Smart Home Tech: Devices for an Eco-Friendly Home

Throughout the years, plenty of things have changed about the way we operate our homes. From the invention of centralized air conditioners to televisions, homeowners are always open to the newest upgrades. But the most recent addition to the home space isn’t just about convenience. From alerting you to carbon monoxide leaks to saving you money when you run water throughout your home, smart home devices are a great way to save money and energy as a homeowner. In fact, it’s even estimated that 6.4 billion smart home devices will be used globally within the next three years.

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New Horizons shows nearby stars from an unearthly perspective

NASA’s New Horizons space probe is currently the farthest human-made object that still able to take photographs. It was launched on January 19, 2006. As of June 14, 2020, it is about 6.973 billion kilometers (4.332 billion miles) away from Earth. This is about 46.61 AU, or Astronomical Unit, the distance between the Earth and the Sun, which is equal to about 150 million kilometers (93 million miles). Light takes 6 hours, 27 minutes, and 39.5936 seconds to travel from New Horizons and arrive at us. It is so far that the photos taken by New Horizons show nearby stars from an unearthly perspective.

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Science’s plastic waste problem – how to find less polluting ways to work

Gloves, sample tubes, bottles, and vials – the world’s labs produce millions of tonnes of waste each year. Alice Bell meets the scientists who are finding less polluting ways to work.

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NASA’s Plan to Build a Base Camp on the Moon Sounds Like Sci-Fi, But It’s Real

If we’re ever going to make Elon Musk’s vision of colonizing Mars a reality, we first need to figure out an essential component of the plan: how to get there. After all, it’s somewhere between 34 and 140 million miles away from Earth. The moon is barely spitting distance closer, relatively speaking-but it’s a start. More importantly, it’s the place most similar to Mars that humans are currently able to reach (in that it’s barren, desolate, and not Earth).

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44 Closest Stars and How They Compare to Our Sun (infographic)

Humanity has been admiring, studying, following, and musing about stars since the dawn our of existence. When you wish upon a star, it may be bewildering to imagine just how far away that star truly is. We know that the closest star to our planet is the Sun, but what about beyond that? The closest star beyond our sun, called Proxima Centauri, is an astonishing 4.3 light-years away! To put that into perspective, it would take 165,000 years with current rocket propulsion technology to reach it. The 25.6 trillion mile distance is 276,000 times the space between Earth and the Sun.

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Kathryn Sullivan, the first American woman to walk in space now the first woman to reach the deepest point of the ocean

Kathryn Sullivan, the first American woman to walk in space on October 11, 1984, now also becomes the first woman to reach the deepest point of the ocean, the Challenger Deep, at the southern end of the Mariana Trench. She also became only the eighth person ever to reach the Challenger Deep.

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Human spaceflight is a risk worth taking, says ESA head

On 12 April, the International Day of Human Space Flight commemorates the first human – Yuri Gagarin – travelling to space in 1961, and the inaugural Space Shuttle mission on the same day in 1981.

Since Gagarin, humans have flown to space hundreds of times, including six missions to the moon, and have maintained a permanent space presence onboard the orbiting International Space Station (ISS) since November 2000.

But now new challenges are on the horizon, including returning to the moon and possibly going to Mars. We spoke to the head of ESA about why humans should go to space, the value of robotic exploration, and what role Europe has to play in the future.

By Jonathan O’Callaghan

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