Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 10:58 am
The Environmental Protection Agency has issued new national standards designating coal ash β a nearly ubiquitous byproduct of coal-fired power plants that contains arsenic and lead β as nonhazardous waste.
NPR's Christopher Joyce reports that coal-fired power plants produce more than 130 million tons of the coal ash each year, and they have long stored millions of tons of it in giant ponds.
But many of those ponds have failed in recent years, allowing contaminated water to get into rivers and streams, and ultimately into drinking water.
Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 9:11 am
A ship full of marine scientists is floating over the deepest part of the world: the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench. They're sending down probes to study life in one of the most hostile environments on the planet.
This week the researchers are targeting the two deepest spots in the trench β the Sirena Deep and the Challenger Deep β which each extend down about 7 miles beneath the ocean's surface.
More than a year after NASA said its Kepler space telescope was beyond repair, the planet-hunting probe has delivered an unlikely find: a planet that's outside our solar system. The find comes after a team worked to find a way to make Kepler productive again, says NASA, calling the find "a comeback."
The space agency says the newly discovered exoplanet is 2.5 times the diameter of the Earth β and that the lead researcher on the project is a graduate student at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 7:14 am
It took a few hours for some Cubans to realize the magnitude of President Obama's announcement on Wednesday about changes in the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba, according to Cuban blogger Yoani SΓ‘nchez.