In this issue

Issue 34


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As much as we know about Sydney’s smog
Sydney's first full-blown case of photochemical smog appeared in 1971, In the decade or so since, the phenomenon has recurred numerous times.
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Looking for the edge of the universe
Earlier this year a team of Australian and British astronomers concluded that the universe is a little bit larger and a little bit older than previously thought. They reached this conclusion when they detected an object that may be 18 billion light years — that is, 17 x 1023km — from earth. It's the most distant object found as yet, and it's moving even further away from us at close to the speed of light.
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The knife-edge existence of a native rat
Man', complained Job, 'is of few days and full of trouble.' Had he not been 'born of a woman', but taken the form of a Northern Territory dusky rat, Job would have felt just as sore a need for comforters, for this animal's brief life is full of environmental adversity.
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The acidity of Sydney’s rain
Sydney's rain reaches its highest acid level at this time of year, 10–15 times greater than that in unpolluted rainwater.
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Iodine, alcohol, and mental deficiency
A child's surroundings play an important role in shaping the future adult — sociologists and psychologists have long agreed on that. But only in recent times have scientists been able to identify some serious dangers in the earliest environment of all: the womb.
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The maths of water conservation
For more than 6000 years farmers have irrigated dry land. But it was not until early this century that scientists began to understand just what happens when water soaks into the ground.
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Electricity from coal waste
It's better to burn waste from coal washeries than dump it, and better to turn the heat produced into electricity than send it up the chimney. That's the message coming from the operation of a pilot waste-burner at the Glenlee coal washery near Camden, N.S.W.
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Letters to ECOS
The article 'Hydrogen – Fuel of the Future' in ECOS No. 32, Winter 1982, seemed to me generally to be a well-balanced account o f the pros and cons of this potentially exciting energy source but one still requiring much investigation before its practicality can be assessed.
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On the look out for ‘bright nights’
It's like looking at a sandy bottom through a very deep, faintly green, clear sea', explains Dr Brian Armstrong of the CSIRO Solar Observatory, describing how the sky, unusually luminous, appears on 'bright nights'.
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