Archive for the ‘materials’ category: Page 13

Feb 10, 2023

Space Mystery: Unexpected New Ring System Discovered in Our Own Solar System

Posted by in categories: materials, space

During a break from looking at planets around other stars, the European Space Agency’s CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite (Cheops) mission has observed a dwarf planet in our own Solar System and made a decisive contribution to the discovery of a dense ring of material around it.

The dwarf planet is known as Quaoar. The presence of a ring at a distance of almost seven and a half times the radius of Quaoar, opens up a mystery for astronomers to solve: why has this material not coalesced into a small moon?

Feb 9, 2023

Mysterious Eruption Detected on Star Could Help Explain Fast Radio Bursts

Posted by in categories: materials, space

One of the most interesting stars in the Milky Way is still serving up more than its fair share of intrigue.

In October 2020, SGR 1935+2154, the magnetar responsible for spitting out radio signals never before detected in our home galaxy, unexpectedly slowed down.

Now, scientists believe the rotational slowdown could be evidence of a volcano-like eruption on its surface, spewing material out into space that altered the star’s environment enough to decelerate the spinning of the planet minutely.

Feb 9, 2023

Scientists find dense ring around dwarf planet, but can’t quite explain why it’s there

Posted by in categories: materials, space

“When we put everything together, we saw drops in brightness that were not caused by Quaoar, but that pointed to the presence of material in a circular orbit around it,” said Bruno Morgado of the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro in a statement. “The moment we saw that we said, ‘Okay, we are seeing a ring around Quaoar.’”

Quaoar is part of a collection of about 3,000 dwarf planets known as trans-Neptunian objects, which are beyond the orbit of the planet Neptune.

Scientists are now wondering why the dense material in Quaoar’s ring has not come together to form a small moon, because the ring itself is “at a distance of almost seven and a half times the radius of Quaoar,” the ESA said.

Feb 9, 2023

Coming up in 2023: the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will return its sample of asteroid Bennu to Earth!

Posted by in categories: materials, space


On September 24, 2023, the sample return capsule will detach from the spacecraft, perform an entry, descent and landing sequence, and touch down in the Utah desert.

Thanks to our contribution to the mission, Canada will receive a portion of the asteroid material!


Feb 7, 2023

‘Harry Potter’ Invisibility Cloak Now Real? Metamaterials Development Will Allow You to Blend With Your Surroundings

Posted by in categories: innovation, materials

The power to turn invisible, which has long been a hallmark of science fiction and fantasy, would be a revolutionary technical breakthrough. Check out how scientists are making an invisibility cloak into reality.

Feb 7, 2023

Scientists develop first fabric to automatically cool or insulate depending on conditions

Posted by in categories: innovation, materials

Despite decades of innovation in fabrics with high-tech thermal properties that keep marathon runners cool or alpine hikers warm, there has never been a material that changes its insulating properties in response to the environment. Until now.

University of Maryland researchers have created a that can automatically regulate the amount of heat that passes through it. When conditions are warm and moist, such as those near a sweating body, the fabric allows (heat) to pass through. When conditions become cooler and drier, the fabric reduces the heat that escapes. The development was reported in the February 8, 2019 issue of the journal Science.

The researchers created the fabric from specially engineered yarn coated with a conductive metal. Under hot, , the strands of yarn compact and activate the coating, which changes the way the fabric interacts with infrared . They refer to the action as “gating” of infrared radiation, which acts as a tunable blind to transmit or block heat.

Feb 7, 2023

Harvesting big energy from small movement

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, materials

A new material designed to harvest up to 400 times more energy from movement than currently possible has potential applications in biomedicine and geospatial monitoring.

By Dr Peter Sherrell and Professor Amanda Ellis, University of Melbourne.

Feb 3, 2023

Asteroid Mining Startup About to Launch First Mission

Posted by in categories: materials, space travel

An asteroid mining startup called AstroForge is preparing to launch two missions to space this year, Bloomberg reports — inaugural, albeit early attempts to extract valuable resources from space rocks.

AstroForge isn’t looking to actually land on an asteroid and start extracting materials just yet. Its first mission to space, slated to launch aboard a SpaceX rideshare in April, will involve testing out ways of refining platinum from asteroid-like materials in space.

Feb 3, 2023

New Faraday Cages Can Be Switched Off and On

Posted by in categories: electronics, materials

Advanced new Faraday cages—the metal mesh enclosures that can block wireless signals—can also be switched on and off for reversible protection against noise, a new study finds.

In addition, these new shields can be easily fabricated through a technique akin to spray-painting, which could help them find use in electronics, researchers say.

Built out of a novel material called MXene, these cages could block and allow signals as desired.

Feb 2, 2023

Scientists Want to Create New ‘Quantum Light’ With Mind-Bending Powers

Posted by in categories: materials, particle physics

Quantum light would let us peer into atoms like never before, paving a way to solve longstanding mysteries in materials physics.

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