New research shows there may be 10 planets in our solar system

June 23, 2017 by  
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Don’t get your hopes up – scientists aren’t making Pluto a planet again just yet. But the number of possible planets that we haven’t discovered was recently bumped up to two. Last fall researchers published a study on the mysterious Planet Nine , which could explain the unusual tilt of the sun. Now University of Arizona (UA) scientists think they may have found evidence for yet another planetary mass object – and it could be closer than Planet Nine. Planet Nine – which scientists think might be 10 times Earth’s mass – could be lurking out past Pluto’s orbit. But Planet Nine might not be all we’ve missed in our solar system . Kat Volk and Renu Malhotra of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at UA think they’ve found an unknown planet that’s between the mass of Earth and Mars. What gave this potential planet away was the fact it could be controlling the orbital planes of Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) – a group of space rocks. Related: New research suggests an unseen 9th planet may be tilting the solar system In the Kuiper Belt, the furthest away of the KBOs don’t orbit the sun with orbital tilts scientists would expect. Instead, they’re tilted away by around eight degrees, suggesting a mysterious something might be warping their orbital planes. Volk, lead author on a study slated for publication in the Astronomical Journal , said in a statement, “The most likely explanation for our results is that there is some unseen mass. According to our calculations, something as massive as Mars would be needed to cause the warp that we measured.” Why haven’t we yet stumbled across this potentially rather large planet? Volk and Malhotra say we haven’t searched the whole sky for distant objects in the solar system – Planet 10 may have been hiding among the densely packed galactic plane. We might catch a glimpse of Planet 10 when the construction of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope – an instrument operated by a consortium including UA – is completed, possibly in 2020. Via Futurism and the University of Arizona Images via Heather Roper/LPL

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New research shows there may be 10 planets in our solar system

Solar-powered Cloverdale house is made of reclaimed wood from a 1970s kit home

June 23, 2017 by  
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This solar-powered home in Cloverdale, California was built using reclaimed wood from an existing 1970s kit log home. Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects utilized existing site elements to create the new 2150-square-foot house with minimal impact on the environment. The owners of the property commissioned the architects to design a sustainable home that’s easy to use and doesn’t disrupt its natural surroundings. Inspired by traditional screened porches , the architects designed a screened-in living space and included the porch in the body of the house as an entry to the guest bedrooms. This double role of the porch reduced the need for circulation and helped keep the footprint of the house to it minimum . Related: Kentfield Hillside Residence Rises Under a Green Roof North of San Francisco A solar array installed on the south-facing roof, along with solar hot water panels, provide enough power to meet most of the energy requirements of the house. PV-powered heat pumps provide radiant heating or cooling, depending on the weather conditions and seasonal needs. In order to reduce construction costs, the architects reused the wood of the original kit log house as decking, interior and exterior wood paneling. + Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects Via Dwell Photos by Matthew Millman

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Solar-powered Cloverdale house is made of reclaimed wood from a 1970s kit home

NASA discovers 7 Earth-sized planets outside our solar system

February 22, 2017 by  
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In a press conference today, NASA scientists revealed an extraordinary new discovery – the first known system of seven rocky, Earth-sized planets orbiting a single star. Three out of the seven planets are situated at the perfect distance from the sun to potentially harbor liquid water , making them habitable for life as we know it. This is the largest number of habitable-zone planets ever found around a single star outside our own solar system . It’s important to note that simply because these planets could potentially hold liquid water doesn’t mean that they do – but the likelihood is higher given their location. The planets are orbiting an ultra-cool dwarf star called TRAPPIST-1, located about 40 light years (or 235 trillion miles) from Earth in the Aquarius constellation. The system is named after the TRAPPIST ( The Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope ), located in an observatory in Chile. In May 2016, TRAPPIST researchers announced they’d discovered three planets in the system. NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope was able to confirm those exoplanets’ existence and that of four additional planets. The results of NASA’s study have been published in the journal Nature today. Related: Astronomers just discovered an alien planet with three suns that shouldn’t exist What’s especially interesting about the TRAPPIST-1 system is how different its habitable zone is from that of systems like our own. Because the star is much cooler than our sun, planets much closer to the sun than Earth could potentially have liquid water. In fact, all seven of TRAPPIST-1’s planets are closer to the star than Mercury is to our own sun, and each of the planets are so close to one another they would appear in one another’s skies the same way the moon appears in ours. NASA scientists also speculate the planets may be tidally locked , so that the same side of the planet is always facing the star, casting one half of the planet in permanent daylight and the other in perpetual night. This could cause weather patterns unlike anything we’ve ever seen before on Earth, and extreme differences in temperature from one side to the other. The Spitzer telescope was able to detect the presence of the planets by observing the infrared wavelengths emitted by the star over a period of 500 hours. Each time a planet crossed in front of the star, the telescope could detect changes in the star’s brightness. NASA also followed up with a study using the Hubble Space Telescope to determine whether the planets were rocky, or likely had a “puffy” atmosphere like those of our own system’s gas giants. There’s still much about these planets we simply do not know, but studies will continue to help NASA learn more about them. Right now, the Kepler space telescope is also recording observations about the system, which will reveal more properties about the exoplanets in March. NASA’s new James Webb Telescope will also be pointed toward TRAPPIST-1 after its launch in 2018, and will analyze the planets’ temperature, surface pressure, and atmospheric makeup – all key factors that will reveal whether these worlds can actually sustain life. Via NASA Images via NASA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnKFaAS30X8

