Current Solar System News and Events

Current Solar System News and Events, Solar System News Articles.
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The perfect recipe for efficient perovskite solar cells
A long-cherished dream of materials researchers is a solar cell that converts sunlight into electrical energy as efficiently as silicon, but that can be easily and inexpensively fabricated from abundant materials. Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have now come a step closer to achieving this. (2021-02-22)

A salt solution for desalinating brine
Solar-powered brine crystallization could alleviate the environmental impacts of seawater desalination. (2021-02-21)

Sounding rocket CLASP2 elucidates solar magnetic field
Cooperative operations between a solar observation satellite and a sounding-rocket telescope have measured the magnetic field strength in the photosphere and chromosphere above an active solar plage region. This is the first time that the magnetic field in the chromosphere has been charted all the way up to its top. This finding brings us closer to understanding how energy is transferred between layers of the Sun. (2021-02-19)

The CLASP2 space experiment achieves an unprecedented map of the Sun's magnetic field
Every day space telescopes provide spectacular images of the solar activity. However, their instruments are blind to its main driver: the magnetic field in the outer layers of the solar atmosphere, where the explosive events that occasionally affect the Earth occur. (2021-02-19)

Human impact on solar radiation levels for decades
Based on the long-term Potsdam radiation time series, ETH Professor Martin Wild and his collaborators have shown that variations in the intensity of sunlight over decades are down to ultra-fine, man-made dirt particles in the atmosphere. (2021-02-18)

The mass of Cygnus X-1's black hole challenges stellar evolution models
Weighing in at roughly 21 solar masses, the black hole in the X-ray binary system Cygnus X-1 is so massive that it challenges current stellar evolution models, a new study reveals. (2021-02-18)

Record sunshine during first COVID-19 lockdown largely caused by unusual weather
Exceptional weather conditions were mainly responsible for high solar radiation, not the aerosol reduction due to the shutdown of industry and reduced traffic in the first lockdown / International research team continues to develop climate simulations that take into account influences of the COVID-19 pandemic. (2021-02-16)

Luminescent windows generate energy from inside and out
Rice University engineers design and build windowpanes that redirect sunlight or illumination from indoors to edge-band solar cells. (2021-02-15)

Producing more sustainable hydrogen with composite polymer dots
Hydrogen for energy use can be extracted in an environmentally friendly way from water and sunlight, using photocatalytic composite polymer nanoparticles developed by researchers at Uppsala University. In laboratory tests, these 'polymer dots' showed promising performance and stability alike. The study has been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. (2021-02-12)

Young planets with teenage sun give space studies a lift
Researchers find a new planetary system made up of at least three neighboring planets, ranging in size between that of Earth and Neptune, that orbit the same sun. (2021-02-12)

A new way of forming planets
Scientists of the Universities of Zurich and Cambridge, associated with the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS, suggest a new explanation for the abundance in intermediate-mass exoplanets - a long-standing puzzle of Astronomy. (2021-02-11)

Astronomers confirm solar system's most distant known object is indeed Farfarout
With the help of the international Gemini Observatory, a Program of NSF's NOIRLab, and other ground-based telescopes, astronomers have confirmed that a faint object discovered in 2018 and nicknamed ''Farfarout'' is indeed the most distant object yet found in our Solar System. The object has just received its designation from the International Astronomical Union. (2021-02-11)

Black carbon aerosols in Beijing become "slim"
Scientists observed evident decreases of black carbon aerosol (BC) loading in the atmosphere of urban Beijing since the implementation of China's Action Plan of Prevention and Control of Air Pollution in 2013. And the BC aerosols became ''slim'', appearing with smaller core sizes and less coatings. (2021-02-10)

A new method to search for potentially habitable planets
Imaging planets orbiting around nearby stars, which could potentially harbour life, has become a possibility thanks to the progress made in observational methods by an international team of astronomers, including Olivier Absil and Anne-Lise Maire, astrophysicists at the STAR Institute of ULiège. First candidate: Alpha Centauri, a system similar to ours, ''only'' 4.3 light years away. This study is the subject of a publication in the journal Nature Communications. (2021-02-10)

Solar awnings over parking lots help companies and customers
Michigan Tech engineers look into the untapped potential of parking lots in a study that investigates the energy-related benefits of developing charging stations powered with solar canopies built into the parking infrastructure of large-scale retailers like Walmart. (2021-02-10)

