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Jan 8, 2016

Planetary Resources reveals first object 3D printed from alien metal

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, materials

Up until now, everything we’ve ever used in space has been brought there from Earth. Planetary Resources Inc. has long-term ambitions to mine the infinite resources space provides. In the mean-time, they’ve proven its possible by 3D printing material derived from an asteroid.

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Jan 7, 2016

Material could harvest sunlight

Posted by in categories: materials, solar power, sustainability, transportation

Imagine if your clothing could, on demand, release just enough heat to keep you warm and cozy, allowing you to dial back on your thermostat settings and stay comfortable in a cooler room. Or, picture a car windshield that stores the sun’s energy and then releases it as a burst of heat to melt away a layer of ice.

According to a team of researchers at MIT, both scenarios may be possible before long, thanks to a new material that can store solar during the day and release it later as , whenever it’s needed. This transparent polymer film could be applied to many different surfaces, such as window glass or clothing.

Although the sun is a virtually inexhaustible source of energy, it’s only available about half the time we need it—during daylight. For the sun to become a major power provider for human needs, there has to be an efficient way to save it up for use during nighttime and stormy days. Most such efforts have focused on storing and recovering in the form of electricity, but the new finding could provide a highly efficient method for storing the sun’s energy through a chemical reaction and releasing it later as heat.

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Jan 7, 2016

We Finally Know What’s Causing Galaxy Quakes

Posted by in category: cosmology

Did you need another existential risk to keep you up at night? Probably not, but here it is anyway: galaxy quakes. We’ve known about ‘em for years, and we hadn’t a clue what causes them—until now.

The culprit, unveiled today at the 227th meeting of the American Astronomical Society, is about as weird as you’d expect. Astronomers now believe that ripples in gas around the edge of the Milky Way are the result of a dwarf galaxy filled with dark matter ramming up against us several hundred million years ago.

Sukanya Chakrabarti of the Rochester Institute of Technology reached that bizarre conclusion by measuring the speed of three bright stars, called Cepheid variables, at the Gemini Observatory in Chile. These stars, which are suspected to hail from a larger population that entered our Milky Way during the Great Galactic Quaking of 300 million B.C., are all speeding away from us at about 450,000 mph.

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Jan 7, 2016

New Evidence Suggests Human Beings Are a Geological Force of Nature

Posted by in category: materials

For years, the term “Anthropocene” has been used to informally describe the human era on Earth. But new evidence suggests there’s nothing informal about it. We’re a true force of nature — and there’s good reason to believe we’ve sparked a new and unprecedented geological epoch.

A team of international geoscientists say the time has come for us to formally recognize the Anthropocene as a new epoch, one as significant as previous geological eras like the Holocene and Pleistocene. According to the new study, which appears in the latest issue of Science, it began sometime around the midpoint of the 20th century, and is fueled by a number of unquestionably human influences — including elevated greenhouse gas levels and the global proliferation of invasive species, along with the spread of materials such as aluminium, concrete, fly ash, and even fallout from nuclear testing.

New Evidence Suggests Human Beings Are a Geological Force of Nature

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Jan 7, 2016

Scientists move one step closer to turning water into hydrogen fuel, affordably

Posted by in categories: energy, transportation

Researchers reveal a new mechanism to create hydrogen fuel that could power environmentally clean cars.

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Jan 7, 2016

Russia’s Big Plan To Finally Put Cosmonauts on the Moon

Posted by in category: space

​Making sense of the latest shakeup at Roscosmos..

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Jan 7, 2016

Here Is the Soviet Union’s Secret Space Cannon

Posted by in category: space

In 1975, the USSR actually fired a cannon from an orbiting space station. Forty years later, we finally got a good look at this gun.

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Jan 7, 2016

Meet the Man With a Thought-Controlled Robotic Arm

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, physics, robotics/AI

Johnny Matheny is the first person to attach a mind-controlled prosthetic limb directly to his skeleton. After losing his arm to cancer in 2008, Johnny signed up for a number of experimental surgeries to prepare himself to use a DARPA-funded prosthetic prototype. The Modular Prosthetic Limb, developed by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, allows Johnny to regain almost complete range of motion through the Bluetooth-controlled arm. (Video by Drew Beebe, Brandon Lisy) (Source: Bloomberg)

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Jan 7, 2016

Time’s (Almost) Reversible Arrow

Posted by in category: cosmology

A very well done essay by Frank Wilczek about axions, their motivations, their candidacy for dark matter job, and their experimental status.

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Jan 7, 2016

Planetary Resources & 3D Systems Reveal First Ever 3D Printed Object from Asteroid Metals

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, space

The future of space colonization and industrialization can now be visualized.

Planetary Resources, in collaboration with our partner 3D Systems, have developed the first ever direct metal print from asteroid metals. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) today in Las Vegas, NV., we unveiled the geometric object on the Engadget stage.

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