Asian elephants may lose up to 42 percent of suitable habitats in India and Nepal

Protecting and expanding suitable habitats for wildlife is key to the conservation of endangered species, but owing to climate and land use change the ideal habitats of today may not be fitting in 30 or 50 years. An international team of scientists therefore predicted range shifts of Asian elephants in India and Nepal using species distribution models based on distribution data for the elephants and climate projections. While a few regions in the north and northeast of the subcontinent may provide more suitable habitats in the future, overall a heavy loss is probable in all scenarios. The complex effects of environmental change on the distribution of the elephants is elucidated in a paper published in the Journal Diversity and Distributions. Read more....

Space-based solar power: How close to reality?

The idea of capturing solar energy in space where the sun never stops shining and beaming it to Earth may seem far-fetched, but such technology is further along than most realize. In early 2018, scientists from the California Institute of Technology announced that they had succeeded in creating a prototype capable of harnessing and transmitting solar energy from space.
Their prototype is a lightweight tile that consists of three main components. Optical reflectors concentrate the sunlight, photovoltaic cells convert the sunlight to electricity, and an integrated circuit converts the electricity to radiofrequency energy that is transmitted through an attached antenna. Many individual tiles could be strung together to form large solar arrays in space. A ground-based microwave receiver on Earth would be used to intercept the incoming radiofrequency energy and convert it back into useable electricity.

A star orbiting a black hole shows Einstein got gravity right — again

A single star, careening around the monster black hole in the center of the Milky Way, has provided astronomers with new proof that Albert Einstein was right about gravity.
More than 100 years ago, Einstein’s general theory of relativity revealed that gravity is the result of matter curving the fabric of spacetime (SN: 10/17/15, p. 16). Now, in a paper published July 26 in Astronomy & Astrophysics, a team of researchers reports the observation of a hallmark of general relativity known as gravitational redshift. The measurement is the first time general relativity has been confirmed in the region near a supermassive black hole.Read more...
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