Category: Videos

Google Maps is already one of the most popular apps used on on smartphones thanks to its sophisticated navigation powers. But Google has figured out an even cooler use for the service and it that doesn’t even involve getting directions – meet Google’s brand new Project Sunroof.

Using the immense map data that’s behind Google Maps, the company’s new Google Maps feature will help you decide the best way to install solar panels on your roof. What Google can do for you is use the knowledge it collects about your home’s location to tell you how much sunlight you’re getting each day, how much electricity that can generate and how much it’ll cost you to install the solar panels.

Basically, Google’s service will be ready to answer some of your most pressing questions related to installing solar panels on your roof. So all you need to do is jot down the data and get ready to invest in solar panels for your roof. We should note, of course, that solar power might not be a good investment for everyone so make sure installing them will be financially worthwhile before making the switch.

Project Sunroof will debut in Boston, San Francisco and Fresno, but should expand to other markets in the future. A video explaining the cool Google Maps tech behind it follows below – more details about the project are available on Google’s special site for it at this link.

 

BGR

February 11, 2015 marks five years in space for NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which provides incredibly detailed images of the whole sun 24 hours a day. Capturing an image more than once per second, SDO has provided an unprecedentedly clear picture of how massive explosions on the sun grow and erupt ever since its launch on Feb. 11, 2010. The imagery is also captivating, allowing one to watch the constant ballet of solar material through the sun’s atmosphere, the corona.

In honor of SDO’s fifth anniversary, NASA has released a video showcasing highlights from the last five years of sun watching. Watch the movie to see giant clouds of solar material hurled out into space, the dance of giant loops hovering in the corona, and huge sunspots growing and shrinking on the sun’s surface.

The imagery is an example of the kind of data that SDO provides to scientists. By watching the sun in different wavelengths – and therefore different temperatures – scientists can watch how material courses through the corona, which holds clues to what causes eruptions on the sun, what heats the sun’s atmosphere up to 1,000 times hotter than its surface, and why the sun’s magnetic fields are constantly on the move.

Five years into its mission, SDO continues to send back tantalizing imagery to incite scientists’ curiosity. For example, in late 2014, SDO captured imagery of the largest sun spots seen since 1995 as well as a torrent of intense solar flares. Solar flares are bursts of light, energy and X-rays. They can occur by themselves or can be accompanied by what’s called a coronal mass ejection, or CME, in which a giant cloud of solar material erupts off the sun, achieves escape velocity and heads off into space. In this case, the sun produced only flares and no CMEs, which, while not unheard of, is somewhat unusual for flares of that size. Scientists are looking at that data now to see if they can determine what circumstances might have led to flares eruptions alone.

Goddard built, operates and manages the SDO spacecraft for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C. SDO is the first mission of NASA’s Living with a Star Program. The program’s goal is to develop the scientific understanding necessary to address those aspects of the sun-Earth system that directly affect our lives and society.

This video is public domain and can be downloaded at: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11742

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