The future of solar technology: New technology makes foldable cells a practical reality
International research team creates solar cells with unprecedented flexibility and resistance. (2021-02-10)

Astronomers confirm orbit of most distant object ever observed in our solar system
A team of astronomers, including associate professor Chad Trujillo of Northern Arizona University's Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science, have confirmed a planetoid that is almost four times farther from the Sun than Pluto, making it the most distant object ever observed in our solar system. (2021-02-10)

'Farfarout'! Solar system's most distant planetoid confirmed
Astronomers have confirmed a planetoid that is almost four times farther from the Sun than Pluto, making it the most distant object ever observed in our solar system. (2021-02-10)

Clear-sky detection methods in a highly polluted region still need further improvements
Clear-sky detection methods in a highly polluted region still need further improvements. (2021-02-09)

A new modifier increases the efficiency of perovskite solar cells
The research team of NUST MISIS has presented an improved structure of perovskite solar cells. Scientists have modified perovskite-based solar cells using MXenes -- thin two-dimensional titanium carbides with high electrical conductivity. The MXenes-based modified cells showed superior performance, with power conversion efficiency exceeding 19% (the reference demonstrated 17%) and improved stabilized power output with respect to reference devices. The results have been published in the Nano energy international scientific journal. (2021-02-09)

Shining a light on the true value of solar power
Utility companies have worried that solar panels drive up electric costs for the people who don't have panels. Michigan Tech renewable energy researchers show the opposite is actually true -- grid-tied solar photovoltaic (PV) owners are actually subsidizing their non-PV neighbors. (2021-02-09)

Coal and COVID-19: How the pandemic is accelerating the end of fossil power generation
COVID-19 has not only caused a temporary drop in global CO2 emissions, it has also reduced the share of power generated by burning coal - a trend that could in fact outlast the pandemic. This is the key result of a new study by a team of economists based in Potsdam and Berlin that looked at COVID-19's impact on the energy system and demand for electricity. (2021-02-08)

Efficiency limits of next-generation hybrid photovoltaic-thermal solar technology
Spectral-splitting hybrid photovoltaic-thermal (SSPVT) technology has emerged as a promising route toward high-performance solar harvesting. In this research, scientists have developed a comprehensive framework for modelling SSPVT solar collectors. The framework can be used to determine the efficiency limits of such collectors and to indicate how these limits can be approached through the selection of optimal designs and materials. This work promotes and provides guidance to the design, development and deployment of next-generation solar systems. (2021-02-08)

Radiative cooling and solar heating from one system, no electricity needed
A University at Buffalo-led study published Feb. 8 in the journal Cell Reports Physical Science describes a new technology that provides both radiative cooling and solar heating, all is one system and without using electricity or fuel. It could help impoverished communities, reduce cooling and heating costs, lower CO2 emissions (2021-02-08)

Establishment testing standards for particulate photocatalysts in solar fuel production proposed
Recently, an international research team initiated the establishment of international efficiency accreditation and testing protocols for particulate photocatalysts toward solar fuel production. (2021-02-05)

An optical coating like no other
The technology, based on Fano resonance, results in a coating that fully reflects only a very narrow wavelength. The technology could improve the effectiveness of devices that use hybrid thermal-electric power generation as a solar energy option. (2021-02-04)

Tiny 3D structures enhance solar cell efficiency
A new method for constructing special solar cells could significantly increase their efficiency. Not only are the cells made up of thin layers, they also consist of specifically arranged nanoblocks. This has been shown in a new study by an international research team led by the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), which was published in the scientific journal ''Nano Letters''. (2021-02-02)

How do electrons close to Earth reach almost the speed of light?
In the Van Allen radiation belts, electrons can reach almost speed of light. Hayley Allison and Yuri Shprits, German Research Centre for Geosciences, have revealed conditions for such strong accelerations. They had demonstrated in 2020: during solar storm plasma waves play a crucial role. However, it remained unclear why ultra-relativistic electron energies are not achieved in all solar storms. In Science Advances they now show: extreme depletions of the background plasma density are crucial. (2021-02-02)

