How the Moon’s ice craters will power a human colony

Astronauts will be able to harvest the Moon's natural resources to sustain human life.

  • NASA's Michelle Thaller walks us through what it will take to sustain human life on the surface of the Moon.
  • One way would be to run a very strong electrical current through water, separating it into hydrogen and oxygen. It's how astronauts on the International Space Station currently harvest oxygen to breathe.
  • There's already evidence of ice at the Moon's poles, likely thanks to billions of years of asteroid and comet collisions. All we have to do is harvest it. People on the future Moon base could also use those ice repositories to make liquid rocket fuel.

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Whale earwax reveals 146 years of humanity’s impact

Thanks to museum curators, there's no shortage of the stuff.

Photo credit: Miguel Medina
  • It's just been discovered that whale earwax contains a record of a whale's sub-lethal stressors.
  • It's generally agreed that cortisol is a reliable indicator of a mammal's response to stress.
  • We now have a detailed 146-year impact study of human activity on whales.
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Car culture and suburban sprawl create rifts in society, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Pixabay
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
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We are heading for a New Cretaceous, not for a new normal

The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.

Image credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA

A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.

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A.I. turns 57 million crop fields into stunning abstract art

Detailed (and beautiful) information on 57 million crop fields across the U.S. and Europe are now available online.

Image: OneSoil
  • Using satellite images and artificial intelligence, OneSoil wants to make 'precision farming' available to the world.
  • The start-up from Belarus has already processed the U.S. and Europe, and aims for global coverage by 2020.
  • The map is practical, and more — browse 'Random Beautiful Fields' at the touch of a button.
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