Smart Home Devices Can Help Reduce Waste and Utility Bills

By now, it’s common knowledge that smart home devices can help with a variety of daily tasks. From asking your Alexa device what song is playing to checking your phone to see who just rang your doorbell, more people are buying smart devices to fill a variety of life needs and interests.

With increased technology, though, people have also begun to see the environmental benefits of these devices. Smart home devices can help regulate home temperature, reduce water use, and conserve energy, among other things.

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NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Successfully Touches Asteroid Bennu

Exciting news: NASA’s OSIRIS-REx, the first United States spacecraft to return samples from an asteroid has successfully touched down the Asteroid Bennu. The touchdown and sample collection occurred on October 20, 2020, at about 22:12 UTC.

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Oceans of the Solar System

Created by the Universidad de Puerto Rico en Arecibo (the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo) scientists, this amazing infographic shows the volumes of the oceans of the Solar System. The unit used is the volume of the liquid water on Earth, so the ocean volumes of the other planetary objects are given by the multiples of the volume of the oceans on our planet.

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Microsoft had a crazy idea to put servers underwater, and it totally worked

A little over two years ago, a shipping container-sized cylinder bearing Microsoft’s name and logo was lowered onto the ocean floor off the northern coast of Scotland. Inside were 864 servers, and their submersion was part of the second phase of the software giant’s Project Natick. Launched in 2015, the project’s purpose is to determine the feasibility of underwater data centers powered by offshore renewable energy.

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Soyuz makes a record-breaking 3-hour flight to the ISS

On 14 October 2020, Soyuz MS-17 transported three crew members of the Expedition 64 crew to the International Space Station with a record-breaking 3-hour flight. It was the 145th crewed flight of a Soyuz spacecraft. The crew consists of a Russian commander (Sergey Ryzhikov) and a Russian and American flight engineer (Sergey Kud-Sverchkov and Kathleen Rubins).

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Room-temperature superconductivity achieved for the first time

New York-based scientists have achieved the room-temperature superconductivity for the first time, using a hydrogen, carbon, and sulfur compound. According to the study published in Nature, the new compound operates as a superconductor at up to 15 °C (59 °F) at very high pressure (267 GPa between a pair of diamond anvils – that’s about 75% of the pressures those found in the Earth’s core). That’s 38 °C hotter than the previous high-temperature superconductivity record set in 2019, also at very high pressure (170 GPa).

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How Sustainable Building Creates Affordable Housing

Housing costs are a crucial part of your household budget. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD] describes housing affordability as anything 30% or less of your gross salary. Still, when calculating expenses, you must include insurance, taxes, and utilities into the final equation. As a result, anyone spending over 30% on their housing costs is considered burdened.

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Fossil footprints: the fascinating story behind the longest known prehistoric journey

Matthew Robert Bennett, Bournemouth University and Sally Christine Reynolds, Bournemouth University

Every parent knows the feeling. Your child is crying and wants to go home, you pick them up to comfort them and move faster, your arms tired with a long walk ahead – but you cannot stop now. Now add to this a slick mud surface and a range of hungry predators around you.

That is the story the longest trackway of fossil footprints in the world tells us. Our new discovery, published in Quaternary Science Reviews, comes from White Sands National Park in New Mexico, US, and was made by an international team working in collaboration with staff from the National Park Service.

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NASA’s Planet Patrol Project lets the volunteers help to find exoplanets

NASA announced a new citizen science project called “Planet Patrol” which lets the volunteers help to find exoplanets using TESS Space Telescope (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) data. It is similar to another NASA citizen science project, “Backyard Worlds”, where volunteers or the “citizen scientists” are checking telescope images the same way the American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh (February 4, 1906 – January 17, 1997) found Pluto, the original “Planet 9” in 1930. In this case, volunteers will collaborate with professional astronomers as they sort through a stockpile of star-studded images collected by NASA’s TESS Space Telescope (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite).

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How high do you have to be to see the curvature of the Earth?

Most people don’t realize how large the earth is compared to the height of a mountain or the altitude of a passenger aircraft. It’s easy to think we’re really high up when we are atop a high mountain or in a passenger plane, but comparatively, even in the case of the plane (planes fly higher even the highest mountain on Earth – the Mount Everest, commercial aircraft typically fly between 31,000 and 38,000 feet – about 5.9 to 7.2 miles – high), we’re just skimming the surface of our planet. So, how high do you have to be to see the curvature of the Earth?

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