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Engineers have invented a revolutionary coating material that can help cool buildings, even on sunny days, by radiating heat away from the buildings and sending it directly into space.

High-tech Mirror Beams Heat into Space

December 4, 2014 4:25 pm | by Chris Cesare, Stanford University | News | Comments

Engineers have invented a revolutionary coating material that can help cool buildings, even on sunny days, by radiating heat away from the buildings and sending it directly into space. The heart of the invention is an ultrathin, multilayered material that deals with light, both invisible and visible, in a new way.

Star Trek-like Invisible Shield Discovered Thousands of Miles above Earth

November 26, 2014 2:47 pm | by University of Colorado Boulder | News | Comments

Researchers have discovered an invisible shield some 7,200 miles above Earth that blocks so-...

Rocket Experiment Finds Surprising Cosmic Light

November 7, 2014 3:37 pm | by Kathy Svitil, Caltech | News | Comments

Using an experiment carried into space on a NASA suborbital rocket, astronomers have detected a...

Researchers Project a Million Dazzlingly Sharp Images per Second on Curved Screens

October 27, 2014 5:38 am | by Fraunhofer | News | Comments

Projecting images on curved screens poses a dilemma. The sharper the image, the darker it is. A...

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The position and structure at the micron- and nano-scales of the compound eyes of flies provide them a wide angular field of view. Courtesy of D.P. Pulsifer/PSU

Pesky Insect Inspires Practical Technology

September 9, 2014 3:41 pm | by American Institute of Physics (AIP) | News | Comments

In our vain struggle to kill flies, hands and swatters often come up lacking. This is due to no fault of our own, but rather to flies’ compound eyes. Arranged in a hexagonal, convex pattern, compound eyes consist of hundreds of optical units called ommatidia, which together bestow upon flies a nearly 360-degree field of vision. With this capability in mind, researchers are drawing on this structure to create miniature light-emitting devices

It may look like fresh blood and flow like fresh blood, but the longer blood   is stored, the less it can carry oxygen into the tiny microcapillaries of the   body. Using advanced optical techniques, the researchers measured the stiffness of the membran

Stored Blood Grows Stiffer over Time

September 8, 2014 10:36 am | by Liz Ahlberg, University of Illinois | News | Comments

It may look like fresh blood and flow like fresh blood, but the longer blood is stored, the less it can carry oxygen into the tiny microcapillaries of the body. Using advanced optical techniques, the researchers measured the stiffness of the membrane surrounding red blood cells over time. 

Voyager 2 Captures Images of Neptune -- Courtesy of NASA

25 Years Ago, Voyager 2 Captures Images of Neptune

August 26, 2014 3:16 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft gave humanity its first glimpse of Neptune and its moon Triton in the summer of 1989. This picture of Neptune was produced from the last whole planet images taken through the green and orange filters on the Voyager 2 narrow angle camera. The images were taken on August  20, 1989, at a range of 4.4 million miles from the planet, 4 days and 20 hours before closest approach on August 25.

NGC 3081 -- Courtesy of ESA/Hubble & NASA; acknowledgement: R. Buta (University of Alabama)

Magnificent Face-on Image of Golden Rings of Star Formation

August 15, 2014 11:39 am | by European Space Agency | News | Comments

Taking center stage in this new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image is a galaxy known as NGC 3081, set against an assortment of glittering galaxies in the distance. Located in the constellation of Hydra (The Sea Serpent), NGC 3081 is located over 86 million light-years from us. It is known as a type II Seyfert galaxy, characterized by its dazzling nucleus.

Next-Generation Microshutter Array Technology -- Courtesy of NASA/Bill Hrybyk

Next-Generation Microshutter Array Technology

August 8, 2014 11:56 am | by NASA | News | Comments

NASA technologists have hurdled a number of significant challenges in their quest to improve a revolutionary observing technology originally created for the James Webb Space Telescope. This image shows a close-up view of the next-generation microshutter arrays — designed to accommodate the needs of future observatories — during the fabrication process.

The blurred image on the left shows how a farsighted person would see a computer screen without corrective lenses. In the middle is how that same person would perceive the picture using a display that compensates for visual impairments.

Vision-correcting Display Makes Reading Glasses So Yesterday

July 30, 2014 3:46 pm | by Sarah Yang, UC Berkeley | News | Comments

What if computer screens had glasses instead of the people staring at the monitors? That concept is not too far afield from technology being developed by UC Berkeley computer and vision scientists. The researchers are developing computer algorithms to compensate for an individual’s visual impairment, and creating vision-correcting displays that enable users to see text and images clearly without wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses.

