delicate and highly detailed studies of the flora and fauna of the Pacific islands provide the inspiration for Carlos Noronha Feio’s latest work, now showing at IMT Gallery.  Plant Life of the Pacific World  is a series of gracefully collaged photos of nuclear explosions, alluringly echoing the forms of the natural world as classified by American botanist E.D. Merrill’s book from which the exhibition takes its name. the book’s dry classification of plant forms is transformed by Noronha Feio into an explosive revelry of intense, amoebic forms bursting forth as deadly chain reactions

star power

in the middle of the night, as the rest of America sleeps, a small group of physicists in California stand in a hushed control room. the clock steadily counts down towards zero and then, in a fraction of a second, everything happens at once

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Science Fair™

Wednesday 23 May 2012

subject: The Transit of Venus

join super/collider and friends in a cosmic celebration of our final chance to witness the Transit of Venus. in June 2012, the planet Venus will pass between the earth and the sun – its small black disk revealing the true scale of the solar system. this planetary alignment happens just twice every 243 years, meaning this is the last time you’ll ever witness it… unless you live to see the year 2117

Oxford University’s Dr Suzanne Aigrain, who studies exoplanets orbiting distant suns, will discuss why scientists are so interested in the transit and how their observations will expand our knowledge  of outer space. to help prepare you, Science Fair™ will also investigate the historical importance of this event, show why astronomers like Edmond Halley declared that “this sight is by far the noblest astronomy affords” and give you the low down on how to observe the Transit this June

doors 7pm / talk 8pm
location: downstairs at The Book Club, 100 Leonard Street, EC2A 4RH

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following on from his Light After Dark series, which captured softly-glowing coal stations running through the night, photographer Toby Smith has turned his lens on renewable energy infrastructure – starting with hydroelectric facilities like the 305MW Foyers plant shown here. now on show at The Print Space in London, Toby hopes to continue and expand The Renewables Project to cover other forms of cleaner power and the strange places and machines that make it possible


_Foyers Turbine Shaft by Toby Smith


it’s hard to know where to start when it comes to climate change, which is why we think Sandbag‘s idea of focusing on global power producers makes a lot of sense. the sector accounts for a third of all emissions, is relatively easy to regulate and could make a significant dent in the amount of CO2 we produce. of course, there’s lots we can still do personally, as highlighted by DIY Kyoto’s new 20TEN campaign, which stems from figures showing their customers have managed to save an average of 20% on electricity alone. if you’re in London next Monday evening, come find out more at our second Science Fair™ night


_a nuclear power station, yesterday


with this week’s Worldwide Star Count now on, the concerns of space-nerds and environmentalists come together with the issue of light pollution. showing just how much energy we waste throughout the night, skyglow blots out the stars, affects wildlife and can even mess with our sleeping and, um, mating habits. need-less.org has more on the problem and how you can help, plus a handy sky simulator to see what you’re not seeing


_image: Mexico City at night by Fernando Tomás


in the days leading up to today’sconference on new energy materials to fight climate change, we decided it was finally time to put pen to paper and sketch out an idea we had for self-replicating solar cells.

dropped into the Sahara, these miniature robots would mine sand to produce adjacent cells, then replicate exponentially, eventually covering hundreds of square kilometers. the discussions at the Royal Society promise to be a bit more realistic, but no less interesting. you can read our updates here or via Twitter


_concept for Self-Replicating Solar Cell (SRSC) by super/collider


as people around the world prepare to switch off their lights, technicians at the National Ignition Facility in California are switching on the world’s most powerful laser. originally designed to test nuclear weapons without actually blowing one up, the giant facility focuses 192 lasers onto a tiny sphere to recreate conditions inside an H-Bomb. now, the principle is being used to attempt controlled fusion – the ultimate clean energy source. if they can crack it, we’ll never have to worry about turning off the lights again


_image: Laser Bay 2 at the National Ignition Facility


if you haven’t checked out The Arts Catalyst’s nuclear art show yet, you might want to do so before next Friday, when they and the venerable Royal Society of Arts will be hosting a forum on nuclear power, art and culture. it’s free to register and speakers include Kate Hudson of CND and James Acord – the only private citizen in the world licensed to handle radioactive materials


_image: still from Chris Oakley’s Half-Life