Space weather gets nasty when the sun starts shooting plasma into the cosmos, and these solar storms wreak havoc on both satellites and gadgets here on earth. Scientists want to predict the sun’s eruptions so we can protect our gear (and know the best time to go tanning), and George Mason University researchers have made a discovery that may help us do so. By examining images from NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory spacecraft, Professor Jie Zhang and grad student Xin Cheng determined that magnetic ropes are causing coronal ejections. The ropes are formed by several magnetic fields wrapped around each other, and scientists believe they can carry electrical currents strong enough to cause the plasma bursts. Prior to an eruption, Zhang observed a low-lying channel with unique electromagnetic properties (believed to be a magnetic rope) heat a portion of the sun’s surface up to 10 million degrees. Once hot enough, the spot spewed forth copious amounts of the plasma and magnetic energy that gives GPS units and phones fits. Now that we know what gets Helios all riled up, we just need to find a way to calm him down. Close-ups of the sun in its tizzy are after the break.
Continue reading Sun’s coronal ejections caused by magnetic ropes, galactic weathermen to predict solar storms?
Sun’s coronal ejections caused by magnetic ropes, galactic weathermen to predict solar storms? originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 18 Jun 2011 09:46:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
The latest and greatest (and largest) 3D plasmas from Panasonic
are finally shipping, including the flagship, THX-certified Viera VT30 sets with their single sheet of glass panels and Infinite Black Pro2 filters. We first caught a glimpse
of these bad boys back at CES and we’ve been impatiently waiting for a chance to blast our retinas with their PDP goodness in all three dimensions. The company was nice enough to invite us over recently to have a little TV powwow that featured an uncomfortable amount of Avatar
on Bluray. Keep reading after the break for all the not-so-gory details.
Continue reading Eyes on with the VT30, Panasonic’s flagship 3D plasma
Eyes on with the VT30, Panasonic’s flagship 3D plasma originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 10 May 2011 18:34:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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Plasma propulsion may very well be our ticket to visit those little green men on Mars, which is why NASA is becoming besties with Ad Astra, makers of the VASIMR VX-200 plasma rocket. After successful terrestrial testing, the next step is to try out a VF-200 flight model in space — and a new agreement gives NASA engineers access to VASIMR while letting Ad Astra leverage NASA’s spacecraft expertise to get it into orbit. The plasma rocket was assumed to be destined for use on the International Space Station because it requires far less fuel than conventional boosters — making it better suited than the propellant-hungry thrusters keeping the station in orbit today — and can take advantage of the ISS’s considerable electrical power (250kW) to fully test VASIMR’s 200kW output. Plasma rockets produce sustained thrust, as opposed to the quick bursts of its chemical cousin, which makes it the preferred means of propulsion for space travel as well. NASA hasn’t fully committed to either use — but if Marvin and his fellow Red Planet denizens know what’s good for them, they’ll be watching VASIMR’s development with great interest.
NASA and Ad Astra team up to test VASIMR plasma rocket in space originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 11 Mar 2011 18:48:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
After setting its LED pricing for the year to come, Panasonic has finally set its plasma HDTV info in stone. Again matching the information leaked from retailers, the MSRPs (before any retailer discounts) range from the 65-inch TC-P65VT30 at sticking at $4,299 down to the $599 720p TC-P42X3. Also of note is the inclusion of not only the previously announced S30 series without 3D technology or the new Infinite Black 2 panel (unlike the step-up ST30 models) but there will also apparently be a V30 line without the 3D fittings, although there’s no specs, prices or ship dates mentioned. Last year the only top of the line model available was the VT25, although there was a 2D only V20-series plasma available in Australia and other regions. 3D or no, things appear to be looking up for plasma TVs, with shipments jumping nine percent last year. Check the press release after the break for all the details, but we’ll have to wait until the TVs to arrive to find out if Panasonic is going to be able to hold onto its crown again.
Continue reading Panasonic celebrates higher plasma TV sales for 2010, sets prices for 2011
Panasonic celebrates higher plasma TV sales for 2010, sets prices for 2011 originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 01 Mar 2011 13:01:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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It’s been confirmed, Super Bowl XLV will not be the first one with a full HD 3D broadcast (no gimmicky 3D commercials this year either, you can put the paper glasses away) despite featuring a halftime show by James Cameron’s BFFs, the Black Eyed Peas. Still, considering what happened the last time they tried 3D at the House That Jerry Jones Built it’s probably for the best. Still, just because you don’t have one of Cowboys Stadium’s record breaking HD screens you should still enjoy the game in style. In 2011 that means going beyond just the screen, the sounds and the seats — we’ll tell you how after the break.
Continue reading Totally blow out the big game! Super Bowl XLV
Totally blow out the big game! Super Bowl XLV originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 31 Jan 2011 17:20:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Panasonic’s blowing it out here at CES, partciularly on the HD front. There’s a boatload of new content to disgest, so we’ll take you through it all step-by-step below:
- For starters, Panasonic is dishing out seven new plasma HDTVs, six new LED LCDs and five new standard LCD HDTVs. For the 2011 model year, Panny’s introducing the VT30 series, GT30 and ST30 lines, and two of the LED LCDs are joining its array of Full HD 3D TVs. Naturally, the biggest addition to the new sets is the Viera Connect system, but the Easy IPTV functionality is another boon.
- For those who’ve got a Viera Cast-enabled BD deck, Panny’s adding Skype voice and video calling. The addition of Skype to Panasonic’s new DMP-BDT310, DMP-BDT210, and DMP-BDT110 VIERA CAST-enabled Blu-ray Disc Players allows consumers to make Skype voice and video calls on virtually any HDTV using a Skype-compatible camera.
- As for new Blu-ray and DVD players? There’s a near-limitless flow of them, with the DMP-B200 (8.9-inch display) and DVD-LS92 (9-inch) portable players serving the road warriors. The DMP-BDT210 3D Blu-ray deck is now holding down the top spot in the company’s at-home range, and if you’re still down with DVD, you’ll find a load of new options with USB ports for loading up additional media.
- The company is also debuting the April-bound SC-HTB520 soundbar, meant to match up with flat-panels that are 42-inches or larger, and it’s also throwing in a wireless, down-firing subwoofer.
- Finally, Panny’s introducing 3D video conferencing (HDVC), which may or may not make your weekly boardroom meetings entirely more tolerable.
Head on down to the source for more, but don’t expect to find much in the way of price and availability.
Panasonic’s CES 2011 HD lineup: Blu-ray players, 3D video conferencing, HDTVs, audio gear originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 05 Jan 2011 21:03:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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Welcome to the Engadget Holiday Gift Guide! The team here is well aware of the heartbreaking difficulties of the seasonal shopping experience, and we want to help you sort through the trash and come up with the treasures this year. Below is today’s bevy of hand curated picks, and you can head back to the Gift Guide hub to see the rest of the product guides as they’re added throughout the holiday season.
A brand new HDTV is a gift that can get plenty of use throughout the year, but it’s also one of the more expensive items on Santa’s list. If you’re shopping for the home theater enthusiast who has everything, there’s always room in the cabinet for another streamer or demo disc. From 3DTV to network connected to throwback disc-based media, there’s a lot of new options on deck for the 2010 holiday season – let’s see if we can narrow the list a bit and make sure your gift scores a ten out of ten even if your budget is more like a two.
Continue reading Engadget’s Holiday Gift Guide: HDTVs and home theater
Engadget’s Holiday Gift Guide: HDTVs and home theater originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 14 Dec 2010 13:21:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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