Comment »Posted on Friday 17 July 2009 at 6:47 pm by Jacob Aron
In Chemistry, Climate Change & Environment

Two articles on the Guardian site today. First, a post on for science blog about the proposed name for element 112:

The periodic table gained a new element last month. It’s currently known as ununbium or simply element 112, but now the scientists who discovered it have proposed a name: copernicium. Sigurd Hofmann and his team at the Center for Heavy Ion Research (GSI) in Germany chose the name to honour 15th century scientist and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.

As the first man to realise that the Earth orbits the sun, Copernicus was vilified by the Catholic Church for removing mankind from the centre of creation. His discovery changed the way we looked at the stars and led to the realisation that the universe is a very, very big place. Star-gazers currently celebrating the International Year of Astronomy will agree that copernicium is a fitting legacy.

Read the rest at the Guardian.

Next, in the Environment section, how radar could be used to protect bats from wind turbines:

Radar beams that irritate bats could be used to prevent the animals from being diced by the spinning blades of wind turbines, according to a study of how the animals react to radar signals. The researchers discovered that a stationary beam reduced bat activity near the turbines by almost 40%.

Bat and bird populations can be significantly effected by collisions with turbines. A six-week study at two wind farms in the US recorded more than 4,500 bat deaths and the PeƱascal wind farm in southern Texas is currently using radar to prevent migrating birds from flying into it.

Read the rest at the Guardian.

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