X2, which lies about 25,000 light years from earth, began to emit regular pulses like a pulsar.

Nanotechnology Uses Sun to Separate Hydrogen from Water

Nano Forest technology image

(Best Syndication News) Scientists from the University of California, San Diego, have developed a more efficient way to separate hydrogen from water using nanotechnology.

Engineers have created tiny forests of nanowires that use solar energy to create clean hydrogen fuel. Deli Wang, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering says that current technology uses fossil fuels to convert/separate hydrogen. The new method will not produce any greenhouse gases.

Their "3D branched nanowire array" uses a process called photoelectrochemical water-splitting to produce hydrogen gas. The arrays are made of zinc-oxide and silicon which are cheap abundant elements.

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