Physicists have developed new material for water desalination
Titanium dioxide nanoparticles decorated by gold absorb about 96% of the solar spectrum and turn it into heat. The material can accelerate the evaporation in desalination plants up to 2.5 times and can track hazardous molecules and compounds. An international research team with representatives from Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), ITMO University, and the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, published a related article in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. (2021-02-01)

High schoolers discover four exoplanets through Harvard and Smithsonian mentorship program
They may be the youngest astronomers to make a discovery yet. This week, 16-year-old Kartik Pinglé and 18-year-old Jasmine Wright have co-authored a peer-reviewed paper in The Astronomical Journal describing the discovery of four new exoplanets about 200-light-years away from Earth. (2021-01-28)

Machine-learning to predict the performance of organic solar cells
Researchers from the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) specialized in Artificial Intelligence have collaborated with researchers from Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona, specialized on materials for energy applications, to combine the experimental data points that they gather with artificial intelligence algorithms and enable an unprecedented predicting capability of the performance of organic solar cells. (2021-01-28)

Getting to net zero -- and even net negative -- is surprisingly feasible, and affordable
Reaching zero net emissions of carbon dioxide from energy and industry by 2050 can be accomplished by rebuilding U.S. energy infrastructure to run primarily on renewable energy, at a net cost of about $1 per person per day, according to new research published by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the University of San Francisco (USF), and the consulting firm Evolved Energy Research. (2021-01-27)

Scientists develop perovskite solar modules with greater size, power and stability
Researchers from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) have created perovskite solar modules with improved stability and efficiency by using a new fabrication technique that reduced defects. Their findings were published on the 25th January in Advanced Energy Materials. (2021-01-27)

Solar hydrogen: Photoanodes made of alpha-SnWO4 promise high efficiencies
Photoanodes made of metal oxides are considered to be a viable solution for the production of hydrogen with sunlight. Alpha-SnWO4 has optimal electronic properties for photoelectrochemical water splitting with sunlight, but corrodes easily. Protective layers of nickel oxide prevent corrosion, but reduce the photovoltage and limit the efficiency. Now a team at HZB has investigated at BESSY II what happens at the interface between the photoanode and the protective layer. (2021-01-26)

Solar material can 'self-heal' imperfections, new research shows
A material that can be used in technologies such as solar power has been found to self-heal, a new study shows. (2021-01-26)

NASA's Roman mission will probe galaxy's core for hot Jupiters, brown dwarfs
NASA's Roman Space Telescope will conduct a microlensing survey to reveal worlds that are similar to the planets in our solar system. Now, a new study shows that the same survey will also unveil more extreme planets and planet-like bodies in the heart of the galaxy, thanks to their gravitational tug on the stars they orbit. (2021-01-25)

Photocatalytic reaction in the shadow
Photoelectrochemical water splitting is a promising technology to convert solar energy into value-added fuels. Theoretically, silicon-based metal-insulator-semiconductor (MIS) photocathode can achieve high efficiency. However, the parasitic light absorption caused by catalysts and metals, as well as the lack of metals to form a large band-offset with p-Si, severely limit their performances. Scientists based in China have demonstrated an illumination-reaction decoupled MIS photocathode using n-Si to prevent the parasitic light absorption while establishing a large band-offset. (2021-01-25)

How does incident solar radiation affect urban canyons?
Toyohashi University of Technology proposed a numerical bead model to predict the upward-to-downward reflection ratio of glass bead retro-reflective (RR) material purposed for urban heat island (UHI) mitigation and reducing energy consumption. These results will contribute to existing research on the absorption or reflection of solar radiation to improve urban thermal and lighting conditions, and to reduce building energy consumption. (2021-01-25)

Magnetic waves explain mystery of Sun's outer layer
in a new study published in The Astrophysical Journal, researchers combined observations from a telescope in New Mexico, the United States, with satellites located near Earth to identify a link between magnetic waves in the chromosphere and areas of abundant ionised particles in the hot outer atmosphere. (2021-01-22)

Highly efficient grid-scale electricity storage at fifth of cost
Researchers in WMG at the University of Warwick, in collaboration with Imperial College London, have found a way to enhance hybrid flow batteries and their commercial use. The new approach can store electricity in these batteries for very long durations for about a fifth the price of current technologies, with minimal location restraints and zero emissions. (2021-01-22)

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