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Space

Exoplanet-hunter SPHERE achieves first light

A new scientific instrument for detecting and observing remote exoplanets has been successfully installed on Unit 3 of the ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT). The Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch instrument, or SPHERE, recently returned its first set of images and is promised to revolutionize the exploration and study of these distant celestial bodies.Read More

Medical

LEDs may replace magnetism and radiation for neuroimaging

When doctors want to monitor someone's brain activity, they generally use either functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) or positron emission tomography (PET). One subjects the patient to strong magnetic fields, while the other involves radiation exposure. Scientists at Washington University in St. Louis, however, have recently had success using diffuse optical tomography (DOT). Although it may look kind of extreme, it basically just involves shining LEDs into the subject's head. Read More

Space

NASA orbiter discovers new Martian crater

There are millions of impact craters all over the Solar System, but direct evidence of the massive collisions that form them is very hard to come by – and therefore very valuable. While carrying out its routine monitoring of the weather on the Red Planet, the Mars Color Imager (MARCI) on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has inadvertently snapped before and after images of the largest fresh meteor impact crater found anywhere in the Solar System.Read More

Science

Researchers create 3D neuron imaging system

A team of researchers from the University of Vienna and MIT have developed a novel way of observing the behavior of neurons on a brain-wide scale. The discovery has potential applications in the medical field, allowing scientists to pinpoint the specific cells involved in a brain disorder, thus aiding them in tailoring a focused course of treatment.Read More

Military

Exelis tests versatile new airborne sensor for explosives and dangerous chemicals

Hyperspectral imaging is a bit like super-vision. With it, you can not only see what’s there, but what it’s made of, which is a good thing if you’re looking for bombs, gas leaks, and smuggled nuclear material. Defense and information systems specialist Exelis has announced the successful test of a new airborne long-wave infrared (LWIR), hyperspectral (HSI) sensor that can be aimed in multiple directions and is capable of detecting explosives, gases and dangerous chemicals.Read More

Space

HDEV allows us detailed views of our planet from space

As of April 30, NASA has been running its High Definition Earth Viewing Experiment (HDEV) which, as well as testing certain aspects such as a camera's ability to survive the radiation levels present in low-Earth orbit, is giving viewers the breathtaking experience of observing their planet in exquisite detail from space. Read More

Science

"Virtual periscope" could let submarines see up through the water's surface

It's a classic scene from many a war movie – a submarine's presence is given away by its periscope protruding through the surface of the water. If submariners want to see what's up there, however, they really have no choice ... although that may be about to change. Scientists at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have devised a system that allows an underwater camera to look up through the surface from below, with a minimum of distortion. Read More

Medical

Ultrasound device could help detect cause of heart attack and stroke

While existing ultrasound technologies are able to identify plaque buildup on artery walls, determining when that plaque is at risk of breaking off, resulting in a heart attack or stroke, has proven a more complicated task. A team of researchers from North Carolina State University has now developed a dual-frequency ultrasound device that could help identify so-called vulnerable plaque and enable a more accurate diagnosis for at-risk patients. Read More

Space

Sentinel-1A satellite returns first shots of Earth

ESA's Sentinel-1A satellite has returned its first images of Earth from space in its second week of achieving orbit. The satellite, having been launched on Apr. 3, has only recently undergone a complicated maneuver to extend its 10 m (32 ft) solar wings and 12 m (39 ft) radar imaging array.Read More

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