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NASA discovers 7 Earth-sized planets outside our solar system

NASA plans to unleash HAVOC into the clouds around Venus

December 22, 2014 by  
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We haven’t even laid eyes on the surface of Venus yet, but that’s not deterring NASA from daydreaming about sending manned missions to the planet. Although much of Venus is still a completely mystery, we do know that the surface of the planet is far too hot, and the atmospheric pressure too high, to sustain human life. As such, rather than targeting the planet itself, NASA is shooting for the clouds: the space agency recently announced its intention to send the robotic airship  HAVOC  (High Altitude Venus Operational Concept) to collect initial observations before delving into the planning of a manned mission. Read the rest of NASA plans to unleash HAVOC into the clouds around Venus Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: astronauts , atmosphere , havoc , HAVOC airship , High Altitude Venus Operational Concept , manned airships , nasa , planet Venus , planets , robot airship , robotic airship , space , space exploration , space travel , Venus , Venus atmosphere , venus exploration

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NASA plans to unleash HAVOC into the clouds around Venus

Crumpled paper transformed a gallery space into a grotto-like Yorunoma bar in Japan

December 22, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Crumpled paper transformed a gallery space into a grotto-like Yorunoma bar in Japan Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: crumpled paper , crumpled paper cave , gallery , gallery space , grotto-like bar , Japan , Japanese design , Matsumoto , Naoya , Naoya Matsumoto , Naoya Matsumoto Design , origami , osaka , Paper , Paper Cave , paper cave bar , paper crafts , paper grotto , paper interior , pop-up , pop-up bar , pop-up space , pop-up yorunoma bar , tracing paper , yorunoma , Yorunoma Bar

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Crumpled paper transformed a gallery space into a grotto-like Yorunoma bar in Japan

New Research Shows the Earth’s Water is Older Than the Sun

September 26, 2014 by  
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Hang on to your chair and prepare to have your mind blown. That water in the glass bottle on your desk is old, and I mean unfathomably ancient – even older than the Sun, according to new research. Motherboard reports that scientists have known for some time that the water on Earth is really old , but new research recently published in the journal Science shows that it’s even older than previously thought, and actually predates the formation of our solar system. The news increases the chances that water is present on other planets, along with other forms of life. Read the rest of New Research Shows the Earth’s Water is Older Than the Sun Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: deuterium , disk , earth , earth’s water is older than the sun , formation , heavy , heavy water , ice , interstellar , old water , older , protoplanetary , solar , system , than , water is older than the sun , water issues

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New Research Shows the Earth’s Water is Older Than the Sun

Earth Overshoot Day 2011 Is September 27 – By Mid-Century We’ll Need Two Full Planets For Us All

September 22, 2011 by  
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photo: Luis Markovic / CC BY Every year towards the end of summer the folks at the Global Footprint Network release their calculations on when Earth Overshoot Day will be for the year. In 2011, September 27th is the day when humanity as whole begins using more resources than the planet can perpetually regenerate a… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Earth Overshoot Day 2011 Is September 27 – By Mid-Century We’ll Need Two Full Planets For Us All

Rock Star: Trekking To California’s Vasquez Rocks Park

June 7, 2011 by  
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[ By Steve in Geography & Travel & History & Trivia & Uncategorized . ] That tilted rock formation … now where have I seen that before? On TV and in the movies, most likely.

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Rock Star: Trekking To California’s Vasquez Rocks Park

Blue Holes to Infinity Falls: 13 Natural Swimming Pools

June 6, 2011 by  
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[ By Steph in Geography & Travel & Nature & Ecosystems .

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Blue Holes to Infinity Falls: 13 Natural Swimming Pools

China’s Ecological Footprint Unsustainable – We’d Still Need 1.2 Planets if Everyone Had It

November 15, 2010 by  
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photo: tinabasgen / Creative Commons China has been the world’s foremost carbon emitter for over a year now–with per capita emissions now higher than those of France–and this summer overtook the US to become the world’s largest energy consumer as well. Now, according to new analysis by WWF , China can also check itself off on another eco-black list: If everyone on the planet consumed natural resources like the average Chine… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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