This tiny house on a sled is the perfect way to see the Northern Lights

April 5, 2018 by  
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For years, transparent bubble-type lodging has been all the rage for enjoying the Northern Lights , but now there is a better way to observe this natural phenomenon. One inventive tour operator, Off the Map Travel , is offering guests a roaming hotel sled that makes it easier to see the Northern Lights in arctic Finland, all without stepping out in the cold. As part of the Aurora Wilderness Camp , Off the Map Travel offers three mobile hotel rooms that are built on sleds for the sole purpose of watching the Northern Lights. Although they are a sight to be seen, the famed lights are notoriously hard to locate. Being mobile is the key to success in finding the colorful light show. Related: This glass cabin in Iceland lets you watch the Northern Lights from your bed At eight feet wide, 15 feet long and 6.5 feet high, the sled hotels are compact and fit only two people. On the interior of the tiny cabins  is a bed, a dining table and little else. The space comes with a heater to keep you warm and cozy. Snow shoes and individual sleds are also available upon request for outdoor enjoyment. The hotels are only available for rent until mid-April, and guests will have to make their way to Kilpisjärvi, a small village in northern Finland , to appreciate the unique experience. But, according to Off the Map Travel’s founder Jonny Cooper, it’ll be totally worth it. Cooper told Daily Mail , “The wilderness surrounding Kilpisjärvi is known for its remote and uninterrupted Arctic tundra. Away from any man-made light pollution, it is here that the wilderness camp is placed for the winter, giving guests the best possible opportunity to experience the Northern Lights and simply enjoy the silence of the Arctic plains.” + Off the Map Travel Via Apartment Therapy Photography via Kilpissafarit

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This tiny house on a sled is the perfect way to see the Northern Lights

Alien life may not exist due to a lack of this chemical element

April 5, 2018 by  
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Holding out hope for alien life somewhere out there? According to a recent study from Cardiff University , you may have to wait a long, long time – if phosphorus isn’t present, it could be difficult for that life to exist. Phosphorus is one of the six elements Earth’s organisms depend on, and researchers Jane Greaves and Phil Cigan found it in short supply near the Crab Nebula supernova remnant, around 6,500 light years away. In light of these new findings, we may be alone in the universe after all. Greaves said phosphorus “is crucial to the compound adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which cells use to store and transfer energy.” Astronomers have begun paying attention to phosphorus’ cosmic origins, and have discovered it’s created in supernovae. Related: Atacama ‘alien’ skeleton’s identity revealed by genetic testing Cigan and Greaves observed infrared light from phosphorus in the Crab Nebula using the William Herschel Telescope. They compared two “stellar explosions based on how they each ejected phosphorus into the atmosphere,” thanks to other scientists’ research on phosphorus in Cassiopeia A. Preliminary results hint “material blown out into space could vary dramatically in chemical composition.” Greaves said, “The route to carrying phosphorus into new-born planets looks rather precarious…If phosphorus is sourced from supernovae, and then travels across space in meteoritic rocks, it’s possible that a young planet could find itself lacking in reactive phosphorus because of where it was born. That is, it started off near the wrong kind of supernova. In that case, life might really struggle to get started out of phosphorous-poor chemistry , on another world otherwise similar to our own.” At the European Week of Astronomy and Space, Cigan and Greaves presented the preliminary results. They hope to continue to work and discover whether other supernova remnants lack phosphorus too, to discover if the element is rarer than scientists once thought. + Cardiff University Via The Telegraph Images via Depositphotos and Wikimedia Commons

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Alien life may not exist due to a lack of this chemical element

Scientists just found thousands of black holes at the center of our galaxy

April 5, 2018 by  
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For the first time ever, scientists have identified thousands of black holes lurking at the center of our galaxy. Scientists have long suspected that black holes might exist in the middle of the Milky Way, but until now, they haven’t been able to find any evidence. Now, thanks to new research, scientists believe that there are over 10,000 of them swirling together out there. According to a study published in the journal Nature this week, the center of the Milky Way holds 10,000 small black holes that have been previously undetected. Some of these smaller black holes interact with the supermassive black hole known as Sagittarius A* at the core of the galaxy, and give us a peek into how our galaxy formed. Related: Scientists glimpse most distant supermassive black hole in the known universe Using the Chandra X-ray Observatory space telescope, scientists began hunting around for the signature low-level radiation that mark binaries of stars and black holes locked together in space. “When black holes mate with a low mass star, the marriage emits X-ray bursts that are weaker, but consistent and detectable. If we could find black holes that are coupled with low mass stars and we know what fraction of black holes will mate with low mass stars, we could scientifically infer the population of isolated black holes out there,” lead author Chuck Hailey said. By using this method, they located dozens of binaries near Saggitarius A* and, from there, determined that there were thousands more out there. Not only can this information help us understand how the Milky Way originated, but it could help us understand other galaxies as well. Via Mashable Images via Deposit Photos ( 1 , 2 )

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Scientists just found thousands of black holes at the center of our galaxy

