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On 2/22/2019 at 7:44 PM, DShomshak said:

I'm not sure how big a problem the radio blackout period is in practice, and I'm not sure I'd want to be on a spaceship with x-rays beamed at it, but it's an innovative proposal.

You are on a Space Ship that is subject to cosmic radiation in much higher doses then people on the ground. And also the only thing protecting you from "Death by Vacuum" while in space and "death by plasma" during reentry.

X-Rays for Communication do not seem particulary dangerous in those circumstance.

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23 hours ago, Scott Ruggels said:

This Week in Space News (summary).
u6GoyHB.jpg

 

Could you link the coal thing please?

I thought the best possible efficiency was to put back in all the heat energy it produced in the first place, and that is not that efficient.

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8 hours ago, Christopher said:

Could you link the coal thing please?

I thought the best possible efficiency was to put back in all the heat energy it produced in the first place, and that is not that efficient.

Absolutely

https://phys.org/news/2019-02-climate-rewind-scientists-carbon-dioxide.html

 

 

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On 3/4/2019 at 1:06 PM, Christopher said:

Could you link the coal thing please?

I thought the best possible efficiency was to put back in all the heat energy it produced in the first place, and that is not that efficient.

 

Yeah...

 

I thought the article was amusing in that it was careful to say a "liquid metal" was the key to the process and careful to say that it was happening at room temperature...but was careful to not mention the name of that liquid metal.

 

That immediately makes me think that the "liquid metal" in question is mercury.

 

In any case, I'd think it'd be more economically viable to liquefy the CO2 for transport and pump it back deep underground into already-existing oil wells (to force more oil to the surface) than it would be to turn CO2 into coal, transport it as coal, then buy a place to bury the coal.

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The March, 2019 Scientifiuc American feaures an article on "The Inner Life of Neutron Stars." It is known that the core of a supernova can collapse until nuclear forces halt the implosion, and that protons and electrons are squished together to leave neutrons; but what actually goes on inside a neutron star? The simplest theory is that it's just a big ball of neutrons, with a few leftover protons, like a miles-wide atomic nucleus. But there are stranger possibilities. For one, the neutronium might be superfluid despite its incredible density. Or, physical density also means energy density, perhaps enough to create "strange" quarks, coverting some of the neutrons into hyperons -- particles that otherwise exist only for gazillionths of a second when they are made in particle accelerators. Or the neutrons might dissolve into a soup of free quarks and gluons -- also superfluid. Specialized telescopes and observation programs are gathering information on neutron star size and mass that can constrain speculation. Neutron star collisions, such as the 2017 event, provide data of even greater value.

 

Physicists are especially eager to learn what goes on in neutron stars because they are among the few places where gravity and nuclear forces are of comparable strength. Hence, a place where relativistic and quantum-mechanical effects are both of comparable strength, and the interaction between them might be inferred. All difficuylt to study from thousands or millions of light-years away, but still easier than creating such conditions here on Earth!

 

Dean Shomshak

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On 3/6/2019 at 5:52 AM, archer said:

In any case, I'd think it'd be more economically viable to liquefy the CO2 for transport and pump it back deep underground into already-existing oil wells (to force more oil to the surface) than it would be to turn CO2 into coal, transport it as coal, then buy a place to bury the coal.

The Liquid/gas approach has the danger of the earth "burping it up again", so to speak. And the earth burping tends to cause earth shattering calamities. Coal is a lot less likely to come back to the surface like that :)

 

But even if it fails at CO2 capture and storage, it might still be a viable way of energy storage. Coal and Gas Power Plants do have one huge advantage/important role for energy supply: Quick reaction time to demand peaks.

Nuclear Power Plants can take hours to literal days to set to a higher powerlevel. So their output has to be planned days in advance.

Renewable power is unreliable by nature. One of the big challenges in turning to renewable energy is to compensate for energy demand peaks and valleys. A few coal plants kept as reserve might just do that.

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On 3/5/2019 at 6:52 PM, archer said:

 

I thought the article was amusing in that it was careful to say a "liquid metal" was the key to the process and careful to say that it was happening at room temperature...but was careful to not mention the name of that liquid metal.

 

That immediately makes me think that the "liquid metal" in question is mercury.

 

I looked into this when it first popped up in the news.  The liquid metal is gallium, which is nontoxic and fun.  The dissolved metal in the gallium, that is actually responsible for the reaction, is cesium, which ignites on contact with air and explodes on contact with water.  The entire experiment was conducted in a nitrogen-filled glove box.  So scaling this up to where it could remove gigatons of CO2 per year may be challenging.

