Steve Cotler

Steve Cotler

Category Archives: Science/Math

Chilean Earthquake Energy

This morning’s devastating earthquake in Chile (8.8 on the Richter scale) had an energy equivalent of approximately 15.8 gigatons of TNT (31,600,000,000,000 lbs). To put that in perspective, it is about as much energy as would be released by 300 of the largest thermonuclear bombs ever built (the USSR’s Tsar Bomba, detonated in Novaya Zemlya […]

Blue Moon Bloops

According to almost every online source that commented on it, the round disk in the sky on the last day of 2009 was a “blue moon,” a term commonly used for the second full moon in any calendar month. Commonly—and erroneously. The internet offers near-instant access to information. It is ironic that in some cases […]

AltaRock Abandons Geothermal Energy Project at The Geysers

Since July, I have been studying and following the progress of a technology called Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) as it has been tested by Sausalito-based AltaRock Energy at The Geysers, an active geothermal field just 12 air miles from my home in Northern California. A week ago, New York Times reporter James Glanz wrote that […]

Pictures of Saturn

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, orbiting Saturn, has sent back some astounding photographs from a distance of nearly one billion miles. Click here for a couple of dozen that will amaze and intrigue. The waves in Saturn’s A ring are formed by the gravitational pull of tiny moon Daphnis, the bright dot (only 5 miles in diameter) […]

Is the Production of Geothermal Energy in The Geysers a “Public Nuisance”?

Calpine in The Geysers On September 15, less than a fortnight after AltaRock Energy halted its geothermal drilling in The Geysers, the Anderson Springs Community Alliance (ASCA), a small but formidable opponent of the AltaRock project, fired another salvo: this time charging the area’s main producer of geothermal energy with a public nuisance. In a […]

Enhanced Geothermal Energy Project Halted in The Geysers

Electricity generation in The Geysers Late in 2008, George Bush’s Department of Energy committed $6 million to Sausalito-based AltaRock Energy (as part of a consortium…see addendum below) for energy production using Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS). EGS technology works by by injecting water down a deep well into hot rock, fracturing the rock and creating steam […]

Buzz Numbers

Buzz is a old and well-known car travel game. Here’s the simplest variation. The players begin counting upwards, speaking consecutive integers aloud. If, however, the number is evenly divisible by seven or has a seven in it, you say “buzz” instead of the number. If you make a mistake or hesitate too long, you lose. […]

Enhanced Geothermal Energy and Man-Made Earthquakes (Part 2)

As described in a previous post, Sausalito-based AltaRock Energy is drilling a Lake County test well aimed at producing energy by utilizing a technology called Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS). AltaRock’s project is on federal land leased by the Northern California Power Agency (NCPA) on a ridge just above the community of Anderson Springs, CA. According […]

Enhanced Geothermal Energy and Man-Made Earthquakes

Drill down just a few miles into the earth’s crust, and the temperature will rise substantially. This heat comes from three sources: emissions from radioactive minerals, the compressive force of gravity, and to a lesser extent, solar energy absorbed at the earth’s surface. Although such energy is not truly renewable (radioactive elements do eventually decay […]

Space Shuttle Atlantis & Hubble …Crossing the Sun

What an image! The NASA space shuttle Atlantis and the Hubble Space Telescope, seen in silhouette during a solar transit at 12:17 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, May 13, 2009, from west of Vero Beach, Florida. The two space craft were at an altitude of 600 km above the earth. It took only 0.8 seconds for them […]