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In this issue:
Galactic Super Volcano in Action
Electrical Infrastructure Renewal Projects to Start Soon
Older SLAC Electric Vehicles to Be Replaced

SLAC Today

Thursday - August 19, 2010

Eruption of a galactic “super-volcano” in the massive galaxy M87. (Image: X-ray: NASA/CXC/KIPAC/N. Radio: NSF/NRAO/AUI/W.)

Galactic Super Volcano in Action

A galactic "super-volcano" in the massive galaxy M87 is erupting and blasting gas outwards, as witnessed by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and NRAO's Very Large Array. The cosmic volcano is being driven by a giant black hole in the galaxy's center and preventing hundreds of millions of new stars from forming.

Astronomers studying this black hole and its effects have been struck by the remarkable similarities between it and a volcano in Iceland that made headlines earlier this year.

At a distance of about 50 million light years, M87 is relatively close to Earth and lies at the center of the Virgo cluster, which contains thousands of galaxies. M87's location, coupled with long observations over Chandra's lifetime, has made it an excellent subject for investigations of how a massive black hole impacts its environment.

"Our results show in great detail that supermassive black holes have a surprisingly good control over the evolution of the galaxies in which they live," said Norbert Werner of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at Stanford University and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, who led one of two papers describing the study. "And it doesn't stop there. The black hole's reach extends ever farther into the entire cluster, similar to how one small volcano can affect practically an entire hemisphere on Earth."

Read more from NASA...

Electrical Infrastructure Renewal Projects to Start Soon

Map of the substation update work areas. (Image: SLAC Facilities.)

Starting later this summer and continuing through November 2011, modern electrical equipment will replace outdated equipment at SLAC, ensuring economical and reliable power distribution to lab areas served by Substations 26S and 40S—including SIMES, PULSE and Building 40—as well as upgraded capacity of the utilities in Building 23. Consequently, some areas of the lab will experience the appearance of heavy equipment, road/traffic changes and weekend planned power disruptions during transfers to alternative power systems. Early this month, 2010 the project team held meetings with affected lab personnel to present the work plans and define the coordination necessary to minimize the project's impact in your areas.

The construction project for substation 40S and 26S has been awarded, and work will start soon.


(Photo - new electric sedan)
Example of the new electric sedans coming at the end of the fiscal year. (Image courtesy Miles Electric Vehicles.)

Older SLAC Electric Vehicles to Be Replaced

Loaner vehicles available during the transition

The SLAC Facilities and Environment, Safety and Health Divisions have begun decommissioning older SLAC electric vehicles that did not comply with federal motor vehicle requirements. To help SLAC vehicle users during the removal and replacement of non-compliant electric vehicles, Facilities and ES&H have redirected five of the new electric Low Speed Vehicles to the most critical lab users on the campus.

Facilities Division staff have also placed two additional new electric Low Speed Vehicles—a sedan and pick-up—into the Fleet Services loaner pool to support users who have a short-timeframe need for a vehicle. The loaner vehicles are available as follows:

  • No more than 2 hours of use from pick-up time to turn-in time. This will allow other users access for their needs.
  • Vehicles must be returned to Fleet Services during operating hours—no overnight retention.
(Photo - new electric truck)
Example of the new electric trucks.  (Image courtesy Miles Electric Vehicles.)

The Fleet Services Group is open to schedule use of the loaner vehicles from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. You can schedule time by calling Fleet Services (x8795 or x4185) during these hours. Vehicles will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

SLAC mopeds have also been taken out of service. As one of the replacement options, the Facilities Division is offering to provide a new bicycle (large or medium), with optional accessories such as basket carriers and heavy duty locks. Helmets are required, and can be picked up at SLAC Stores. If you are interested in this option, please coordinate with Ken Rubino (x3218) at your earliest convenience.

The Facilities Division is in the process of compiling a list of replacement electric vehicles per directorate, and will place a large vehicle order to be received before the end of the Fiscal Year. Thank you for your patience and cooperation during the transition.


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