The end of the world: a history of how a silent cosmos led humans to fear the worst

Thomas Moynihan, University of Oxford

It is 1950 and a group of scientists are walking to lunch against the majestic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. They are about to have a conversation that will become a scientific legend. The scientists are at the Los Alamos Ranch School, the site for the Manhattan Project, where each of the group has lately played their part in ushering in the atomic age.

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Are Weddings Causing Environmental Damage?

Weddings are meant to be beautiful and memorable. Whether you have a barn wedding or an elaborate event at a country club, or you keep it simple in a church, it should be a reflection of who you are as a couple.

Unfortunately, certain wedding styles, decorations, and even some long-standing traditions may be doing more harm than good when it comes to the environment. Most people are so wrapped up in the splendor of the event itself that they don’t often think about how their choices might be impacting the health of the planet.

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20 Amazing Elephant Facts

Today, August 12, is World Elephant Day. Even though these largest existing land animals are loved, revered and respected by people and cultures around the world, they are actually close to the edge of extinction. The escalation of poaching, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity are just some of the threats to both African and Asian elephants. So, we urgently need to take action to protect these amazing (and cute!) animals. Here are 20 amazing elephant facts.

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Saturn on steroids: J1407b

If you read Isaac Asimov’s 1986 novel “Foundation and Earth”, you’ll remember how the main characters of the book (Councilman Golan Trevize, historian Janov Pelorat, and Gaian Bliss) were amazed by Saturn’s rings. They were thinking the gas giant with preeminent rings in old stories was just a myth. But after seeing Saturn, they made sure that they found the solar system which contains the Earth, the original home of humanity.

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In space, there really might be no place like home

Few topics in science command as much attention as the discovery of extrasolar planets – those as-yet-unseen worlds, light years beyond our own Sun. In the quest to learn whether we are alone in the cosmos, astronomers are teasing out subtle wobbles and periodic dimmings of distant stars: telltale signs that a planet, much too faint to see directly in telescopes, is nevertheless present.

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A Year Along the Geostationary Orbit (Short Film)

Our beautiful yet fragile Earth from the Geostationary orbit. “A Year Along the Geostationary Orbit” is a 16-minute short film by the German engineer Felix Dierich. He used the Japanese weather satellite Himawari 8 data made publicly available by the Japanese and Australian governments to craft a timelapse while producing this amazing time-lapse of Earth from space.

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Strategies Businesses Are Taking to Reduce Their Single-Use Plastic Use

Single-use plastics can be convenient, but more often than not, they have a lasting negative impact on our planet. They end up in our landfills, oceans, and ecosystems creating problems for animals and plants alike. In fact, half of all plastic in the world was created in just the last 13 years, and according to National Geographic, only 9% of that plastic is actually recycled. That is 6.3 billion metric tons of plastic waste with nowhere to go. These plastics are then unable to biodegrade, so they just continue to break down into smaller and smaller microplastics which causes more systemic problems.

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