NASA identifies 219 new planet candidates – and 10 potential ‘Earths’

June 20, 2017 by  
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Our knowledge of the galaxy just expanded significantly, thanks to NASA’s Kepler space telescope. The exoplanet -finding machine allowed the agency to add 219 new planet candidates to their growing list. 10 of those planets are around the size of Earth and are around the range away from a star where water might pool on their surface. This new list of 219 candidate exoplanets is the most comprehensive and detailed from the first four years of Kepler data, according to NASA . It will also be the last catalog from Kepler’s view of a piece of sky in the Cygnus constellation. And it includes a planet National Geographic said could be the most like Earth we’ve found yet: KOI 7711.01. Related: 7 NASA discoveries that will blow your mind KOI 7711.01 is only about 30 percent bigger than Earth. It orbits a star 1,700 light-years away that’s quite like our sun, and receives the correct amount of solar warmth necessary for liquid water. Kepler research scientist Susan Thompson of the SETI Institute told National Geographic, “It gets approximately the same amount of heat that we get from our own star.” But there are still a lot of questions surrounding KOI 7711.01. Thompson said, “It’s hard to say whether it’s really an Earth twin – we need to know more about its atmosphere , whether there’s water on the planet.” After the release this week of the catalog, Kepler has identified 4,034 planet candidates total, according to NASA. 2,335 of those have been verified as exoplanets. The space telescope has also identified around 50 potentially habitable candidates around the size of Earth, with over 30 having been verified. Thompson said they’re now able to shift the focus away from simply finding new individual systems, and onto learning more about the worlds we think may be like Earth. This research has also allowed scientists to better classify planets. According to NASA, Kepler data has allowed scientists to discover a division between the sizes of rocky planets around the size of Earth and gaseous planets that are smaller than Neptune. They didn’t find many planets between those two groups. Scientist Benjamin Fulton of the University of Hawaii in Manoa said in a statement, “We like to think of this study as classifying planets in the same way that biologists identify new species of animals. Finding two distinct groups of exoplanets is like discovering mammals and lizards make up distinct branches of a family tree.” Via National Geographic and NASA Images via NASA/JPL-Caltech and NASA/Ames Research Center/Wendy Stenzel

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NASA identifies 219 new planet candidates – and 10 potential ‘Earths’

A giant zeppelin-shaped gathering space lands on the roof of the Dox Center for Contemporary Art in Prague

November 24, 2016 by  
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The design team found inspiration for the project in early twentieth-century airships and their symbolic qualities as structures that represent unprecedented technological advancements. It complements the existing complex that transformed an old factory into an important cultural hub in Prague. The airship will be christened after one of the most famous characters in utopian literature, Gulliver. Related: Gigantic Airship Hangar Transformed Into Tropical Island Resort “The idea to invade the DOX Centre’s starkly modern austere concrete -and-glass architecture with a “parasitic“ structure has been on my mind for several years”, said Leoš Válka. ” I first dreamed of an absurdly fascinating organic shape that would contrast with the DOX Centre’s existing architecture,” he added. + Hu? architektury Martin Rajniš + DOX Photos by Jan Slavík

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A giant zeppelin-shaped gathering space lands on the roof of the Dox Center for Contemporary Art in Prague

Chinese firm aiming for world record with 373 mph maglev train

November 2, 2016 by  
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China is on a mission to build the world’s fastest train. One of the world’s largest train makers, China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC), is developing a new type of magnetic levitation (maglev) train they say will zoom the tracks at a top speed of 373 miles per hour (600 km per hour). The state-owned company has already started construction on a three-mile test track, but it will be at least a decade before the ultra high-speed maglev train opens to the public. Once it does, it might be faster than any other train in operation. In addition to the mind-blowingly fast train under development, CRRC is also working on two other maglev trains that can travels at 124mph (200kph) and 248mph (400 kph). The latter will run using 10 percent less energy than existing 217mph (350kph) trains already in operation in China. Both slower versions will work on “establishing domestic technology and standard systems for new-generation medium- and high-speed maglev transportation that can be applied globally,” Sun Bangcheng, a CRRC official, told China’s state-run news agency Xinhua. Related: First China-US highspeed rail will connect Las Vegas and Los Angeles in 80 minutes The current speed record of trains worldwide is held by a Japanese maglev train that reached a staggering 375 mph last year, upsetting the world record for the first time in 12 years. That train, which hit its top speed in testing, is still years away from being fully operational. Infrastructure concerns and the enormous cost of constructing the tracks will delay its grand opening until at least 2027. The 375 mph record will be a tough one for CRRC to beat, as their current promise falls just a few miles short of that speed. Nonetheless, CRRC is working on the 373 mph maglev train in an attempt to nab the world record. Via The Verge Images via CRRC