To celebrate Chandra's 15th anniversary, four new images of supernova remnants – the Crab Nebula, Tycho, G292.0+1.8, and 3C58 – are being released. These supernova remnants are very hot and energetic and glow brightly in X-ray light, which allows Chandra

NASA Chandra X-ray Observatory Celebrates 15th Anniversary

July 25, 2014 3:05 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

Fifteen years ago, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. Since its deployment, Chandra has helped revolutionize our understanding of the universe through its unrivaled X-ray vision. Chandra, one of NASA's current "Great Observatories," along with the Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope, is specially designed to detect X-ray emission from hot and energetic regions.

Using data from NASA's Kepler and Spitzer Space Telescopes, scientists have made the most precise measurement ever of the size of a world outside our solar system, as illustrated in this artist's conception. Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech

Weird Worlds: Precisely Measuring an Alien World's Size

July 25, 2014 2:56 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

Thanks to NASA's Kepler and Spitzer Space Telescopes, scientists have made the most precise measurement ever of the radius of a planet outside our solar system. The size of the exoplanet, dubbed Kepler-93b, is now known to an uncertainty of just 74 miles (119 kilometers) on either side of the planetary body.

Crab Nebula -- Courtesy of NASA/CXC/SAO

Chandra Celebrates 15th Anniversary: Crab Nebula

July 23, 2014 1:32 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

In 1054 AD, Chinese astronomers and others around the world noticed a new bright object in the sky. This “new star” was, in fact, the supernova explosion that created what is now called the Crab Nebula. At the center of the Crab Nebula is an extremely dense, rapidly rotating neutron star left behind by the explosion.

Novel Nanoparticle Production Method Could Lead to Better Lights, Lenses, Solar Cells

July 7, 2014 3:57 pm | by Sandia National Laboratories | News | Comments

Sandia National Laboratories has come up with an inexpensive way to synthesize titanium-dioxide nanoparticles and is seeking partners who can demonstrate the process at industrial scale for everything from solar cells to light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Titanium-dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles show great promise as fillers to tune the refractive index of anti-reflective coatings ...

Physicists have now succeeded in manufacturing with relatively simple means and testing an ideal invisibility cloak for diffusive light-scattering media, such as fog or milk.

Optical Invisibility Cloak Works in Fog

June 23, 2014 11:00 am | by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | News | Comments

Real invisibility cloaks are rather complex and work in certain situations only, but physicists have now succeeded in manufacturing with relatively simple means and testing an ideal invisibility cloak for diffusive light-scattering media, such as fog or milk.

The June 2014 issue of Optical Engineering contains a special section on Human Vision. Courtesy of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics

Exquisitely Engineered Human Vision Featured in Optical Engineering

June 13, 2014 7:31 pm | by SPIE - International Society for Optics and Photonics | News | Comments

BELLINGHAM, WA — A new special section on Human Vision in the current issue of Optical Engineering showcases optics and optical engineering research into new techniques and approaches for the study of human vision and the design of novel imaging systems. Put into practice, these new...

Swedish geochemist Alatariel Elensar submitted the idea for a female set featuring minifigure scientists — an astronomer with a telescope, a paleontologist with a dinosaur and a chemist in a lab.

New LEGO Set Celebrates Women in Science

June 5, 2014 10:10 am | by Suzanne Tracy, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Computing and HPC Source | Blogs | Comments

LEGO has announced that a female minifigure set, featuring three scientists along with their lab gear, will be released as the next LEGO Ideas set. This “Research Institute” model is an official set of all-female scientist figures — a paleontologist, an astronomer and a chemist — made with regular LEGO minifigures.

The newly discovered "mega-Earth" Kepler-10c dominates the foreground in this artist's conception. Its sibling, the lava world Kepler-10b, is in the background. Both orbit a sunlike star. Kepler-10c has a diameter of about 18,000 miles, 2.3 times as large

Mega-Earth: Astrophysicists Find New Type of Planet

June 4, 2014 7:38 pm | by Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics | News | Comments

Astronomers announced that they have discovered a new type of planet — a rocky world weighing 17 times as much as Earth. Theorists believed such a world couldn't form because anything so hefty would grab hydrogen gas as it grew and become a Jupiter-like gas giant. This planet, though, is all solids and much bigger than previously discovered "super-Earths," making it a "mega-Earth."

