Monday, August 8, 2011
ORNL in the News

10 Award-Winning Scientific Simulation Videos: Supernova Shockwave Magnetism

(Wired) (Video at Link)(Scroll) Stars and active galactic nuclei aren't the only celestial objects that generate hard-to-observe magnetism. Some massive stars die as fiery supernovas, and astrophysicists think the explosion's outward-racing shockfront of particles can create magnetic fields — a force that might strongly guide how remnants look eons after a star's explosive death knell. To estimate what that magnetism would look like and how it would influence the rush of material behind the shockfront, computer scientist David Pugmire of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and a team of astrophysicists created this simulation...8/8

SunMassive Solar Storm Could Cause Catastrophic Nuclear Threat in US

(International Business Times) A severe solar storm could cause global chaos, wrecking satellite communications and would take down the most important power grids in the world for a period of years...A recent report by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory discloses that over the standard 40-year license term of nuclear power plants, solar flare activity provides a 33 percent chance of long-term power loss...8/6

DOE

Environmental risks at Oak Ridge and the battle for federal cleanup funds

(Knoxville News Sentinel) In a meeting last month with top state officials, including Gov. Bill Haslam and Bob Martineau, the commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, DOE environmental chief John Eschenberg said Oak Ridge has the "highest risk profile" of any Department of Energy cleanup site...8/7

Oak Ridge plant has 'real things' for Manhattan Project National Historical Park

(Oak Ridger) U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar recommended on July 13, that Congress establish a Manhattan Project National Historical Park. He is quoted as saying, "The secret development of the atomic bomb in multiple locations across the United States is an important story and one of the most transformative events in our nation's history."...8/6

State & Regional

Test scores slightly higher in non-bargaining districts

(WBIR) An Associated Press analysis of student testing data shows Tennessee school systems without teachers' collective bargaining rights performed slightly better than those with negotiated contracts. But they posted weaker gains...8/7

National

Hang Seng MarketsU.S. downgrade weighs on Asian markets

(USA Today) Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index and Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average slid more than 2% and the Shanghai Composite Index lost nearly 4%. Investors are already nervous about Europe's debt crisis...8/8

Afghan helicopter crash reflects peril for U.S. Special Forces

(Washington Post) The mission that left 30 American troops, including 22 Navy SEALs, dead Saturday morning in eastern Afghanistan was just one of dozens of operations carried out by U.S. Special Operations forces every week in Afghanistan. The only difference was the disastrous ending...8/7

Second Recession in U.S. Could Be Worse Than First

(New York Times) If the economy falls back into recession, as many economists are now warning, the bloodletting could be a lot more painful than the last time around...8/7

East Tennessee

UT football ticket sales struggling as season approaches

(WATE) In about a month the University of Tennessee will take on Montana in the first football game of the 2011 season. Tickets are already on sale for that game, but the question is are people buying them? Is the economy affecting people's ability to go to games?...8/5

energy & science policy

Inside Energy Extra

8/05 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]

  • 'Budget uncertainty' prompts lab layoffs
  • DOE completes loan aid for NRG PV plant
  • Sierra Club backs Heinrich in N.M. race
  • Hastings questions DOE shakeup again
  • Calif. solar project nears federal OKs

science & technology

MagnetosphereAntimatter belt around Earth discovered by Pamela craft

(BBC) A thin band of antimatter particles called antiprotons enveloping the Earth has been spotted for the first time. The find, described in Astrophysical Journal Letters, confirms theoretical work that predicted the Earth's magnetic field could trap antimatter....8/7

Surviving NASA rover nears rim of Martian crater

(Phys.Org) Driving commands sent up to Opportunity directed the six-wheel rover to make the final push toward Endeavour crater, a 14-mile-wide depression near the Martian equator that likely could be its final destination.8/8

Northern Humans Had Bigger Brains, to Cope With the Low Light Levels, Study Finds

(Science Daily) The farther that human populations live from the equator, the bigger their brains, according to a new study by Oxford University. But it turns out that this is not because they are smarter, but because they need bigger vision areas in the brain to cope with the low light levels experienced at high latitudes...8/5

WetlandsWetlands not aided by Mississippi diversions

(Nature News) Three coastal-restoration projects intended to rescue Louisiana's rapidly shrinking wetlands have failed to restore marsh during the past two decades. Instead, the schemes — which involve diverting fresh water from the Mississippi River in the hope of carrying sediment to marshes and aiding plant life — have made these regions more vulnerable to hurricanes, according to the authors of a study published by Geophysical Research Letters1....8/5

Other Stories

Columbia DebrisTragic Find

(National Geographic) Drought conditions in Texas have led to the discovery of a piece of the space shuttle Columbia, seen above in a handout picture taken by local police August 1. The shuttle broke apart during reentry in February 2003, scattering debris over east Texas and Louisiana...8/4