December 2021 News Wire

Adam Tas on Flickr

A collection of fun and inspiring stories about tech from December 2021.

New Project Aims to Create Most Detailed 3-D Map of the Universe

DESI is a new scientific program that will map up to 40 million galaxies which is 10 times more than previous maps. A new telescope lens on the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Tucson, Arizona. The lens expands the field of view by three times. And when the telescope is pointed at a region of the sky, the data collected will be mapped automatically to existing data to help identify and expand information about what is in each region. If you did not know, because the universe is expanding and because the universe is so big, humans cannot see the whole universe. And with time, parts of the universe we see today will be pushed away out of our view. Currently, we can see 40 billion light years out from Earth but the universe is much bigger.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/new-project-aims-create-most-detailed-3-d-map-universe-180978083/
https://www.desi.lbl.gov/
https://www.noao.edu/kpno/

3D-printed Concrete Bridge Needs no Reinforcements

Building with concrete reinforced with steel or other techniques generates a lot of carbon pollution. A new technique uses traditional arch building with 3D printing and concrete. The 3D printer uses concrete ink to create panels and blocks which fit together and lean against each other to create a solid sturdy bridge. It’s strength through geometry. These panels and blocks can be disassembled and recycled when the bridge is no longer needed. Overall, this technique cuts the carbon footprint of using concrete while creating new ways to use and reuse concrete.

https://www.futurity.org/3d-printing-concrete-bridges-2601252/
https://ethz.ch/en/news-and-events/eth-news/news/2021/07/3d-printed-and-unreinforced.html
https://block.arch.ethz.ch/brg/project/striatus-3d-concrete-printed-masonry-bridge-venice-italy-2021

Meet the New Yorkers Mapping the City’s Heat Islands

In large cities, temperatures can vary dramatically. Some neighborhoods are too hot while others remain cool. Temperature is a critical issue with climate change because humans can survive only in a range of temperatures between cold and hot. Figuring out what makes some city neighborhoods too hot or nicely cool can help make cities easier to live in. In the US, U.S. Urban Heat Island Mapping Campaigns program allows neighborhood groups to work with scientists to measure temperatures at specific times of day. This data is compared to satellite maps to identify which areas are hottest. Then features like trees, tall buildings, shade, and other aspects of each neighborhood are considered to figure out what makes areas so hot.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/meet-the-new-yorkers-mapping-the-citys-heat-islands
https://nihhis.cpo.noaa.gov/Urban-Heat-Islands/Mapping-Campaigns
https://citylimits.org/2021/08/12/to-measure-nycs-heat-islands-scientists-recruit-residents-in-hardest-hit-neighborhoods/

Using Aluminum and Water to Make Clean Hydrogen Fuel — When and Where it’s Needed

While electric cars create less pollution than gasoline cars, their batteries require precious metals which can be hard to find and recycling millions of batteries will become a problem. Hydrogen fuel, on the other hand, generates water emissions instead of carbon monoxide from gasoline cars. The problem? Currently hydrogen is created with fossil fuels at locations far from where hydrogen is used. Researchers at MIT have found a simple solution: bare aluminum dipped into water generates hydrogen. However, aluminum has a natural coating of aluminum oxide which prevents reacting with water. MIT teachers and students are studying ways to prevent this coating from re-appearing, as well as understanding how different kinds of aluminum create hydrogen and in what quantities.

https://news.mit.edu/2021/using-aluminum-and-water-to-make-clean-hydrogen-fuel-0812

What Ancient Greece Really Looked Like: See Reconstructions of the Temple of Hadrian, Curetes Street & the Fountain of Trajan

If you look at ancient Greek and Roman statues in most museums, and look at pictures of ancient buildings online, it is easy to assume they have looked the same since they were created. The reality is very different. Some statues, for example, have included flecks of bright colored paint. And what we know as ruins were complete buildings to their creators. Ádám Németh, a 3D artist, works with archaeologists and others to recreate ancient buildings in their true shapes and colors. He’s recreated three ancient Greek buildings and a street view from Ephesus, located in modern Turkey. Accurate or not, his recreations are the closest we can come to seeing the ancient world as the Greeks did, given what evidence we have today.

https://www.openculture.com/2021/08/what-ancient-greece-really-looked-like.html
https://virtualreconstruction.com/wp/

Also In The December 2021 Issue

December 2021 Issue

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Check out our interview with Sam Henry, the programmer who coded Noah Text!

A collection of fun and inspiring stories about tech from December 2021.

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