Planet parade to dazzle stargazers this week here’s what you need to know

March 7, 2018 by  
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Mercury , Venus , Mars , Jupiter , and Saturn : those are the planets stargazers in the Northern Hemisphere will be able to glimpse this week during what The Weather Channel called a planet parade. While you won’t be able to spot them all at the same time, you could snag views of Mercury and Venus after sunset and Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn before dawn — read on to find out how. March is an excellent month for “catching all five bright planets,” according to EarthSky . They define bright planet as one in our solar system that can be viewed without an optical aid “and that’s been watched since time immemorial.” Whoa! Cool. In March 2018, you can see all 5 bright planets. https://t.co/kwFqw9Gzhk Look west after sunset for Mercury and Venus. Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are up before dawn. #Mercury #Venus #Jupiter #Mars #Saturn #visibleplanets pic.twitter.com/oyss7rrvb2 — EarthSky (@earthskyscience) March 2, 2018 Related: Google maps the solar system for armchair space travelers Catch Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn before dawn; according to EarthSky, Jupiter should rise around one hour after midnight, and Mars and Saturn appear closer to dawn. The planets have slightly varying rising times depending on where you are on Earth ; EarthSky recommends a few sky almanacs accessible here . The Weather Channel said people in the Rocky Mountains and areas in the South will have the best opportunity for viewing on Wednesday morning. On Thursday morning, the South and areas in the West will be the best locations. If you’re in the Northeast, you might be out of luck; Winter Storm Quinn could obstruct the view, according to meteorologist Chris Dolce. See all 5 bright planets in March https://t.co/Tol9xs2C3L You can't see them simultaneously. But, especially from the Northern Hemisphere, March 2018 is a great month for catching all 5 bright planets either after sunset, or before dawn. pic.twitter.com/tE7rkvHOYs — EarthSky (@earthskyscience) March 2, 2018 Mercury and Venus will appear close together in the first few weeks of March, and you can catch them in the west after sunset. Venus is around “12 times brighter than Mercury,” so EarthSky recommends searching for Venus if you’re having trouble finding our solar system’s smallest planet. If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, don’t worry! You’ll get your shot at spotting the five planets in April. Via EarthSky and The Weather Channel Images via Greg Rakozy on Unsplash and Paul VanDerWerf on Flickr

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Planet parade to dazzle stargazers this week here’s what you need to know

Unprecedented Bleaching Leaves the Great Barrier Reef Terminal

April 28, 2017 by  
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In 2016, the Great Barrier Reef saw the worst bleaching event on record — two-thirds (67 percent) of corals in the northern sector of the reef died after being exposed to unusually warm currents. While experts warned that these bleaching events…

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Unprecedented Bleaching Leaves the Great Barrier Reef Terminal

Menlo Park sparks interest in zero-carbon cities

January 11, 2017 by  
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A Northern California suburb revamps its approach to the built environment.

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Menlo Park sparks interest in zero-carbon cities

Streaming services slow down tech’s clean energy rankings

January 11, 2017 by  
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Apple, Facebook and Google all secure “A grades” following high-profile renewables investments, but the campaign group warns the industry as a whole is not doing enough to mobilize investment in clean energy infrastructure.

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Streaming services slow down tech’s clean energy rankings

Charting a new economic course

January 11, 2017 by  
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From ecosystem management to plastic reduction, ocean economies to transportation, 2016 saw many good ideas put on paper to invite action. We combed through the year’s reports to distill bright ideas about sustainable approaches to the economy.

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Charting a new economic course

Floating bridge transforms a crumbling historic Boston bridge into a moving event space

October 5, 2016 by  
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Originally built in 1908, the Northern Avenue Bridge spans Fort Point Channel, connecting the financial district with a blossoming tech center. The bridge was designed to pivot on a concrete drum to allow boats to pass, an engineering innovation that made the bridge an icon of its era. The bridge is currently closed to the public, due to its poor condition. PLA now proposes transforming the historic structure into a floating bridge that would crisscross the harbor. The proposal envisions tethering the bridge at the pier at Spectacle Island during the summer, and in the fall and spring, the floating bridge could dock in the Charlestown Navy Yard. The floating bridge could also serve as additional event space square footage during festival seasons. Related: Paul Lukez Architecture and team are designing a self-sustaining resilient coastal community near Boston PLA has confirmed with a structural engineer that the existing bridge, although not suitable for use in its current state, could be refurbished as part of the adaptive reuse project. A floating version of the bridge could be towed or motor-propelled, and the proposal includes the installation of solar panels wrapping its upper members to create a canopy while generating renewable energy. As is the case with so many PLA projects, this proposal was produced by an interdisciplinary team of designers, architects, and engineers assembled specifically for this project. In addition to Lukez himself, other contributors include Tania Bronsoiler, Josh McDonald, Matt Uminski, Andrew Luy, Darquin Fortuna, and structural engineer Jennifer McClain of RSE Associates, Inc . Boston mayor Martin J. Walsh, along with the Boston Society of Architects/AIA (BSA), hosted a design competition earlier in the year, calling for ideas to repurpose the existing bridge. The winning design suggests turning the bridge into a permanent botanical garden and greenhouse for pedestrian travel only. Other proposals include transforming the bridge into a hotel, an underground tunnel with a glass roof, and an updated take on the original rotating bridge design. + Paul Lukez Architecture Images via Paul Lukez Architecture except existing bridge photo by Peter Vanderwarker

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Floating bridge transforms a crumbling historic Boston bridge into a moving event space

Rehabilitated Longroiva’s Hotel & Thermal Spa blends into the countryside of northeast Portugal

October 5, 2016 by  
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The thermal baths are located in Mêda, a municipality in northeast Portugal, and go back to Roman times. Built in the late 19th century, the existing Thermal Spa was rehabilitated to accommodate 17 rooms and various common areas where guests can meet and socialize. A walkway connects the existing building to the addition, which comprises five room modules built along the slope, with several gathering spaces in between them. Related: Thermal Pool Wrapped With a Living Wall Service areas and 10 new bungalows are located above the rooms. By combining traditional references and modern architecture, the development establishes a dialogue with its natural surroundings while providing its guests with a contemporary facility. + Rebelo de Andrade Via Archdaily Photos by Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

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Rehabilitated Longroiva’s Hotel & Thermal Spa blends into the countryside of northeast Portugal

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