Restless star pushes water snow line into view

You’ve likely heard of snow lines here on Earth. They’re the places on mountains above which there is an eternal blanket of the white stuff. But newly forming stars have a snow line too. It’s the line where water vapor gets far enough from the heat of the star to form ice crystals around dust particles, and we usually can’t see it, even with our most powerful telescopes. Thanks to one particular stellar outburst however, the line was pushed about 13 times farther out than usual, allowing the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to pick it up.


An artist’s impression of what the water snow line would look like

ALMA – an array of 66 radio telescopes in Chile – picked up the snow line around the star known as V883 Orionis. This relatively young sun can be seen from Earth in the constellation Orion and is approximately 1,350 light years away. While only 30 percent larger than our Sun, V883 Orionis has recently begun to appear 400 times more luminous to observers here on Earth – and it’s also gotten much hotter. This has happened because debris from what’s known as the protoplanetary disc – the swirling band of gas and dust surrounding a young star – has fallen onto the star’s surface. It’s kind of like throwing a bunch of dry leaves on a campfire. Read more

WaterStillar readies roll-out of scaleable solar water distiller

In a bid to help bring greater access to clean drinking water to the developing world, WaterStillar has created a solar-distillation system designed to produce clean drinking water from almost any source. Conceived as a cheap, efficient, modular system that can be scaled up to produce thousands of liters per day, Water Works is installed with no upfront costs and requires minimal maintenance or training to operate.

waterstillar-works-4The WaterStillar Water Works was first conceived in 2004. Like nature’s water cycle, it works by heating water until it evaporates and condenses to rid it of any contaminants. Read more

Buoys warn swimmers of dirty water

Is the water in your local lake clean enough to swim in today? Currently, the only way to find out is for someone to take a water sample, bring it back to a lab, then report the analysis 24 to 48 hours later. Soon, however, water-sampling buoys anchored off of beaches could provide readings in real time.

water-quality-buoys-2Developed by scientists at Michigan State University and the US Geological Survey, each of the buoys contain sensors that continuously measure variables such as water temperature, clarity and bacterial content. Using an onboard cellular modem, they transmit that data to a shore-based server. Read more

Let’s Go into Water: Tips for Pool Training

The whole world waiting for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and water sports will be one of the most spectacular. Instead of just sitting at the TV in the middle of summer, why not to set a personal record and not to get in good form? If you have already decided to join the pool, read carefully our recommendations, and your workouts will become much more productive.

How to choose a swimming pool?

Since we take the example of Olympians, and our goal is a serious workout, it is better to delete from the list relaxation options like water parks and bathing complexes.

001Stop the choice on either specialized pools or pools at fitness centers. The last option is not always suitable, since bowl pools at gyms often have optional length and width combination and it will be more difficult to follow personal records. Besides, there often come people who manage to occupy the track and not to swim. Read more

Low-cost water purifiers use chip packets to kill off dangerous bacteria

Armed with plywood, a glass tube and some empty chip packets, mechanical engineering students from the University of Adelaide have developed a low-cost water purification system capable of killing off harmful bacteria. The solution is designed for remote communities in Papua New Guinea (PNG), an area where water is particularly susceptible to pathogen infestation.

chip_packet_water_purifier-4The water treatment system was developed in collaboration with ChildFund Australia, an organization dedicated to promoting children’s rights across the globe. One of the team’s main design focuses was to provide a solution that could easily be adapted by local communities in PNG. As such, it was critical that the materials were both cheap, light and accessible. Read more