I, Science News – 1 July 2019

First up, this weekend, heatwave struck mainland Europe causing temperatures to soar. The hot air has been drawn up from the Sahara by a high pressure system over Europe leading a hot, humid environment. Lack of rainfall directly before the heatwave compounded it’s effects as there was little evaporation of water from the soil which would usually help cool the ground. In Spain, several wildfires broke out which are still being contained and in France, a new record was set when the temperature reached a whopping 45.9°C

Next, new builds of electric cars will have to be fitted with a noise-emitting device known as an Acoustic Vehicle Alert System (or AVAS). The ruling from the EU has been bought about to allow people to hear when an electric car is approaching to help prevent accidents. The AVAS will emit noise when the car is travelling at less than 12mph and when it is reversing as these are the times that the car is most likely to be in close proximity to pedestrians.

Finally, NASA have announced a new mission to Saturn’s moon Titan. The Dragonfly mission will launch in 2026 and should arrive at the moon eight years later where it will release a drone. This drone will fly around the moon collecting data on the chemistry of the surface ,atmosphere and climate. On Titan, it rains methane and ethane which collect into lakes that change with the seasons. Dragonfly will explore these on a moon which has all the necessary ingredients for life!

This week’s news was presented and written by Harry Lampert, who is studying for a MSc in Science Media Production at Imperial College London.

Banner image: Heatwave, Wikimedia

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