In 1986, the late PW Botha, then president of South Africa, revealed the toll that the international oil embargo was taking on his pariah state. “There were times,” he told the Windhoek Advertiser, “that we had enough oil for only one week.”If necessity is the mother of invention, the isolation of apartheid South Africa had an unintended consequence: it spurred innovation.The oil embargo encouraged Sasol, a domestic company formed in 1950, to commercialise its pioneering coal-to-liquids technology, itself built on work conducted by German scientists during the second world war. The Fischer-Tropsch process, which Sasol honed to a fine art, enabled the country to survive sanctions by extracting fuel, naphtha, paraffin and a range of chemicals from coal. Today, this and similar technology is used not only domestically but in countries as far afield as Nigeria, Qatar and Uzbekistan. During the cold war, cut off from international suppliers, South Africa also built a … [Read more...] about South Africa ‘frontier vibe’ still drives advances
Astronomy big data
Have scientists found the first moon outside the solar system? BelfastTelegraph.co.uk Astronomers may have found the first moon outside our solar system, a gas giant the size of Neptune. https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/have-scientists-found-the-first-moon-outside-the-solar-system-37382758.html https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/article37382751.ece/be702/AUTOCROP/h342/bpanews_68a07dcb-fbd0-4ec7-8ae9-11473ce81a74_1 Email Astronomers may have found the first moon outside our solar system, a gas giant the size of Neptune. Plenty of planets exist beyond our solar system, but a moon around one of those worlds has yet to be confirmed. Two Columbia University researchers presented their tantalising evidence for a moon on Wednesday. The potential moon would be considerably larger than Earth, about the size of Neptune or Uranus. The planet it orbits is as big as mammoth Jupiter. This apparent super-size pairing of a gaseous moon and planet is 8,000 … [Read more...] about Have scientists found the first moon outside the solar system?
Astronomers might have spotted the first ever "exomoon" orbiting around a distant world. Exoplanets – worlds outside of our solar system – are some of the most exciting discoveries in astronomy. Scientists have now found thousands of them, with some offering hope they could support life. But the new discovery would mark the first time that scientists have ever found a moon orbiting around one of those planets. And as well as being a thrilling discovery in itself, it could change our understanding of how solar systems form. "This would be the first case of detecting a moon outside our solar system," said David Kipping, an assistant professor of astronomy at Columbia and one of the two astronomers who found the moon. "If confirmed by follow-up Hubble observations, the finding could provide vital clues about the development of planetary systems and may cause experts to revisit theories of how moons form around planets." The new moon is far bigger than any of the nearly 200 … [Read more...] about Astronomers spot first ever ‘exomoon’ that could change our understanding of the solar system
Cast your mind back 10 years. Survey the political scene. What can you see? The Labour Party has been in power for 11 years. And it seems to be winning the big argument. The new leaders of the Conservative Party, David Cameron and George Osborne, have stopped calling for tax cuts and are instead pledging to match Labour’s public service spending plans. “Sharing the proceeds of growth” is the mantra. Survey the economic scene. What’s going on there? Well, there’s much talk on the business pages of newspapers of a somewhat mysterious “credit crunch”. Northern Rock went under the year before. House prices are down. The stock market is looking a bit sickly. The economy seems to be slowing. Yet a recession warning by the chancellor, Alistair Darling, is viciously stamped on by aides of the prime minister, Gordon Brown. After all, the Treasury is projecting GDP growth only to dip slightly before rapidly bouncing back. The … [Read more...] about Financial crisis 10 years on: Have we seen any true reform?
Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland By Ken Macdonald BBC Scotland Science Correspondent 19 September 2018 Share this with Facebook Share this with Messenger Share this with Twitter Share this with Email Share this with Facebook Share this with WhatsApp Share this with Messenger Share this with Twitter Share Share this with These are external links and will open in a new window Email Share this with Email Facebook Share this with Facebook Messenger Share this with Messenger Messenger Share this with Messenger Twitter Share this with Twitter Pinterest Share this with Pinterest WhatsApp Share this with WhatsApp LinkedIn Share this with LinkedIn Copy this link https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-45567496 Read more about sharing. These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel A Scottish laboratory has begun … [Read more...] about Bid to make code from space unbreakable