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Chinese firm aiming for world record with 373 mph maglev train

A sustainability leader’s lessons of a lifetime

September 6, 2016 by  
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Be fearless, speak your mind, mimic Steve Jobs — and don’t stop until you really, really have to.

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A sustainability leader’s lessons of a lifetime

How corn sweat is making this weeks heat wave even worse

July 22, 2016 by  
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Right now, there is one burning question on your mind, and I know it’s “What the heck is corn sweat?” The week’s extreme heat wave is blistering the middle section of the United States, where excess moisture from corn fields will evaporate and add an unwanted boost of humidity (called ‘corn sweat’) to the already uncomfortable levels. With temperatures expected to rise up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit above average in some places, meteorology experts say the phenomenon will happen more often as global warming worsens. The U.S. is in the midst of a severe heat wave , and it’s hitting the central and eastern parts of the country especially hard. The proverbial ‘they’ are famous for saying “It’s not the heat; it’s the humidity,” and in this case, it’s the darned truth. Scorching temps are plaguing most of the country this week, with the heat index rocketing into triple digits. Warm, moist air blowing in from the Gulf of Mexico combines with the corn sweat phenomenon to create a particularly miserable cocktail of heat and humidity in the Midwest, which is reflected in the heat index of what forecasters say will be the hottest summer on record. Related: Flame-colored NOAA map paints a picture of this week’s toasty heat wave As the effects of climate change wreak havoc on the planet, one of the outcomes is increasing levels of humidity, particularly during intense summer heat waves. Meteorologists have predicted that the next few decades will see this weather trend increase in severity and expand to impact even more areas, elevating the public health concerns associated with heat waves. Extreme heat is already one of the leading causes of weather-related deaths, particularly among the elderly and homeless populations, and the death tolls are likely to rise as the temperatures continue to soar. Via Mashable Images via Shutterstock and USDA

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How corn sweat is making this weeks heat wave even worse

Inception-inspired coffee table bends the mind with an inverted cityscape

January 8, 2016 by  
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Some people may choose an intriguing art book or knickknack to place on their coffee tables as conversation-starters, but with this mind-bending sculpture the coffee table itself is the centerpiece. Inspired by the now-classic movie “Inception,” Stelios Mousarris created a masterpiece featuring a curved wooden city which is quite literally turned on its head. Read the rest of Inception-inspired coffee table bends the mind with an inverted cityscape

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Inception-inspired coffee table bends the mind with an inverted cityscape

The Eco-Friendly Mat Every Yogi Can’t Live Without

November 10, 2015 by  
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Yoga has become one of America’s favorite go-to activities, and for good reason. Not only are there numerous physical benefits, but getting your downward dog on is also good for your mind and overall well-being. Yoga has become so popular that…

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The Eco-Friendly Mat Every Yogi Can’t Live Without

Viruses are alive – and they’re the world’s oldest living creatures

September 29, 2015 by  
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Scientists just classified viruses as living things after previously considering them to be nonliving bits and pieces of DNA and RNA. Not only that, new research shows that they predate even the earliest known cells, earning them a spot on the lowest roots of the tree of life. So, the next time you’re coughing and hacking from the flu, remember your body is housing descendants of the oldest living creatures on Earth – some of which are complete with immune systems of their own. Is your mind blown yet? Read the rest of Viruses are alive – and they’re the world’s oldest living creatures

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Viruses are alive – and they’re the world’s oldest living creatures

7 Inspiring product designs that will make you think twice about throwing anything away

September 29, 2015 by  
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If you find a white fox hidden in London, it’s yours

September 29, 2015 by  
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