Computer-aided design drawing of the optical module on the satellite showing the telescope and gimbal (pivoted support). Courtesy of NASA.

First Broadband Wireless Connection … to the Moon?!

May 22, 2014 3:28 pm | by The Optical Society | News | Comments

If future generations were to live and work on the moon or on a distant asteroid, they would probably want a broadband connection to communicate with home bases back on Earth. They may even want to watch their favorite Earth-based TV show. That may now be possible thanks to a team of researchers from MIT's Lincoln Laboratory who, working with NASA last fall, demonstrated for the first time that a data communication technology exists ...

This composite image, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, shows the planet Jupiter and the The Great Red Spot

Jupiter's Great Red Spot Shrinking Before Our Eyes

May 16, 2014 3:16 pm | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

Jupiter's Great Red Spot seems to be on a cosmic diet, shrinking rapidly before our eyes. Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope calculate that the spot, a giant long-lasting storm, is narrowing by about 580 miles a year, much faster than before.

Ancient Microwaves Key to Testing Einstein Theory

May 14, 2014 3:25 pm | by UC San Diego | News | Comments

Astrophysicists at UC San Diego have measured the minute gravitational distortions in polarized radiation from the early universe and discovered that these ancient microwaves can provide an important cosmological test of Einstein’s theory of general relativity. These measurements have the potential to narrow down the estimates for the mass of ghostly subatomic particles known as neutrinos.

M5 is one of the oldest globulars. -- Courtesy of NASA, Hubble Space Telescope, ESA

Beautiful Globular Star Cluster: Messier 5

May 14, 2014 2:09 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

"Beautiful Nebula discovered between the Balance [Libra] & the Serpent [Serpens] ..." begins the description of the 5th entry in 18th century astronomer Charles Messier's famous catalog of nebulae and star clusters. Though it appeared to Messier to be fuzzy and round and without stars, Messier 5 is now known to be a globular star cluster, 100,000 stars or more, bound by gravity and packed into a region around 165 light-years in diameter

Crystallization of Tartrazine

March 28, 2014 3:54 pm | News | Comments

A crystallization of tartrazine (dye primarily used as a food coloring) image won an honorable mention in the 2013 Nikon Small World Photomicrophotography Competition. The 40x differential interference contrast photo was taken by Frederic Labaune of Education Nationale at Auxonne, France.

Evidence Spotted for Universe's Early Growth Spurt

March 17, 2014 3:39 pm | by Malcolm Ritter, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

The universe was born almost 14 billion years ago, exploding into existence in an event called the Big Bang. Now, researchers say they've spotted evidence that a split-second later, the expansion of the cosmos began with a powerful jump-start.

NASA Announces Mother Lode of New Planets: 715

February 27, 2014 3:12 pm | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

Our galaxy is looking far more crowded and hospitable. NASA on February 26, 2014, confirmed a bonanza of 715 newly discovered planets outside our solar system. Scientists using the planet-hunting Kepler telescope pushed the number of planets discovered in the galaxy to about 1,700. Twenty years ago, astronomers had not found any planets circling stars other than the ones revolving around our sun.

Giant Magellan Telescope Poised to Enter Construction Phase

February 21, 2014 11:09 am | by The University of Texas McDonald Observatory | News | Comments

The upcoming world’s largest telescope has passed two critical milestones, according to founding partner The University of Texas at Austin. The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) has passed major reviews on its design and cost estimates and is ready to proceed to construction.

Three-Star System Challenges Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity

January 9, 2014 3:29 pm | by University of British Columbia | News | Comments

A newly discovered system of two white dwarf stars and a superdense pulsar — all packed within a space smaller than the Earth’s orbit around the sun — is enabling astronomers to probe a range of cosmic mysteries, including the very nature of gravity itself.

Hubble Catches Stellar Explosions in NGC 6984

January 9, 2014 3:09 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

Supernovae are intensely bright objects. They are formed when a star reaches the end of its life with a dramatic explosion, expelling most of its material out into space. The subject of this new Hubble image, spiral galaxy NGC 6984, played host to one of these explosions back in 2012, known as SN 2012im. Now, another star has exploded

Fermi Observatory Makes First Gamma-ray Study of Gravitational Lens

January 7, 2014 9:12 am | by NASA | News | Comments

An international team of astronomers, using NASA's Fermi observatory, has made the first-ever gamma-ray measurements of a gravitational lens, a kind of natural telescope formed when a rare cosmic alignment allows the gravity of a massive object to bend and amplify light from a more distant source.

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