Scientists just detected helium in an exoplanet’s atmosphere for the first time

May 3, 2018 by  
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For the first time, researchers have identified the presence of helium within the atmosphere of a planet beyond our solar system, offering yet another glimpse into the weather patterns of exoplanets. This discovery is particularly notable for the methods used to detect helium, demonstrating that it is possible to identify the atmospheric composition of some exoplanets with current technology. Although scientists have long expected to find helium on large exoplanets, its presence on planet WASP-107b has now been confirmed, thanks to a technique that involves analysis of the light spectrum of the upper levels of the planet’s atmosphere. “We hope to use this technique with the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope,” said lead researcher Jessica Spake in a statement. “For example, to learn what kind of planets have large envelopes of hydrogen and helium, and how long planets can hold on to their atmospheres . By measuring infrared light, we can see further out into space than if we were using ultraviolet light .” Related: The Earth-like planets orbiting this star could hold 250 times more water than Earth An ultra-low-density planet, WASP-107b is roughly equivalent to the size of Jupiter but only has 12 percent of that planet’s mass. WASP-107, the star around which WASP-107b orbits every six days, is so powerful that it is gradually dissolving the exoplanet’s atmosphere. As a result, WASP-107b leaves a comet-like trail of helium in its wake. “The helium we detected extends far out to space as a tenuous cloud surrounding the planet,” explained study co-author Tom Evans in a statement . “If smaller, Earth-sized planets have similar helium clouds, this new technique offers an exciting means to study their upper atmospheres in the very near future.” Via Space.com and Nature Images via Nature / EngineHouseVFX and ESA/Hubble, NASA, M. Kornmesser

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Scientists just detected helium in an exoplanet’s atmosphere for the first time

10 minutes with Christopher Gavigan, Honest Company

November 6, 2017 by  
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The co-founder with Jessica Alba aims to change the conversation in consumer product goods.

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10 minutes with Christopher Gavigan, Honest Company

New anti-Trump resistance posters go from ‘HOPE’ to nope

January 20, 2017 by  
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The 2008 HOPE poster designed by Shepard Fairey was so popular, the Obama camp officially approved its widespread distribution. But the new President, who will today swear to defend the U.S. Constitution as 44 others have done before him, probably won’t like the posters made for his inauguration day. The Seattle-based nonprofit Amplifier Foundation commissioned Fairey, Ernesto Yerena, and Jessica Sabogal to work with photographers on a project called We the People. These new posters say no to hate, no to fear, and no to the blatant racism stoked by Donald Trump and his followers. The Kickstarter campaign raised nearly $1.4 million – far exceeding the $60,000 goal. This has allowed the group to take out full page advertisements in the Washington Post, reminding readers and anyone else in D.C. for the inauguration of the values laid down by our forefathers. “Much of Washington will be locked down on Inauguration Day, and in some areas there will be severe restrictions on signs and banners,” the campaign notes. Related: Obamba – the US clean energy transition is irreversible “But we’ve figured out a hack. It’s called the newspaper! On January 20th, if this campaign succeeds, we’re going to take out full-page ads in the Washington Post with these images, so that people across the capitol and across the country will be able to carry them into the streets, hang them in windows, or paste them on walls.” The posters identified segments of the American population who will be most vulnerable under the new administration, including Muslims, Latinos, African-Americans, and members of the LGBTQ community, and put their faces on the posters with positive messaging. “It’s really about making sure that people remember that ‘we the people’ means everyone, it means all the people,” Fairey told CNN . “I think the campaigns were very divisive, more from one side than the other. But (it’s) just reminding people to find their common humanity, and look beyond maybe one narrow definition of what it means to be American.” Via CNN Images via Amplifier Foundation / screenshot

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New anti-Trump resistance posters go from ‘HOPE’ to nope

