Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupts, forcing hundreds of residents to evacuate

May 4, 2018 by  
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Kilauea, the most active volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island, erupted late yesterday after a spate of earthquakes . The state’s governor, David Ige, declared a local state of emergency. There are active volcanic vents on the Makamae and Mohala streets, and hundreds of residents have been ordered to evacuate. The eruption on Thursday took place at Kilauea volcano’s East Rift Zone — and Hawaii News Now said Leilani Estates subdivision residents fled with little but the clothes they were wearing. There was another eruption on Friday, and at least a dozen more earthquakes have shaken the area. Related: After 250 earthquakes in 24 hours, Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano might erupt In the wake of the eruption, schools have closed, and so has a geothermal power plant. The Hawaii Fire Department reported “extremely high levels of dangerous sulfur dioxide gas detected in the evacuation area.” The County of Hawaii Civil Defense Agency has ordered mandatory evacuations for multiple subdivisions, and Gizmodo reported  that around 1,700 people reside in the immediate evacuation area, although more than 10,000 people live in the volcano’s vicinity. Emergency shelters opened at community centers. Ige has activated Hawaii’s National Guard, and Hawaii senator Brian Schatz said on Twitter that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is mobilizing resources and is monitoring “for forest fires , power outages, and water supply disruption.” Hawaii News Now spoke to Ikaika Marzo, who was one of the first people in Leilani Estates to see active lava , and he reportedly saw fountains about 100 feet high. Another local resident told the news outlet, “My family is safe, the rest of the stuff can be replaced. When I bought here 14 years, I knew that this day would eventually come. But the reality is sinking in now.” + County of Hawaii Via Hawaii News Now and Gizmodo Images via U.S. Geological Survey

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Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupts, forcing hundreds of residents to evacuate

Historic Australian church transformed into a stunning family home for five

May 4, 2018 by  
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Doherty Design Studio  has revamped a 1910 church in Hawthorn, Australia into a lovely light-filled house for a family of five. While the renovation isn’t the church’s first residential adaptation, the recent restoration has combined contemporary design with features representative of the building’s past, like the stunning stained-glass windows installed throughout. Before Doherty Design Studio got their hands on the project, the 1910 Hawthorn church had already been extended with an apartment as part of a larger residential complex developed over two decades ago. Still, some elements of the house of worship’s past were retained, such as the ivy-covered brick facade, arched doorways and windows, and original timber beams. Related: Architects convert old Dutch church into a gorgeous library As expected, natural light floods the bright and airy interior, which features crisp white walls offset by a variety of floor textures, from cool terrazzo in the bathroom to the wood parquet flooring in the office and kitchen. Stained glass adds color into the space as well as a nod to the building’s heritage. A custom-made, aged-bronze chandelier , designed by Christopher Boots, hangs opposite three stained-glass windows and provides a striking contemporary focal point. + Doherty Design Studio Via Yellow Trace Images via Doherty Design Studio , by Derek Swalwell

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Historic Australian church transformed into a stunning family home for five

New photosynthesis machine is twice as efficient at creating hydrogen fuel

May 4, 2018 by  
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Researchers at the University of Michigan and McGill University in Montreal have created a device that uses sunlight to efficiently split fresh or salt water into hydrogen that may be used in fuel cells. The new machine, which mimics the process of photosynthesis , is capable of producing hydrogen fuel at twice the efficiency of previous technologies. Producing only water as an emission, hydrogen is the cleanest burning fuel. However, its production has historically not been environmentally friendly or energy efficient. This new device may change all that, paving the way to a cleaner energy future. “If we can directly store solar energy as a chemical fuel, like what nature does with photosynthesis, we could solve a fundamental challenge of renewable energy,” said lead researcher Zetian Mi . Unlike solar panels, which can only store energy if they are attached to a battery, the artificial photosynthesis device uses splits water to store solar energy as hydrogen fuel. Despite this fundamental difference from solar panels , the device is made from the same materials, such as silicon and gallium nitride, which is also found in LEDs. Related: Scientists create world’s first solar fuel reactor that works at night Small towers of gallium nitride generate an electric field to turn photons into free charges, which divide water into its two component elements, oxygen and hydrogen. In contrast with previous solar splitters, which had only reached 1 percent efficiency, Mi’s team managed to achieve a 3 percent solar-to-hydrogen efficiency. “Although the 3 percent efficiency might seem low, when put in the context of the 40 years of research on this process, it’s actually a big breakthrough,” Mi said. “Natural photosynthesis, depending how you calculate it, has an efficiency of about 0.6 percent.” The device, further developed, may even be able to pull carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, potentially alleviating the impact of climate change . Via Futurity Images via Faqrul A. Chowdhury/McGill University

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New photosynthesis machine is twice as efficient at creating hydrogen fuel

Mesmerizing lava skylights give a glimpse under the Earths surface

June 24, 2016 by  
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Volcanoes get a bad rap in the movies, but what goes on underneath the Earth’s crust can actually be a beautiful scene – especially if we can get a glimpse of it. The Kilauea volcano’s recent lava breakouts in Hawaii were captured on film, including its hypnotizing “skylights” , where the crust breaks and the fiery lava flow can be seen from above. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITJ6HLHtzuc Lava tubes that form underneath the Earth’s surface can sometimes become too wide for the hardened crust on top to bear. Helicopters observed a spot where the tube had collapsed, revealing the red hot flow underneath. The “skylight” is estimated to be about 20 feet across and the speed of the rushing lava could be as fast as two meters per second. Related: Ecuadorian volcano ejects ash nearly five miles into the sky The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory describes the phenomenon as “capillaries beneath the skin,” a vivid image of the life-giving marvels that carry on just outside our awareness. Seeing just what nature is up to offers a rare peek at the little known charms in the deep corners of the world. Via The Huffington Post Images via Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

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Mesmerizing lava skylights give a glimpse under the Earths surface

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