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1 hour ago, Old Man said:

 

I looked into this when it first popped up in the news.  The liquid metal is gallium, which is nontoxic and fun.  The dissolved metal in the gallium, that is actually responsible for the reaction, is cesium, which ignites on contact with air and explodes on contact with water.  The entire experiment was conducted in a nitrogen-filled glove box.  So scaling this up to where it could remove gigatons of CO2 per year may be challenging.

 

Thanks for the information.

 

Yeah, I looked up all the metals which were liquid at room temp. I noticed gallium and laughed at the idea of cesium. But either are probably preferable to mercury, which I understand can leech out of the coal which is found in nature. I was envisioning their scheme turning into hundreds of unintended new toxic waste dumps.

 

I looked at other schemes to remove CO2 from the air and they all suffer to some extent from the problem of getting the CO2 from being dispersed throughout the atmosphere to being physically near the contraption which is supposed to suck it from the air.

 

I still think the best way to approach this is going to turn out to be lower tech than all these as yet uninvented inventions

 

1) stop slash-and burn agriculture in Asia, Africa, and South America

2) stop the destruction of the rain forest in the Amazon

3) plant fast-growing trees in deforested areas which haven't been converted to other purposes

4) encourage tree growth in urban areas

5) find some way of stopping China from their out-of-control production of concrete (I'll spare everyone the rant)

6) stop agriculture subsidies since they encourage people to convert forests into crop lands

7) give every home its own green power generation system whether solar, wind, geothermal, etc. which would cut fossil fuel demand at power plants, reduce power transmission losses, and make people see that switching to an electric or hybrid car would make economic sense for them. As people voluntarily switch to electric cars, the burning of fossil fuels for transportation would drop drastically. (BTW, that's part of my Green New Deal...not that anyone has ever listened. I love the phrase "Green New Deal". If I'd thought of it and used it, maybe someone in politics or the media would have listened.)

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1 hour ago, archer said:

find some way of stopping China from their out-of-control production of concrete (I'll spare everyone the rant)

Actually China is pretty affected by Climate Change. They are actually reforesting a huge area because of it:

 

The one thing the Chinese Government has always been good at, is longterm planning. That is part of what makes them so scary.

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The January, 2019 Scientific American has an article about various methods for carbon capture and storage, though it doesn't include this turn-back-into-coal method.

 

In short, the viability of all proposed methods depends heavily on bringing the cost within a certain range, which is (as yet) unpredictable. But no single method can be scaled up enough to solve the problem by itself. Multiple methods will be needed to prevent catastrophe, becsause the atmosphere is just that big and the amount of CO@ we've added is just that large.

 

But it must be done. We've already passed the point where zero new emissions would suffice. Or at least, any time frame for zero emissions that's even remotely plausible is already too long.

 

Dean Shomshak

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On 3/8/2019 at 11:57 PM, DShomshak said:

In short, the viability of all proposed methods depends heavily on bringing the cost within a certain range, which is (as yet) unpredictable. But no single method can be scaled up enough to solve the problem by itself. Multiple methods will be needed to prevent catastrophe, becsause the atmosphere is just that big and the amount of CO@ we've added is just that large. 

Well, we have been working on this since the 1780's.

Earlier if we include the Greenhouse gasses from Animal Husbandry.

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2 hours ago, tkdguy said:

This is a specific thing of how this was measured. Usually you compare distances between Orbits.

 

But this looked at absolute distances.

If they are on opposite sides of the solar System, most planets can be "my orbital distance + your orbital distance" away from one another. So they are father from each other then the Sun large parts of their orbit.

But being closest to the Sun, Mecury always has the Sun Distance +/- it's own orbital distance to every other Planet.

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11 hours ago, Christopher said:

This is a specific thing of how this was measured. Usually you compare distances between Orbits.

 

But this looked at absolute distances.

If they are on opposite sides of the solar System, most planets can be "my orbital distance + your orbital distance" away from one another. So they are father from each other then the Sun large parts of their orbit.

But being closest to the Sun, Mecury always has the Sun Distance +/- it's own orbital distance to every other Planet.

 

Yes, this is pretty much a "from a certain point of view" argument.

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39 minutes ago, tkdguy said:

The biggest selling point of colonizing Titan?

 

I have to admit the possible activities mentioned here are not on my bucket list.

 

Flying might be cool, but yeah, the incredibly cold hydrocarbon environment raises safety concerns. (Though for "extreme athletes" that might be another selling point. Like skiing on the great peak of Miranda.)

 

I had a Traveller character who came from a frozen hydrocarbon world like an Earth-sized version of Titan. They made just about everything out of plastic: Metals scarce, but a whole world of organic precursors. Big plastic bubble habitats covered with ice for protection. For pets, people had plastic robot animals. Standard punishment for minor violations of safety rules was to send the perp out-dome with a space suit for a few hours to reflect about the hard necessities of life on their world. For major violations, you didn't get the spacesuit.

 

Dean Shomshak

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