This moth is named after Donald Trump

January 20, 2017 by  
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Maybe this will get Donald Trump to care about the environment: a biologist just named a new species of moth after the President-elect. Neopalpa donaldtrumpi bears an eerie resemblance to its namesake, by sporting a wild crop of blond scales on its head. Evolutionary biologist Vazrick Nazari hopes the clever appellation will highlight the need for continued conservation – he came up with it right as Republican congressmen announced their intentions to roll back the Endangered Species Act . It appears some biologists still have a sense of humor even as a president who threatens to be terrible for the environment is slated to take office. Nazari, who is unaffiliated and based in Ottawa, Canada, was scrutinizing the Bohart Museum of Entomology ‘s specimen collection at U.C. Davis when he saw some small moths that stood apart from the others because of their strange wing markings and small genitals. DNA barcoding couldn’t identify the moths, which means Nazari had stumbled across a new species – and he had the perfect name in mind. Related: San Francisco man singlehandedly revives a rare butterfly species in his own backyard In his research article published by ZooKeys , Nazari said, “The new species is named in honor of Donald J. Trump, to be installed as the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017… The specific epithet is selected because of the resemblance of the scales on the frons (head) of the moth to Mr. Trump’s hairstyle.” The Neopalpa donaldtrumpi also bears another hilarious similarity to its bombastic namesake. It’s a member of the twirler moth family, named for their tendency to spin in circles when stressed (Trump’s Twitter rants, anyone?). In his article Nazari said, “The discovery of this distinct micro-moth in the densely populated and otherwise zoologically well-studied southern California underscores the importance of the conservation of the fragile habitats that still contain undescribed and threatened species.” Via mental_floss Images via Vazrick Nazari

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This moth is named after Donald Trump

Cape Town has just 100 days of water left

January 20, 2017 by  
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Cape Town, South Africa has been struck by severe drought – and now residents have just 100 days of water left. The local government is asking citizens to conserve, while fire fighters are using sea water to battle two nearby wildfires. According to University of Cape Town Environmental and Geographical Sciences lecturer Kevin Winter, “We can’t see any rain on the horizon,” Winter notes. “ And right now, in terms of dam storage levels, we’re probably approaching the ‘100 days left of storage.’” Eyewitness News reports that dams around Cape Town are sitting at just 42.5 percent full, but they could drop to as little as 20 percent full in the next few months if the city doesn’t take drastic water conservation measures. Xanthea Limberg of the City of Cape Town adds that reaching the 20 percent storage mark represents a pretty risky situation. “This is a very low margin of safety because it becomes very difficult to extract the last 10 percent,” she explains. “We’re really encouraging residents to help us ensure that we can save water.” Thousands of liters of the remaining water is being used every day to battle two large, raging wildfires that recently sprung up nearby. In response to the situation, fire fighters are resorting to the “extreme measure” of using sea water to fight the fires. Via Eyewitness News Images via AerialcamSA and magemu , Wikimedia Commons

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Cape Town has just 100 days of water left

Lawsuit accuses Jessica Alba’s Honest Company of fraud

February 29, 2016 by  
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The Honest Company co-founded by Jessica Alba grew to prominence on a platform of providing all natural and non-toxic products. They aim to “reduce the ubiquitous presence of toxic chemicals in our…environment.” But a recent lawsuit claims they’re lying to consumers about the ingredients in 41 of their products. Read the rest of Lawsuit accuses Jessica Alba’s Honest Company of fraud

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Taking An Honest Stand Against Stains

September 14, 2015 by  
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Once upon a time… A dad named Christopher and a mom named Jessica found themselves utterly frustrated trying to find the perfect products for their babies and homes. They wanted products that weren’t only effective, but unquestionably safe,…

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Taking An Honest Stand Against Stains

Midcentury modern ranch is renovated into a spacious energy-efficient home

August 14, 2015 by  
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Get Honest: A Toothpaste That Both Kids And Moms Adore

August 3, 2015 by  
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Once upon a time… A dad named Christopher and a mom named Jessica found themselves utterly frustrated trying to find the perfect products for their babies and homes. They wanted products that weren’t only effective, but unquestionably safe,…

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Get Honest: A Toothpaste That Both Kids And Moms Adore

Jessica Drenk Carves Pencils Into Incredible Organic Shapes

November 16, 2012 by  
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The pencil is more than a writing implement – it’s a symbol of creativity and potential. Exploring the structural possibilities of graphite and wood, artist Jessica Drenk turns familiar old Ticonderogas into forms inspired by nature. Influenced by systems of information and a desire to classify and understand the world, her sculptures are beautiful representations of one of the most primitive recording devices. Read the rest of Jessica Drenk Carves Pencils Into Incredible Organic Shapes Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: graphite , jessica drenk , pencil , sculpture , ticonderoga , Wood

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