International Intonation – Jan. 16, 2013

Mark Hendricks, Contributor Ω

Meteorite contains fragments older than the sun

A meteorite containing fragments predating our solar system was found in the Sutter’s Mill area of California earlier this year.

Known as carbonaceous chondrites, these pre-solar grains can be found inside certain meteorites and are known to scientists. This particular meteorite marks the first time one has been recovered before contacting water.

“Carbonaceous chondrites are almost 30 per cent empty, so they act like sponges and suck in water, which rapidly causes chemical reactions changing their composition,” Dr. Peter Jenniskens, a researcher studying the fragments, told ABC news.

The meteor was seen in the sky the morning of April 22, 2012 and thanks to the U.S. Air Force and Doppler weather radar installations, scientists were quickly able to recover it.

Researchers hope that by studying these pre-solar grains they will gain a better understanding of the formation of our solar system.

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BMW to make car entirely out of carbon fibre

BMW hopes its new electric concept car will revolutionize commercial vehicle production with lightweight eco-friendly carbon fibre.

BMW unveiled its new i3 electric concept car at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show and while electric cars aren’t a new concept, BMW has a unique design approach they claim is both eco-friendly and lighter than current cars.

Lighter vehicles require less energy to produce the same speed. A lighter electric vehicle will have greater range due to the motor not having to work as hard to keep the car at driving speed.

Carbon fibre is normally reserved for trunk lids, roofs and spoilers. BMW plans to build the entirety of the i3 from carbon fibre.

In order to keep the image of the i3 being sustainable and eco-friendly, BMW has created their own plant to produce carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic, which they claim will operate with state-of-the-art sustainability principles including a hydroelectric facility to supply power.

If BMW succeeds in their i3 prototype it will be the first commercially available car to be constructed purely from carbon fibre.

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Central African Rebels sign ceasefire

Seleka rebel fighters and the government in the Central African Republic (CAR) have signed a formal ceasefire with conditions.

Talks were conducted in Gabon under mediation of neighbouring African countries.

The formal ceasefire came with conditions. The Seleka rebel alliance claimed President François Bozizé of breaking previous peace deals that would have seen payment to rebels who laid down their arms during the previous rebellion in 2004.

The agreement will see the creation of a new government of national unity to be headed by a member of the opposition party. Although President Bozizé will remain in power, the leader of the government of national unity will be the head of government.

The government of national unity will be responsible for multiple tasks including restoring peace and security, re-organizing the security forces and reforming the judicial system.

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